Manager vacancy: The options

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Aidan Leape October 12, 2012
Jamie Smith
Write off Hill as having done nothing, but then put ... 3 years ago

With Eddie Howe’s sensational return to Bournemouth, a new manager is needed. Aidan Leape gives his take on who the best option is. 

Gambling may well be a game for mugs but I’ve taken Ray Winstone’s latest live odds and will assess some of the early front runners.

Owen Coyle

Clearly we’re all aware of Coyle’s legacy at Turf Moor. Promotion in 2009 was one of the greatest days in modern Clarets’ history. After that glorious day, Coyle enjoyed success with early home wins against both Manchester United and Everton. Our inability to win away from home was frustrated but Fortress Turf Moor saved us. As it worked out, Coyle left to Bolton and the rest is history. One thing to be said in favour of Brian Laws is he did get that away win at Hull City. Coyle’s tactics revolve around pass and move and attacking flair. However, Burnley are already scoring this season and it’s the defence that needs working on. Whether Coyle can shore up the defence, for me the jury’s still out.

Last job: Bolton Wanderers (8 January 2010-9 October 2012) Games: 126 Wins: 42 Draws: 24 Losses: 60 Win Percentage: 33.33%

Graham Alexander

154 games for Burnley and 20 goals in a career spanning 1,000 games makes Grezza a part of Burnley folk law. The only problem with appointing Alexander would be the risk factor. What’s his style of play? How good will he be? He’d certainly be able to hold the dressing room and the fans, but would he get the results? An unknown quantity.

Last job: n/a

Micky Mellon

The former Burnley player and U-15 and U-16 manager could be a good shout. Currently managing League 2 Fleetwood Town after leading the club to promotion with 103 points, Mellon is a manager with some managerial experience (over 200 games) while having youth on his side and a Clarets connection.

Current job: Fleetwood Town (27 September 2008-present) Games: 214 Wins: 113 Draws: 54 Losses: 47 Win Percentage: 52.80%

Michael Appleton

Appleton strikes me as an odd front runner. Currently working at cash strapped Portsmouth, Appleton has limited experience and his results are not ones that would shout ‘snap him up’. However, he has already declined to comment on links to managerless Bolton. To me however, this would be a very odd appointment.

Current job: Portsmouth  (10 November 2011- Current) Games:45 Won:11 Drawn:11 Lost: 23 Win Percentage: 24.44%

So those are the favourites, but what about the outsiders:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With my Manchester United head on, this would be my dream manager. Currently speculated as the future Burnley or Bolton manager, Solskjaer will be looking to improve his stock in order to be in with a sniff of the United job when it comes up for grabs. Solskjaer currently manages Norwegian side Molde FK. After guiding his boyhood club to the title last season, Ole has started this season by winning 16 of his 25 league games and came within 15 minutes of beating Basel in the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Ole would be a big coup after he apparently rejected the Aston Villa job recently. The only problem is he’s probably out of our league.

Current job: Molde FK (9 November 2010-present ) Games: 64 Won: 40 Drawn: 11 Lost: 13 Win Percentage: 62.50%

Alex McLeish

Another man out of a job, Alex McLeish may be a good shout. A good presence with Championship experience, and free, he may have a chance.

Billy Davies

Also jobless, the former Derby and Nottingham Forest manager has Championship experience, although his time in the Premier League was far from a success. He’d be a sustainable and safe choice.

Keith Hill

Currently managing Barnsley, former Rochdale manager Hill has struggled on a shoestring budget at Barnsley. His recent 5-1 thumping of Birmingham City at St Andrews shows what he’s capable of, but a 28% win percentage in the Championship is worrying.

Mick McCarthy

Straight talking. Simple. Defensively sound and free. His wages may well be high, but McCarthy is a top Championship manager whowould be an asset to any club. Why not invest our compensation in the no nonsense manager?

So who will it be. Obviously, for me, Ole is the top candidate. Young. Enthusiastic. Looking to progress. Mick McCarthy was not high in the betting but for me would also be a fantastic appointment. Would Owen Coyle dare come back? Could Mickey Mellon skip two divisions and make a success? Who knows. Only time will tell to see who gets the vacant role.

Who do you fancy? Comment below.

  • Adam Haworth
    Adam Haworth

    I don’t think we’d ever get Solskjaer, ever. It’s a massive risk, but Grezza would be an interesting appointment. I just don’t know. With Howe’s appointment, he was off the radar for a long time so we could see the same happen here.

  • John Heyworth

    I would like to see Mickey Phelan given the job. He will be out of a job when SAF retires. He has experience at the highest level and I think he would want to prove he could do it as a manager. He lives locally. His contacts would be very useful too. He gets my vote.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to John Heyworth

      Would he want it? Been linked loads of times.

      • Aidan Leapein reply to Jamie Smith

        I can tell you now being a Man U fan first and Burnley second that Mickey Phelan and his tracksuit would never come to Burnley. Why would he leave a successful job on very, very, high wages and drop down to manage Burnley. Pigs will fly before he takes the job in my opinion

  • Gazza

    None Of the Above Stand Out To Me But one not in the betting …. Paulo Di Canio Does Hope BFC try and get him

  • Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith

    I think Hill’s done pretty well at Barnsley actually. He’s in my top five.

    • Aidan Leapein reply to Jamie Smith

      You have to admit the 28% win rate is pretty poor. Just because a manager works well on a ‘shoestring’ budget instantly makes him appealing to Burnley fans for some reason. We’ve got the compensation money, let’s spend it and get the best manager possible, not the best cheap manager who can work with a garbage budget

      • Jamie Smith
        Jamie Smithin reply to Aidan Leape

        Win percentages are as overrated as possession stats. Barnsley’s aim is to stay in the league, which Hill has done easily. And they play nice stuff.

  • Andy Robinson

    Owen Coyle for me he got Burnley playing the best football i have seen in 22 years …..!!!!!

    • georgein reply to Andy Robinson

      already been ruled out by the club, I believe. Can’t see it happening or
      Burnley fans accepting him back

  • Josh F

    Get your money on Sean Dyche

  • george

    Steve Davies at Crewe could be a good shout and isn’t on the list above.

  • Mike

    From that list, I would love to see Solskjaer, but lets face it, never going to happen.

    MacLeish would certainly shore up the defence. Unfortunately he has such an aversion to goals that he would drop Charlie Austin for scoring them. Also, wasn’t he the 10th highest paid manager in the world (not the Premiership!) or something?

    Billy Davies would start a fight in an empty room.

    Grezza? The only reason he is mention is because he’s an ex-Claret.. That should never be a factor.

    Coyle? I’d rather lose my left bollock.

    McCarthy I wouldn’t actually mind. I think he has a bad rep with the media, his teams are always solid and he’s honest. And after several inexperienced managers, a guy who has successfully scrapped his way out of this division a couple of times really appeals.

    What exactly has Hill done?

    Interesting shout for Sean Dyche. Wasn’t he doing well at Watford until pushed out?

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Mike

      Write off Hill as having done nothing, but then put Dyche forward?