Following a BetVictor next Sheffield Wednesday manager market on 25th November, The72 decided to look at some of the favourites for job at the time. A week later and, as many of you thought on Twitter, Dave Jones was sacked by Owls owner Milan Mandaric.
There have, however, been some new additions to bookies’ shortlist since our original post, but here’s what our poll looked like just prior to Jones’ departure.
So after 683 votes, Ian Holloway (1st – 48%) was a clear leader with Gary Megson (2nd – 15%) and Benito Carbone and Paolo Di Canio tied in 3rd with 8% of the vote each.
Let’s take a look at some of the names going into the hypothetical hat:
Neil Warnock (7/2 Coral)
If Neil Warnock was to become the next Sheffield Wednesday manager, British football would see one of the biggest managerial shocks in recent history. A Sheffield United fan, Warnock became the club’s most successful manager after guiding them into the Premiership in 2006. Under The Blades, he also managed League Cup and FA Cup semi-final appearances, both from the Championship, highlighting his qualities at the top.
In more recent times, Warnock won The Championship and consequent promotion to the Premier League with a highly impressive QPR side whilst, perhaps more appetisingly for Owls fans, he guided relegation candidates Crystal Palace to the play-offs. Whilst a Sheffield United ‘legend’ moving across Steel City is almost unthinkable, this is a man who is highly regarded by Milan Mandaric and if Mandaric wants, Mandaric usually gets.
Steve Evans (2/1 Skybet)
At a 46% win rate, Steve Evans’ managerial record is one of the most impressive in English football. Having had previous successes with Boston and Crawley, Evans dropped from League 1 to League 2 to take over at Rotherham where he guided The Millers to promotion in his first season. Three months in to the campaign and his side are once again towards the higher reaches of the league and most importantly, are scoring bags of goals.
Whilst there is no doubting his ability, the fact remains that Steve Evans has no Championship experience. At a period where relegation is a distinct possibility for The Owls, it would be a huge risk if he were to become the next Sheffield Wednesday manager.
Paolo Di Canio (6/1 Paddy Power)
To say Paolo Di Canio has had an indifferent start to his managerial career would be somewhat of an understatement. The little Italian won the League 2 title in his first year with Swindon, proving to any doubters that he was serious about making the step up. Whilst Di Canio won the hearts of the supporters with his player and pizza purchasing (both out of his own pocket), his altercations with Leon Clarke and Wes Fotheringham suggested things weren’t all rosy at The Robins.
Things were neither simpler or more successful at Sunderland where, after keeping Sunderland in the Premier League and signing 14 new players, he was sacked after taking just one point in five matches. Di Canio’s mentality was questioned after he made a variety of apologetic hand signals to fans after a number of losses.
PDC has made an impression wherever he has gone, particularly at Hillsborough where he finished the ’97/’98 season as top goalscorer and pushed a referee over in the process. Whilst he may be appreciated by Owls fans, it’s hard to see why many clubs would want to go near this tarnished brush.
Stuart Pearce (5/1 Skybet)
It’s hard to draw many parallels as to why Stuart Pearce is one of the favourites to be the next Sheffield Wednesday manager. Whilst this is a manager who has managed his country (albeit at under-21 level) and Manchester City in the Premier League, Pyscho, as he is known, has no managerial experience in The Football League. What he lacks on his resume, Pearce makes up for in passion, most famously for England in which he encapsulated the hearts of this country. The passionate Owls should take to him quickly.
Having reached the dizzy heights of 2/1 favourite immediately after Dave Jones’ sacking, the rifeness of rumour mill should see Psycho’s odds drift further and further. Don’t hold your breath on this one.
Ian Holloway (16/1 Skybet)
After resigning from the Crystal Palace job because he was ‘mentally and physically drained’, it was clear Ian Holloway needed a break. This Bristol-born manager has consistently been in work for over five years, something which is a bit of an irregularity in modern football. Whilst Holloway may have lost 7 out of 8 with Palace this season, he was forever the victim of his own brilliant success at Selhurst Park.
Whilst spells at Bristol Rovers, Plymouth and particularly Leicester were distinctly average, Holloway worked wonders with a Blackpool squad that should have probably been fighting relegation, not promotion. Two play-off finals, one successful, meant Holloway had reached the Premier League promised land and although he couldn’t keep them in the division, he was widely lauded for his sides expansive football. Whilst, like Di Canio, Holloway is known for what he says, this is a man who has two very recent promotions to the Premier League on shoestring budgets. Will the penny saving Mandaric be tempted into hiring him as the next Sheffield Wednesday manager?
Sven Gorran Eriksson (60/1 BetVic)
During the writing of our original post, Sven moved into a 12/1 third favourite. He may have drifted out to 60/1, but we’re keeping him here, just incase.
From Lazio to Leicester to League 2: The strange case of Sven Goran Eriksson. The former England manager is currently plying his trade at China’s Guangzhou R&F where he earns a reported £.2.5m a year. But whilst Sven hasn’t had a job in England since his rather unsuccessful spell at Leicester City, the Swede is still one of the most high profile names in the business.
His time as England coach was neither a failure nor success, likewise at Manchester City. But a three league drop-down to then financial heavyweights Notts County in League 2 proved to be a short-lived state of embarrassment. Whilst most managers in their right mind wouldn’t swap a stable lucrative operation in Asia for a Championship relegation battle under of the league’s tightest Chairmen, this is Sven Goran Eriksson and you never know where he might go next.
Gary Megson (33/1 BetVic)
Having played and managed the club, Gary Megson is a bit of a cult hero at Sheffield Wednesday. A recent post on Owlstalk demonstrates the type of support ‘Meggo’ has at his boyhood club. Although his sacking seemed unfair, just a couple of days after a 1-0 win against city rivals Sheffield United, Megson refused to rule out a return to the club he adores.
But whilst he is undoubtably one of the fans favourites to take over at Hillsborough, it’s unlikely to think he would return to work under a Chairman who was so brutal in his sacking. Megson has been out of work for well over a year now and will no doubt look for a return soon. Could the vacant role at Scunthorpe be enough to tempt him or will he hold for a fairytale comeback as the next Sheffield Wednesday manager?
Benito Carbone (20/1 Stan James)
Like Megson, Benito Carbone has a great relationship with the Sheffield Wednesday fans. Unlike Megson, he has never managed in England before. A recent return to Hillsborough to watch the Owls play Ipswich saw the Italian declare his wish to one-day manage Sheffield Wednesday. If that wasn’t enough confirmation for Wednesdayite’s, Carbone’s Twitter is a regular advert for the job he so desperately craves. [socialpoll id=””]
At £3m, Benito Carbone was a record buy for The Owls at the time. The tricky forward managed nearly a goal every three games for the South-Yorkshire club and also had spells at Aston Villa and, more famously, Bradford City where he ‘saved the club from extinction’.
With the threat of Championship relegation very much on the horizon, it would be nothing short of a shock to see Milan Mandaric appoint a man with no English managerial experience. Carbone may want to move to England ASAP, but he may well have to build up his reputation in Italy a little longer before making the trip overseas.
(All odds are correct upon date of publishing)[socialpoll id=”2178988"]