Leicester City and football legend Gary Lineker has revealed that he was offered the chance to become the head coach of his boyhood club upon retiring in the mid-1990s.
The Match of the Day host scored 103 goals in 216 games for the Foxes during a seven-season stint with the club from 1978 to 1985 before eventually moving to Everton who were one of the best teams in England at the time.
Lineker never returned to Filbert Street in his career and ended up retiring after a two-year spell in Japan with Nagoya Grampus but has revealed that he was offered the chance to move into management in order to stay in the game after hanging up his boots.
However, speaking on the Rest Is Football Podcast with fellow BBC pundits Alan Shearer and Micah Richards, Lineker admitted that coaching wasn’t for him.
The former Barcelona striker said [quotes via Leicestershire Live]:
“I don’t think I’d have been very good at it. I don’t think I could have coped with leaving someone out of the team.
“I never really loved training, I found it quite boring most of the time, so if I didn’t like training, I’m not going to really like watching training. It just never, ever, ever crossed my mind.”
Lineker continued on to disclose that he received offers from both Leicester City and Aston Villa to take up the position of head coach of the first-team but turned all propositions down:
“I got a couple of job offers, I think Villa, Doug Ellis asked me to be Villa manager, and Leicester did at one point. I got a phone call from Doug Ellis (former Aston Villa chairman), it was shortly after, I can’t remember the era apart from the fact that it was relatively soon after I’d finished playing, and he said ‘would you be interested in the Aston Villa job’, and I just said ‘management is not for me, sorry Doug’.”
Many top-level managers will admit that football management takes over their lives. It’s an obsession and a pathway that many go down but few are successful so it’s not surprising that Lineker refused to accept any job offers.
That being said, in an alternate universe, the former England international did take the head coaching position at Leicester City. How different might his post-playing career have been?