6 times footballers and their managers were the epitome of relationship goals

After Mesut Ozil suggested he would sign a contract once Arsene Wenger's position as manager had been sorted out, we couldn't help but ponder some of the better player-manager relationships.

Having the trust of the gaffer, and vice versa, is important in any team, so who did it best?

Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce

Bolton and West Ham

Kevin Nolan and Sam Allardyce - (Nick Potts/PA)
(Nick Potts/PA)

Sam Allardyce gave Kevin Nolan his debut in 1999 at Bolton and for some time the pair never looked back. Allardyce remained at the club until 2007, while Nolan stayed until 2009, playing almost 300 league games for the club.

After two years spent at Newcastle, Nolan rejoined Big Sam at Upton Park, where the pair carried on from where they left off, playing a brand of football the bigger teams found difficult to beat.

Allardyce left on the final day of the 2014/15 season and Nolan obviously didn't fancy it there without his long-time boss, leaving in January 2016 for Leyton Orient.

Jermain Defoe and Harry Redknapp

West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham

Jermain Defoe and Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth - (Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)
(Nigel French/EMPICS Sport)

You knew that Harry Redknapp would feature in this list, didn't you? Yes, 'Arry loves a transfer window and, more specifically, he's a big fan of Jermain Defoe's.

Defoe's career as a travelling footballer regularly synced with Redknapp's nomadic managerial career, with the pair working together at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham.

Defoe scored goals wherever he went, something which clearly didn't pass Redknapp by.

Peter Crouch and Harry Redknapp

Portsmouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and Tottenham

Peter Crouch and Harry Redknapp at Tottenham - (Sean Dempsey/PA)
(Sean Dempsey/PA)

The movements of Peter Crouch and Redknapp would make for one of the finest Hollywood romances, of that we are certain.

Redknapp sold Crouchy to Aston Villa just days after arriving at Portsmouth in 2002 (heartbreak) but installed him as a key striker when the manager joined him at Southampton (hooray). However, Crouch left for Liverpool in 2005 (nooo) before Redknapp re-signed him for Portsmouth in 2008.

'Arry then left for Tottenham that same year, before bringing Crouch with him for £10 million. The pair seemed finally set but Crouch could manage only 12 league goals under Harry at Spurs. What a rollercoaster!

Robin van Persie and Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson and Robin van Persie at Manchester United - (Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)
(Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

Robin van Persie didn't exactly follow Sir Alex Ferguson around during his career. In fact, the pair only spent one season together but, much like Jack and Rose's short relationship on the Titanic, what a season it was.

Fergie brought RvP to Old Trafford for £24 million from rivals Arsenal, and a goal-laden season for the Dutchman brought Sir Alex his final Premier League title and van Persie his first and only one.

Van Persie has intimated that he expected the United legend to stay for a little while longer and was said by Rio Ferdinand to have been heavily disappointed by Fergie's departure.

Paddy Kenny and Neil Warnock

Bury, Sheffield United, QPR, Leeds and Rotherham

Neil Warnock and Paddy Kenny - (Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport)
(Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport)

There's just no separating Paddy Kenny and Neil Warnock; not for long, anyway.

In February 2016 Warnock brought the former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper to Rotherham, the fifth time he'd signed Kenny during his career. In case you're wondering, that's Bury, Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United and Rotherham.

Warnock left after the 2015/16 season having kept the side in the Championship, somewhat miraculously, while Kenny, who had played zero games, went to Northampton Town as a player-goalkeeping coach.

Alex Bruce and Steve Bruce

Birmingham City and Hull City

Steve Bruce and Alex Bruce at Hull City - (Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)
(Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Last but not least, Alex and Steve Bruce. We had to include a father-son combination somewhere - a family relationship rather than a romantic one.

Alex was signed by dad Steve for Birmingham back in 2005 but, after several loan spells, Alex left for Ipswich, admitting the scrutiny of playing for his dad's team had become a bit much.

Six years later however, and the wounds had healed enough for the Bruces to be reunited at Hull City. The pair yo-yoed between the Championship and the Premier League before Bruce senior left the club last summer, while Alex remains with the Tigers, albeit sidelined by injury.

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