Zola & Brown head betting to be next Saints boss

Mick Bates by Mick Bates / 31 August 2010, 09:58

Gianfranco Zola and Phil Brown have emerged as the early front runners in the odds on who will be named next Southampton manager following the news that Alan Pardew had left St Mary's. Zola, who left Premier League side West Ham United at the end of last season is the 9/2 favourite with bookmaker Skybet to take over from Pardew who was sacked just three league games in to the new season. The Italian is believed to want to stay in management following his departure from Upton Park but with his next move is unlikely to be in the top flight and a drop to Southampton could be a realistic opportunity for Zola to continue his learning as a manager with a club who have realistic ambitions of promotion back to the Championship.

Phil Brown has been out of work since leaving Hull in March and like Zola, will probably have to take a drop down a level or two to find his next managerial position and the Southampton job is likely to appeal but whether he would be the choice of Saints fans remains to be seen and the 5/1 about him being named the next boss seems a little on the short side.

In the statement issued by Southampton following the sacking of Alan Pardew, the club said its targets were for "sustained and significant progress for the first team and football development centre", which suggests that there will be an increased emphasis on the club's youth programme and if that is to be the case then current Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe, could fit the bill. At 32, Howe is the youngest manager in the Football League and has a growing reputation after guiding Bouremouth's young side to promotion in to League One despite a transfer embargo. The geography between Bournemouth and Southampton would mean that Howe would not have to relocate and given his profile, he is sure to be a popular choice amongst fans and at 8/1 with Victor Chandler (just 4/1 with Skybet) could be a good bet at this early stage.

Other names in the running include ex Saints player Iain Dowie, Steve Clarke, Paul Tisdale, Paul Ince, former manager Glenn Hoddle and current caretaker boss, Dean Wilkins.

Next Southampton Manager Odds with VC Bet - 08/09/2010

Nigel Adkins - 1/4
Phil Brown - 5/2
Jeff Kenna - 12/1
Gianfranco Zola - 12/1
Eddie Howe - 14/1
Paul Buckle - 18/1
Rolf Fringer - 20/1
Martin O'Neill - 20/1
Paul Tisdale - 20/1
Paul Hart - 20/1
Iain Dowie - 20/1
Others On request

All markets supplied by Victor Chandler

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