Forget Giggs Slaven Bilic Is The Man To Replace Sacked Mark Hughes At Stokeby Russell Palmer / 06 January 2018, 22:24Tweet
Mark Hughes has been sacked as manager of Stoke City.
The ex-Manchester City, Fulham and Blackburn boss was living on borrowed time at the Potteries club after his superiors had put out a statement earlier in the week that they were considering his future.
Hardly a vote of confidence for Hughes who took over from Tony Pulis in May 2013.
The Stoke fans have grown increasingly frustrated with Hughes this season and although the defeat to Coventry on Saturday in the FA Cup third round was the nail in the coffin, it was last weekend's squad rotation that seem to set the wheels in motion at board level.
A 5-0 defeat Chelsea was excused by Hughes who had rotated his squad with Stoke's home game against Newcastle two days later in mind. A 1-0 defeat at the hand of the Magpies led to a short press conference where Hughes essentially stormed out, adding fuel to the fire in terms of his tenure coming to an end at the club.
A statement on the club's Twitter feed said:
"Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect.
"We would like to thank Mark for all he has achieved for the club over the last four and a half years, notably in guiding us to three successive ninth places finishes in the Premier League, and we wish him every success for the future.
"The club will look to appoint a new manager as soon as possible and will be making no further comment at this time."
The betting for next Stoke City manager is typically vague. The bookmakers have been taking bets all week without a firm favourite and now that there is an actual position to fill they don't seem any clearer.
Bet Victor have Ryan Giggs of their market at 4/1, with Paddy Power a point shorter at 3's.
Regular readers of the Sackrace will know that Giggs has been on Alan Curbishley (33/1 by the way) levels when it comes to being linked with jobs (almost every vacant position) and he's made no secret that he'd like to manage. However, would Stoke be the right fit for a man with such a decorated career?
Martin O'Neill is also fancied but would he really give up a cushy role of coaching at International level for the hustle and bustle of the Premier League?
It's difficult to see the majority of those near the top of the betting turning up at the Britannia.
Ronald Koeman has already supposedly ruled himself out, whilst the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Mancini and Thomas Tuchel seem complete fantasy.
Sean Dyche is quoted at 6/1 with Paddy Power but whether he would leave Burnley or not is hugely doubtful.
There's been a recent spate of appointments of people who could have been an ideal fit for Stoke. Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew are recent incumbents at Everton and West Brom, whilst Tony Pulis, Mr Stoke is now the boss at Middlesbrough.
So from a betting point of view, the likes of those currently out of a job could make most value appeal. Slaven Bilic at 14/1 and Garry Monk at 25/1, although it's hard to see the Stoke faithful being too enthusiastic about the latter as an option.
It's not been good for Stoke this season, but there are plenty of teams as bad if not worst in the lower half of the Premier League and there is talent in the squad. Perhaps Bilic could be prized away from playing his electric guitar on the Dalmation coast for a spot of coaching in Staffordshire?