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Guðjón Þórðarson
Personal information
Full name Guðjón Þórðarson
Date of birth 14 September 1955 (1955-09-14) (age 54)
Place of birth    Akranes, Iceland
Club information
Current club none
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1972–1986 ÍA Akranes 400+ (22)   
National team
1985 Iceland 1 (0)
Teams managed
1987
1988–1990
1991–1993
1994–1995
1996
1997–1999
1999–2002
2002
2003–2004
2005
2005–2006
2007–2008
2008–2009
ÍA Akranes
KA Akureyri
ÍA Akranes
KR Reykjavík
ÍA Akranes
Iceland
Stoke City
Start
Barnsley
Keflavík
Notts County
ÍA Akranes
Crewe Alexandra

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Guðjón Þórðarson (Anglicised: Gudjon Thordarson) (born 14 September 1955) is an Icelandic former footballer and manager. He was most recently manager of Crewe Alexandra, being sacked on 2 October 2009.

He has previously been manager of ÍA, KA, KR, Keflavík, Notts County, Iceland, Stoke City, Barnsley, Start in Norway and Crewe Alexandra.

Þórðarson has three sons who also play professional football, namely: Bjarni, Joey and Þórður Guðjónsson.

Contents

Playing career[1]

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Club career

Guðjón played over 400 matches for his hometown club, ÍA Akranes, scoring 22 goals in the process. In his career, Gudjon won 5 league titles and 5 cup titles. He also played 22 European games for ÍA Akranes.

International career

Guðjón played in his only international match in 1985.

Management career

ÍA Akranes

Guðjón last season as a player was 1986 and his first coaching job was at ÍA Akranes in the 1987 season.

KA Akureyri

Guðjón then left off to Akureyri to become manager of KA Akureyri in 1988. The team won its first and only league title very surprisingly in 1989. That has to be known as a big achievement for Guðjón given the players he had in his squad.

ÍA Akranes

After being relegated in 1990, ÍA Akranes appointed Guðjón as manager. The team was promoted at first attempt, and subsequently won the Icelandic league the following year, in 1992. The team dominated Icelandic football the next few years and became league champions of Iceland for five years running, 1992-1996[2].

KR Reykjavík

KR Reykjavik, Iceland's biggest club, appointed Guðjón after the 1993 season. The team had not won the Icelandic league for more than 20 years and Guðjón was seen as the right man to win the title. He did not win the league in his two year stint at the club, but the team did however win the Cup on both occasions 1994 and 1995.

ÍA Akranes

Guðjón came back to Akranes after his spell at KR and guided the team to win the Icelandic league and the Cup in 1996. After the season, actually late in November 1996 ÍA Akranes terminated his contract because of his conflict with his son Bjarni. But Guðjón wasn't out of a job for too long. In June 1997 he took charge of the Icelandic national team.

Iceland

Guðjón was very successful as manager of the Icelandic national team. During the 3 years he was in charge, the team played 24 games, winning 10 of them, drawing 4 and losing 8. The team scored 35 goals in the process, conceding 23.

The team was close to qualifying to the European Championship in 2000, despite being placed in a very strong qualifying group alongside Ukraine, Russia and current world champions France. The game that took place at Stade de France was one that put Icelandic football to a higher standard. After being 2-0 down at half time, to come back too 2-2, and closely losing in additional time 3-2.

This result and ÍA's result under his command created the image of Guðjón as a competent football manager, albeit a tough and highly strung one.

Stoke City

Guðjón became Stoke City's first non-British manager in November 1999, when he joined the club following the takeover of the club by an Icelandic consortium, Stoke Holding. Stoke was then in the second division. Gary Megson was fired to make way for Guðjón, who had personally worked to put together Stoke Holding. Just 5 months after his takeover, Guðjón lead Stoke to the Auto Windscreen trophy final to win over Bristol City, at the old Wembley. Also becoming the first Icelandic to manage an English team to trophy victory. Stoke were consistently in the top 5 for the three years he stayed at the club despite failing to achieve promotion in the first two seasons after defeat in consecutive playoff semi finals. After two years Guðjón shortened his contract to the end of the 2001-2002 season, claiming if he did not get them promoted now, he was not the right man to do so. However it was to prove third time lucky as Stoke finally got beyond the playoff semi final beating Cardiff City 3-2 on aggregate(coming from 2-1 down from the home leg and claiming a famous 2-0 win at Ninian Park), before they won promotion in final against Brentford with a 2-0 win at the Millenium Stadium. There was a superstition called the south-end jinx at the Millennium Stadium, for no team had yet won a title in that dressing room before Stoke broke the hoodoo. Stoke also became the first team in the 5th league position to gain play-offs promotion. Guðjón's impending contract renewal was however terminated just 5 days after the promotion to Division 1 (now the Championship). It is said that this was a personal decision taken by club chairman Gunnar Gíslason. The fans ordered a campaign to wish for his immediate reasignment, but the protests of around 5000 people outside the club proved unsuccessful.

