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Belgium may carry something of a ‘bland' reputation on the world stage – think bureaucrats, a featureless landscape and waffles – but its national football side have certainly sprung into life.
As if the announcement three weeks ago that former Everton boss Roberto Martinez was taking charge of the Belgians wasn't surprising enough, they have now confirmed that Sky Sports pundit and France legend Thierry Henry will be his assistant. Talk about a curveball.
Such a left-field announcement has evoked memories of some of the other headline-grabbing managerial appointments of recent times. With this fresh in the mind, I take a look at eight appointments that rank alongside the Henry bombshell…
Marcelo Bielsa to Lazio
First off, we have the appointment of Argentine Bielsa by Lazio in July. Initial reactions were that this was a real a coup for i biancocelesti given just how many teams were in need of a proven manager at the time – however, this was to prove a false dawn in Rome.
What makes this management move shocking is how the ‘Mad Scientist' resigned from his role just 48 hours after being officially unveiled. The former Marseille coach hadn't even made it to Rome before he tendered his resignation – citing the club's failure to bring in new players despite originally agreeing to do so by a certain date.
Another theory goes that Bielsa reneged on his Lazio deal in order to be considered for the vacant Argentine national coach's position. Previous La Albiceleste boss Gerardo Martino quit the post in the aftermath of his country's Copa America Final defeat to Chile on 27 June – ex-Sao Paulo boss Edgardo Bauza is now in charge.
It just goes to show, if you appoint an erratic manager you should be prepared for anything.
Mauricio Pochettino to Southampton
This isn't a dig at South American managers, honest, but No.2 on the list is another Argentine…
In hindsight this proved a great appointment, but at the time there were a few raised eyebrows at St Mary's, and rightly so.
Outgoing boss Nigel Adkins had guided the Saints from League One back into the Premier League with back-to-back promotions and was a firm fans' favourite on the South Coast.
At the time of his sacking, in January 2013, Southampton were in a steady if unspectacular 15th position in the standings – and in their last match had come from behind at Stamford Bridge to register a 2-2 draw.
Pochettino arrived having saved Espanyol from relegation in his first year in charge before enjoying more comfortable second and third seasons in Barcelona. However, when he parted ways with the club in November of his fourth year they were bottom of the pile in La Liga.
With Southampton tipped for relegation, many pundits called Adkins' axing foolish – especially when the man coming in could barely speak any English and had endured a terrible season in Spain.
An eighth-place finish, followed by a climb one rung up the league ladder a year later certainly silenced those critics.
Jurgen Klopp to Liverpool
On paper Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are a match made in heaven – but more often than not these quixotic ideas don't come to fruition.
After announcing he would leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2014/15 season, Klopp had his pick of clubs in Europe. He had rebuilt BVB from ruins and restored them as a European juggernaut.
At the time Bayern Munich, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea were all looking like they would be in the market for a box office new manager, yet it was Liverpool who pounced in October 2015.
Even without Champions League football as a bargaining chip, the lure of Anfield proved irresistible to the German. Liverpool fans were in disbelief at how their club had managed to pull off such a managerial master stroke
Having narrowly missed out on silverware in his first year in front of the Kop – losing 3-1 to Sevilla in last season's Europa League Final – Reds' fans have been pinching themselves once again this summer after Klopp agreed a new deal to keep him on Merseyside until 2022.
Rafa Benitez to Chelsea
The new Newcastle boss was once famously quoted as saying: “I will never manage Chelsea, ever,” which just proves that all managers are liars. Fact.
When he was appointed as interim boss at Chelsea in November 2012 it stunned Liverpool fans who still held a lot of affection for the man who guided them to European Cup number five.
It equally angered the Londoners' faithful, who couldn't believe their club had appointed a man who had struck up quite the rivalry with Bridge hero Jose Mourinho.
‘Not wanted, Never wanted, Rafa out' and ‘The Interim One' read the cynical banners in the Shed End.
Despite the vocal resistance, ‘Red Rafa' went on to manage the Blues to a Europa League triumph before departing for Napoli in the summer of 2013.
Alex McLeish to Aston Villa
The former Birmingham City manager joined arch rivals Aston Villa just five days after leaving St Andrew's in June 2011.
The former Scotland boss arrived at Villa having won the League Cup in the February – as the Blues stunned Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley – but been relegated on the final day of the Premier League season.
It was an ill-thought-out idea all round – from Villa owner Randy Lerner to McLeish himself, there was a huge underestimation of the level of bile between the two Birmingham clubs.
Villains' fans didn't like McLeish from the get-go, with protesters assembling outside the gates of Villa Park on hearing the news.
Those who used to laugh at their neighbours' toils under McLeish, now had the very man calling the shots at their club.
He was swimming against the tide from day one. Failing to win over the players or fans after a poor start to the season – two wins from the opening 10 league games – McLeish was put under pressure to change things around.
Defensive tactics and dressing room disharmony saw Villa avoid relegation by just two points. McLeish was sacked just one day after the end of the season. Sadly for Villa their fall from grace did not end there.
John Barnes to Celtic
A champion in his playing days, Barnes was appointed as Celtic manager despite having no prior coaching experience. It was meant to be a statement of intent from the Scottish giants – Barnes in charge with former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish acting as his mentor.
After a Scottish Cup upset at the hands of Inverness Caledonian Thistle the writing was on the wall. Barnes lasted just 29 games at Parkhead and, despite a 65% win ratio, never lived up to the hype.
Arsene Wenger to Arsenal
Having Wenger to Arsenal as a shock managerial appointment is probably a shock in itself but context is necessary.
Despite success at AS Monaco and being offered the Bayern Munich job in 1994, Wenger was largely unknown in England – that is apart from the Gunners' vice-chairman of the day, David Dein, who had crossed paths with the Frenchman on numerous occasions.
Having sacked Bruce Rioch on the eve of the 1996/97 season, Dein persuaded the Highbury board to act swiftly to sign his trusted friend, Wenger, who was in charge at Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight.
The move caught many off guard, including the Evening Standard who famously went with the headline, ‘Arsene Who?'.
After producing, perhaps, some of the best pure footballing sides English football has ever seen, Wenger celebrates his 20th anniversary in North London this year.
Gary Neville to Valencia
Former England full-back Neville had been making waves on Sky Sports since he joined them as a pundit after retiring from football in 2011. His open and honest opinions coupled with his tactical analysis was a breath of fresh air for viewers. People started to ask questions – why wasn't he going into management?
Spanish giants Valencia decided they would take it upon themselves to be the guinea pig and see if the ex-Manchester United man could walk the walk.
Three wins in sixteen La Liga matches, no clean sheets and a 7-0 thrashing against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey provided a resounding answer. Neville's reign in Spain lasted just three months.