Having been Charlton’s 2nd longest serving manager, spending 15 years at the club. Curbishley guided them to promotion to the Premiership twice and then achieved stability which made them the model for teams coming up from the Championship to follow. Whenever Charlton played under Curbishley they always gave teams a game and wouldn’t lie down for anybody. He was able to spot good players and sign them for low prices such as Dean Kiely, Mark Kinsella, Chris Powell and Darren Bent. He was also adept at bringing young players through the ranks and unearthed players such as Lee Bowyer and Scott Parker.
His work at Charlton led to him being interviewed for the vacant England manager’s job after Sven-Goran Eriksson announced he would be stepping down after the World Cup in 2006, however Curbishley somehow lost out to Steve McClaren.
Later in 2006 Curbishley tried his luck at his boyhood club West Ham, and although things went sour in the end, he managed to somehow keep them in the Premiership in his first season despite them looking certainties for relegation. In his second year he managed to guide West Ham to a top-ten finish despite many of his key signings that season suffering long-term injuries. Eventually Curbishley resigned in 2008 but this was found to be constructive dismissal by West Ham, who eventually had to award Curbishley with £2.2m in compensation.
For a manger that has the ability to stabilise a club and make them an established Premier League side it is unbelievable that clubs haven’t been trying to knock down his door and offer him a contract. There are so few managers in today’s game that can achieve a long-lasting level of consistency that Curbishley is able to provide. Perhaps West Ham should come calling for him again this summer after the terrible season they’ve had. Although Curbishley did file a lawsuit against them, his claim is now settled, the club are under new ownership and it is his boyhood team so he may well consider going back there. Another good option if they could afford his wages and if Grant departs would be Portsmouth, they would be the perfect club for Curbishley to come in, stabilise and slowly build up their reputation again.
Whatever club does to decide to hire Alan Curbishley next they will no doubt enjoy a successful time with him in charge.