We have a new frontrunner according to the bookies, writes Jamie Smith.
After a couple of slow days in the market where nothing much happened, it’s exploded into life today. The new favourite is Jason Statham lookalike Michael Appleton, who seems like he will be leaving Portsmouth this month, whether it is to Burnley, Bolton or Blackburn.
Former West Brom coach Appleton is now as short as 7/2 in the market and the clear favourite, although his name isn’t coming up in local newspaper reports so far.
The other most noteworthy change in the last 24 hours or so is that Owen Coyle has slipped off the radar. After Lee Hoos turned down the chance to categorically deny Coyle would be returning in a radio interview, many fans pledged to stay away from Turf Moor if he was appointed. But not everyone is against a return for Coyle – indeed, in our own small Facebook poll, he was the favourite choice. Coyle is now mid-range at around 6/1.
Ex-Claret Graham Alexander has dropped to about 6/1 and it looks as though he will be on the list of people we want to talk to. But today’s biggest mover is the Wigan Athletic coach Graeme Jones, who is now at 10/1 with Stan James, although you can still get him at 66/1 with Bet Victor, if you’re quick.
Jones reportedly turned down the chance to take over at Swansea City in the summer as he wanted to keep his family in the north-west, so would a move to Turf Moor appeal? Jones followed Roberto Martinez to Wigan from Swansea initially but is now settled in the region and perhaps ready to strike out on his own. He’s one to keep an eye on.
Keith Hill is third favourite despite the local press saying he’s out of the running and the odds on Mick McCarthy have shortened after it was revealed the Club has already been in contact with the former Republic of Ireland coach about the vacancy.
But the spread of the odds reveals how tight it remains and how little information the bookies seem to be going off. There are half a dozen names available at below 10/1, showing barely any value in the market, unless you fancy a punt on someone like Jones.
Warren Joyce’s name came up today as well and he’s still at 33/1 with SkyBet, while Micky Mellon has drifted to as long as 20/1 with some bookies, although SkyBet still have him as short as 5/1.
There’s no whisper of a shortlist being put together quite yet, so your guess is as good as mine, but the smart money at the moment seems to be on Jones and Joyce.
All odds are correct at time of publication and are sourced from Oddschecker.
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