Paul Cook has emerged as the early favourite to succeed Garry Monk at Sheffield Wednesday.
Monk was ejected from his Owls hot-seat on Monday night, which opened up a Championship return for Cook, who has been eyeing up a comeback since leaving his post at Wigan in August.
The Latics may have suffered relegation out of the Championship last term, but Cook’s stock remains very high having conjured up a remarkable second-half-of-the-season transformation at the DW, which had catapulted the club away from danger and up into 13th.
However, the subsequent points deducted meant Wigan plummeted to 23rd, while Sheffield Wednesday’s own points punishment didn’t come into play until the current campaign.
Cook had previously led the Latics into the Championship after winning the League One title in 2018, and prior to that he lifted the League Two trophy with both Chesterfield and Portsmouth. His other clubs include Southport, Irish side Sligo Rovers and Accrington Stanley.
So, Cook has silverware on his CV, he has Championship experience, has operated on limited resources, and perhaps most pertinently his track record shows that he drives clubs forwards.
He’s also got the better of Pep Guardiola, having inspired Wigan to a stunning FA Cup fifth-round victory in 2018 - it’s worth noting that only Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer outwitted Pep during that title-winning 2017/18 campaign.
Flashback to when Paul Cook outwitted and angered Pep Guardiola.— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) November 10, 2020
The former Wigan boss has emerged as the early frontrunner for the Sheffield Wednesday job... 🦉
📹 @MHChehade#SWFC #WAFCpic.twitter.com/TPwuwpFpKb
Sheff Wed have been cemented in the Championship for the last nine seasons, during which they’ve only finished in the play-offs on two occasions; achieved in back-to-back seasons under Carlos Carvalhal. Meanwhile, they’ve been absent from the Premier League since 2000.
Is this the opportunity Paul Cook has been patiently waiting for?
Journalist Alan Briggs has tweeted that Cook would be “very keen” on the position, and the reporter is convinced Cook will get the job, having previously been interested in taking charge before.
Since the summer Cook’s been linked with jobs in all three EFL divisions, but while he was understandably reluctant to work outside of the Championship, the new vacancy at Hillsborough could well prove to be ideal for the Kirby born boss, who can be backed at 5/4 in the betting.
Tony Pulis is next in the running at 5/2, followed by former Owls skipper Nigel Pearson at 8/1, whereas Danny Cowley is a 10/1 shot.