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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 22:17 GMT
Todd's topsy-turvy career
Former Derby manager Colin Todd
Another managerial career out of focus
BBC Sport Online's John Sinnott profiles sacked Derby County manager Colin Todd.

As a player Colin Todd established a reputation as one of England's finest post-War defenders.

Strong in the tackle and assured on the ball, Todd's most successful spell as a player came with Derby, with whom he won two league championships.

He had joined Derby from Sunderland in 1971 and those halycon days at the Baseball Ground provided the springboard for international honours.

During five years between 1972 and 1977 he won 27 England caps.

  Colin Todd Factfile
1948: Born Chester-le-Street, 12 December.
1966: Joins Sunderland as an apprentice.
1971: Joins Derby in February and in his first full season helps the Rams win the League.
1972: Wins the first of 27 England caps.
1975: Helps Derby win the league title.
1978: Joins Everton.
1979: Signs for Birmingham.
1982: Rejoins Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest.
1984: Joins Oxford, before signing for Luton and then ending his career with Vancouver Whitecaps.
1990: Becomes Middlesbrough manager.
1992: Becomes Bolton's assistant manager.
1996: Appointed Bolton manager.
1999: Resigns as Bolton manager.
2001: Appointed Derby manager in October.
2002: Sacked as Derby manager in January.

He later joined Everton after 293 first team matches with Derby, before he had spells at Birmingham, Nottingham Forest and Oxford United.

When Todd's career finally ended he was unemployed for six months.

He returned to the football fold as a coach under Bruce Rioch at Middlesbrough in 1986.

It would be safe to say that 16 years later, Todd's touch in managerial positions has never proved quite as assured as it had been when he was a player.

Derby was Todd's fourth club as a manager and at his previous three clubs - Middlesbrough, Bolton and Swindon - he enjoyed mixed success.

Indeed he has had to endure some tough times on the managerial merry-go-round.

Soon after he joined Bruce Rioch at Middlesbrough, the club went into receivership.

And Todd resigned as Bolton manager after the club agreed to sell Danish international midfielder Per Frandsen to Blackburn for 1.75m.

But the fact that he has lost a managerial post after just three months in the job must rank as one of the bitterest pills he has had to swallow in his career.

Probably his greatest success was at Bolton in 1997 when the club were promoted as champions from Division One after topping 100 points.

Cup exits

When Todd moved from Swindon to become Jim Smith's assistant manager in October 2000, he came with a brief to sort out the ailing Derby defence.

Prior to his arrival the team had conceded 26 goals in 10 games.

In the next 10 matches they kept seven clean sheets and subsequently stayed in the Premiership.

But that defensive solidity has been largely absent this season and Todd, when he finally replaced Smith in October 2001, was unable to get the club out of relegation danger.

Despite the presence of talented defenders like the England Under-21 international Chris Riggott, Derby have let in the most goals - 38 - of any team in the Premiership.

Only bottom-of-the-table Leicester have a worse goal difference record.

And in a season of unremitting misery, it has only been Fabrizio Ravanelli's goals that have provided cause for optimism.

Former Derby manager Colin Todd together with Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli
Ravanelli's goals have given Derby hope

Todd's cause was also not helped by Derby's embarrassing double cup exit, with the team conceding eight goals in the process.

His first game in charge saw Derby lose 5-2 at Fulham in the Worthington Cup.

Even more damagingly, Derby suffered the humiliation of losing 3-1 at home in the third round of the FA Cup to third division Bristol Rovers.

When Todd teamed up with Smith he said one of the reasons he had decided to come to Pride Park was the strong affiliation he felt for the club after those title-winning playing days.

On Monday that affiliation came to an abrupt conclusion.

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"Nothing in football surprises me"
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