This morning we canvassed fans on Twitter and asked for their five-man shortlists. The results were interesting.
Despite chief executive Lee Hoos’ comments about Owen Coyle last night, it is clear that for many he remains a viable candidate. There is no doubt a return for Coyle would be controversial, but he featured on around half of the shortlists we received.
Certain names cropped up time and time again. Among them was former PNE player Michael Appleton, who is currently in charge at Portsmouth. Appleton coached at West Brom and has a big reputation in the game, but is also being linked to the vacancy at Bolton.
Steve Davis mk I seems to be the most popular of the ex-Clarets. He has taken Crewe back to League One and has the links to Turf Moor that many desire from the new man. Other ex-Clarets to pop up regularly included Fleetwood Town’s Micky Mellon and Manchester United coach Warren Joyce, as well as Mike Phelan and Kevin Ball. Even Lee Dixon got a mention. Accrington Stanley’s Paul Cook didn’t come up much, while there isn’t much movement for Graham Alexander, although one fan did suggest an ex-PNE combo of Appleton and Alexander, which sounds interesting.
Of the unemployed managers, Mick McCarthy is the clear favourite among our followers on Twitter. The ex-Wolves and Sunderland boss has experience of getting sides out of the Championship and may relish the challenge on offer at Turf Moor. But he has safe and comfortable employment at the BBC – would he leave that?
Billy Davies came up a bit, but not much. How about Glenn Hoddle? Is it time someone gave him another chance or has he been away too long? Roy Keane was mentioned a few times, but after his time at Ipswich I’m not sure Championship clubs will be falling over themselves to give him another chance. Sean Dyche was unlucky to get canned at Watford when new owners came in, but he’s still very inexperienced.
Ian Holloway didn’t get mentioned, surprisingly, given he’s been linked to the club before. Maybe fans believe he would be too expensive, or unwilling to swap Blackpool for Burnley. The only other Championship manager gathering a bit of traction is Keith Hill. Hill’s Rochdale record was spectacular and although he hasn’t done much at Oakwell so far, he’s got his side playing some tidy football. And according to reports, his future is uncertain due to a potential takeover.
There were a couple of shouts from the Scottish Premier League. Steve Lomas is doing a good job at St Johnstone (and we all know what happened last time we pinched their manager), while Ross County’s Derek Adams was a more left-field shout. Check out his record, it’s undoubtedly impressive. And he’s an ex-Claret – just about. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s name came up a few times, but it seems inevitable he would go to a bigger club than us if he was ready to leave Norway. A few fans want Gary Neville, but if he wanted to move into management I’m sure there would be more appealing offers than from Burnley.
Inevitably, many of the suggestions came from the lower leagues. Our budget is probably suited to those stepping up a level or two, while the ability to find gems such as Charlie Austin and Danny Ings is going to be vital. I would guess knowledge of the lower leagues will be among the top criteria of the board when selecting a replacement.
Paulo Di Canio has done amazing work at Swindon Town and it would certainly not be boring if he came. But again, he’s been linked with Bolton. There’s also the fascism. Another popular shout from League One is Karl Robinson from MK Dons, who seems to be angling for a move away. But he’s always been backed relatively well by his board – indeed so has Di Canio – could they do it with the funds available at Turf Moor?
I think my favourite suggestion was Anyone But Phil Brown, which I’m sure would be popular.
Anyway, here’s the official NNN (long) shortlist, unscientifically made up of the most mentioned names: Owen Coyle, Karl Robinson, Keith Hill, Michael Appleton, Paulo Di Canio, Steve Davis mk I, Mick McCarthy, Billy Davies, Warren Joyce, Kevin Ball. Will it be one of those ten?
And here’s my shortlist of five: Appleton, Coyle, Hill, Solskjaer, Tisdale.
Paul Tisdale’s name hasn’t come up at all, but he took Exeter City from non-league to the top half of League One with very little to spend, playing tidy football similar to Howe. And he dresses like this. How about a best-dressed competition between him and Hill for the job? Okay, so they got relegated last year, but they’re in the running for promotion from League Two again. I also like the suggestion of Adams and would be tempted to give Gary Neville a call, just to see.
What’s your top five? Comment below.