Five candidates to be Peterborough United manager

by Gabriel Sutton / 26 February 2018, 14:04

Grant McCann has been dismissed as Peterborough United manager and for many fans, emotions are mixed.

They wanted to see him succeed at London Road more than perhaps any other manager, due to his legendary status. However, chairman Darragh MacAnthony is an ambitious man and, it seems, a new face is required to re-energize the club and help close the gap on League One’s top six.

Who should he go for? Gabriel Sutton (@_FootbalLab) discusses the five main candidates.

Click here for the Next Peterborough Manager Market

Steve Evans

Why he should get the job:

Experience. Steve Evans has won six promotions in his managerial career and consistently delivers when given a fittingly ‘sizable’ budget, a trend that his Mansfield Town side look to be continuing this term.

He spent much of his 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns coaching in the Championship, a destination sought by owner Darragh MacAnthony who, along with director Barry Fry, might appreciate Evans’ controversial and outspoken demeanour.

Why he shouldn’t:

The Glaswegian would take some prizing away from moneybags Mansfield, who have their eyes set firmly on promotion. With dwindling crowds at London Road, there is a danger that the financial gambles Peterborough would need to take to get their man could backfire. Evans’ colourful history would see him divide opinion among fans, one or two of whom have previously described his appointment as their ‘worst nightmare’.

The Sack Race’s Verdict:

There have been suggestions that MacAnthony has wanted Evans before and given how quickly the odds on this appointment have narrowed, there might be interest from both parties. This would be a good appointment.

David Oldfield

Why he should get the job:

Two of Peterborough’s last three permanent managers – Dave Robertson and Grant McCann – have got the gig off the back of positive stints as caretaker. Oldfield already has a feel for the current squad and, whilst working alongside Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, he was often the more vocal of the two coaches.

It could be argued therefore that his CV, which includes two successful half-seasons at Burton Albion, holds more weight than the average assistant.

Why he shouldn’t:

Oldfield’s tough-talking had an impact at Burton, where the dearth of technically outstanding individuals meant everyone needed to follow rules. The make-up of Peterborough’s squad is slightly different: Marcus Maddison, Danny Lloyd, Jack Marriott and others are so gifted, it might be a mistake to bombard them with instructions.

The Sack Race’s Verdict:

Peterborough should consider keeping Oldfield on as an assistant, but we think they should look elsewhere for their number one.

Michael Appleton

Why he should get the job:

Michael Appleton led Oxford United to their highest finish in 18 years last season, having taken them to promotion from League Two the year before. Five members of that successful 2015-16 side, which also enjoyed successful cup runs, are now plying their trade in the top two divisions of English football. There is a number of current Peterborough players who could - potentially - develop just as rapidly under Appleton.

Why he shouldn’t:

Appleton’s romance with Oxford was not necessarily love at first sight. The Mancunian’s opening season in charge saw The Yellows sit 19th in League Two as late as March, not helped by regular changes of personnel and stale possession football that led to errors. It was only due to the backing of Daryl Eales that Appleton turned around Oxford’s fortunes and preserved his reputation – can you imagine the demanding MacAnthony having such patience?

The Sack Race’s Verdict:

Appleton is a good manager at this level, but we reckon he’ll only leave his role as an assistant at Leicester for a Championship club.

Mark Warburton

Why he should get the job:

Exciting football. Mark Warburton is a purist who encourages his players to be brave on the ball, to try ambitious tricks or passes and for those without the ball to gamble on the forward space. He’s happy for the odd audacious move to not quite materialize, so long as his side is playing on the front foot and forcing the tempo. It is on that very philosophy that Peterborough’s most successful sides have been built.

Why he shouldn’t:

There were suggestions at Nottingham Forest that Warburton didn’t respond when his players made mistakes at the back. He perhaps lacked the versatility to turn things around when his side grew weaker with each passing game, rather than keep putting defeats down to ‘fine margins’, comments that some regard as excuses. The ex-Brentford boss might regret playing one or two players out of position and criticizing fans towards the end of his tenure wasn't his smartest move.

The Sack Race’s Verdict:

It shouldn’t be forgotten though that Warburton achieved good things at Forest as well, so if he can learn from his mistakes, he could once again prove an excellent manager at this level.

Uwe Rosler

Why he should get the job:

Three of Uwe Rosler’s last four managerial stints led to a top six finish. The German guided Brentford to third in League One in 2012-13, leaving behind him the following season a squad that Warburton took to promotion and an unlikely Premier League tilt.

He then inherited a 14th place Wigan side that had lost four on the bounce, taking them to the Championship play-offs via the FA Cup semi-finals.

Massimo Cellino’s presence renders Rosler’s brief Elland Road tenure of little significance and shortly afterwards, he guided Fleetwood Town to the League One play-off semi-finals. The former Manchester City star has achieved all of the above by staying true to his possession principles.

Why he shouldn’t:

One or two Brentford fans remain sceptical of Rosler, who’s successful seasons at Wigan and Fleetwood respectively were followed by relegation battles. While it’s tempting to put him in the same category as Warburton, there are subtle differences: Rosler likes his players to hold onto the ball at the back for long periods, a style which might frustrate MacAnthony, who will demand a high-tempo.

The Sack Race’s Verdict:

There won’t be too many available managers who have achieved what Rosler has in League One, but the Posh board would need to allow for a patient build-up play.

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