Could Sheffield Wednesday turn to Tony Pulis in their next manager search?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 02 September 2019, 11:55

Tony Pulis has overseen in excess of 1000 matches during a managerial career that began nearly 30 years ago.

80 of those games were spent in charge of Middlesbrough with whom he left at the end of last season with a 43.75% win rate - his highest win rate in 10 managerial tenures.

"A few months off reinvigorates you, but I will still go to football every Saturday. I will keep my toe lightly dipped in the water and we will see what happens,” Pulis told BBC Sport two weeks ago.

"The question will be, is it a challenge worth taking? Is it a challenge that tickles me in terms of getting out there and getting my hands dirty again? I am quite happy to wait and see what comes up. I will play it by ear."

Pulis, who rejected a managerial move abroad earlier in the summer, now finds himself as one of the frontrunners for the Sheffield Wednesday job after bookmakers cut his odds to just 6/4 over the weekend.

With the club’s search for a new permanent manager entering into its eighth week, caretaker boss Lee Bullen - in his third spell in temporary charge - remains the favourite for the full-time post. But after picking up three wins from four Championship games, his side have since slumped to back-to-back defeats meaning they’ve dropped to 11th at the first international break.

Wednesday will now be expected to appoint Steve Bruce’s permanent replacement at some point during the next two weeks, and the sudden emergence of a familiar face in the betting has certainly got tongues wagging.

Reporter Alan Biggs revealed on Twitter that only Bullen and two other candidates have been considered since Bruce left, with the two in question Pulis and Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley.

Given his success in management, Cowley would no doubt be a popular appointment, however it’s difficult to envision him leaving his League One high-flyers at this particular time.

Biggs reports that Pulis “stated his terms as a take it or leave it” earlier in the summer, but nothing came to fruition.

Fast-forward to September and the vacancy still hasn’t been filled and should Wednesday renew their reported interest in his services, you’d imagine that the out-of-work Pulis would be keen. After all, history tells us that once he leaves a post he rarely stays out of the dugout for long.

Since taking charge of Stoke for the first time 17 years ago Pulis has only spent short stints in the Job Centre. There was the three months in between his first spell at the Potters and Plymouth, then five months in between his second spell and the Crystal Palace job.

Pulis was out of work for four months before West Brom came calling, then after leaving the Baggies in November 2017 he was appointed Middlesbrough manager a month later on Boxing Day.

He then exited Boro just over three months ago after his 18-month contract expired, and it now wouldn’t be a huge shock if he was to return to management sometime in the near future...

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