To this day Guðjón has one of the best managerial records at Stoke City and highest attendance average. Managing 154 matches, won 77, drew 39 and lost 38. So out of 462 points in the pot, 270 were gathered, or on average just over 1.7 points per game.

Start

Guðjón signed a contract with Start[3] in Kristiansand just through the end of the season to try to steer the club away from relegation. However relegation was inevitable. But at the time Guðjón spent there 5 of the young players in the squad were called up for the U21 Norway side for the first time.

Barnsley

Barnsley appointed Guðjón as manager in 2003. The club had a great start to the season, but his reign ended after a Peter Ridsdale takeover at the club. Guðjón was fired in 2004.

Keflavík

Guðjón decided to return to Iceland in 2005 and was appointed manager of Keflavik. However, he quit just 3 days before the first game of the season to take charge of Notts County.

Notts County

Guðjón was appointed manager of Notts County in 2005. The team started very well, leading the table early on, but eventually failed to make the playoffs. Þórðarson resigned from Notts County in May 2006 after Notts County finished 21st in League 2. He became the club's first non-British manager when he arrived at Meadow Lane in May 2005.

ÍA Akranes

ÍA Akranes had a difficult season in 2006, avoiding relegation in the last few weeks of the season. Guðjón was appointed manager ahead of the 2007 season, where the team finished 3rd in the league, with one of the leagues youngest teams and also scoring the 3rd most goals in the league.

In June 2008 the media in Scotland repeatedly linked Guðjón with the manager's post of Hearts F.C.[4], with Terry Butcher as his assistant, but Akranes officials insisted it was only rumours and he would stay put in Iceland. Gudjon himself did, however, confirm to an Icelandic news-site that discussions with Hearts had indeed taken place[5] and that he was considering his options.

On 11 July, Hearts appointed Csaba Laszlo as the new manager[6]. Whether Guðjón had ever been a serious contender for the job is not known.

On 21 July, Guðjón was fired from his post at ÍA[7]. The team's performance had been going straight downhill for weeks, but the final straw was a 1-6 defeat against Breidablik UBK. Guðjón was replaced by the brothers, Arnar Gunnlaugsson and Bjarki Gunnlaugsson[8].

Crewe Alexandra

He was announced as new manager of League One side Crewe Alexandra on 24 December 2008, as a permanent replacement for the recently sacked Steve Holland. However, previous caretaker manager Dario Gradi remained in charge of the team for two games during the Christmas period, with Þórðarson taking over on 29 December.[9 ]

Despite improvements on the pitch, which saw him win manager of the month for February[10] he could not prevent the club from being relegated into League Two. The poor form continued in the new season, and Þórðarson was sacked as Crewe manager on 2 October 2009.[11]

Controversies

Guðjón Þórðarson has been involved in many controversies in his career as a manager. He has often been involved in board difficulties.[12][13][14][15]

On 13 May 2005 he resigned as manager of Keflavík only a few days before the 2005 season began, because of unfulfilled financial and professional obligations.[16] Keflavík refuted those accusations.[17] Guðjón had repeatedly refuted being in talks with English League 2 club Notts County at the time.[18] However, one day after leaving his job, on 14 May 2005, he admitted being interested in the Notts County job[19], and was subsequently appointed manager of Notts County on 17 May 2005.[20]

Honours

As player

As manager

Promotions

References

Preceded by
Arnar Gunnlaugsson & Bjarki Gunnlaugsson
ÍA Akranes Manager
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Arnar Gunnlaugsson & Bjarki Gunnlaugsson

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