British managers waiting in the wings for a Premier League openingby Jack Kitson / 08 December 2016, 11:07Tweet
Whether they like it or not managers are always under scrutiny from supporters, owners and the ubiquitous eye of the media. It’s part and parcel of the modern game.
This feeling of constant intrusion and relentless badgering is only heightened in the Premier League, which is why it's surprising that we’ve only witnessed a single managerial casualty so far this season: Francesco Guidolin, who was sent packing by Swansea back in October.
The Italian’s successor, Bob Bradley, has struggled to adapt to life in England, leaving him under pressure in the Premier League Sack Race. But, the under-fire American isn’t the only gaffer feeling the heat, with the likes of Slaven Bilic, Mike Phelan and Alan Pardew all in trouble at this pivotal stage of the season.
You can bet your bottom penny that there’ll be at least one more managerial victim from now until the end of the season, quite possibly over the chaotic Christmas period, and if so there are no shortage of managers waiting in the wings; whether they're currently trapped in the managerial wasteland, or in employment themselves…
Below we take a look at a jukebox of British gaffers who could be sitting in the Premier League dugout in the near future.
The Premier League may currently be home to the some of the best gaffers in world football, but the fact remains that since it’s inauguration in 1992 it has yet to produce an English successor, while Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish (both Scottish) are the only two British bosses to lift the famous trophy, in contrast to six foreign gaffers - a figure which could easily be propelled to seven come May.
At the time of writing there are seven British managers plying their trade in the Premier League - 20 years ago there were a whopping 16 British gaffers in the top-flight, while a further two were Irish.
However, there are also a number of high-profile gaffers from these shores that are currently twiddling their thumbs in the Job Centre, a few of which feature below:
It’s been radio silence from the disgraced Sam Allardyce ever since he left his dream job as England manager back in September, after just one game at the helm. This hasn’t prevented bookmakers from linking the veteran gaffer from a plethora of jobs, to no avail, and in truth we are unlikely to see Big Sam back in the dugout until next season at the earliest.
Another former England manager out in the wilderness is Allardyce’s predecessor Roy Hodgson, who has revealed that he is keen to return to management. Hodgson may have been heavily criticised for England’s shambolic showing at Euro 2016, but he believes it made him a “better coach”, and his bucket load of experience (40 years) makes him a viable option to steady any sinking ship.
Nigel Pearson’s reputation has also taken a hit in recent times, with the ostrich-loving gaffer lasting just a dozen games at Championship Derby. The man who built the foundations for Leicester’s miraculous title success is unlikely to be invited back to the Premier League dining table anytime soon, but expect to see him back in the Championship in the near future.
Harry Redknapp hasn’t managed on these shores since his sudden QPR exit back in February 2015, although he did oversee a brace of Jordan matches earlier this year…we definitely haven’t seen the last of the former Tottenham boss, and while a permanent Premier League appointment appears unlikely, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he takes charge of a struggling club in need of an experienced head.
A third former England boss, Glenn Hoddle, is a long shot given that he’s been absent from the managerial arena for 10 years. Every now and again the 59-year-old is linked with a return to the dugout, but he appears very comfortable in his cushy job as a TV pundit, and who can blame him.
An almost ludicrous suggestion is Alan Curbishley who has been playing a game of managerial hide-and-seek since 2008. Curbs, on the off chance you are reading this, we want you back!
The above six gaffers have managed over 5000 matches between them - what a statistic that is - but going down the rookie route there are a quadruple of novices who can’t be completely ruled out of contention.
Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Gary Neville may have only overseen a skimpy 32 matches between them, but that hasn’t prevented the Premier League greats from featuring in managerial betting markets for top-flight clubs.
In truth they are each likely to have to bide their time and either take up a coaching role, or wait it out for an opening in the Football League - that’s assuming that any of them are interested in a career in management at all.
Wales manager Chris Coleman has worked wonders with The Dragons, leading his troops through to the Euro 2016 semi-finals. The next task is qualification for the 2018 World cup, however a lucrative offer to become a Premier league manager once again could well turn his head.
Other British (and Irish) managers currently in employment, in some for or another, include Tim Sherwood (director of football at Swindon), Martin O'Neill (Republic of Ireland), his assistant Roy Keane, and Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill, who are all worth keeping an eye on.
Over on the outskirts is the manager of the England women’s side, Mark Sampson, however in truth he is more likely to take up a position in the Football League.