As of Monday 9th September, The Cumbrians are looking out for Carlisle’s Next Manager as Greg Abbott became the first Football League managerial casualty of the season, parting company with Carlisle United.
Having taken over at the Brunton Park in 2008, Abbott was the third longest serving manager in the country guiding Carlisle to the 2011 Football League Trophy where they beat Brentford at Wembley. However, after the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale on Saturday, Abbott has been dismissed with the side 22nd in League One, leaving the Blues on the hunt for Carlisle’s next manager.
But who should replace him as Carlisle’s Next Manager? The72 looks at some of the potential candidates:
Graham Kavanagh at 9/2 (StanJames)
To see such short odds so soon after Abbott’s sacking would suggest Carlisle may already have their man in mind. Kavanagh signed for United in 2008 and saw out his playing days at the club, majorly as a player-coach. A popular figure, the former Stoke and Wigan player’s successful time at Carlisle and has been linked with other FL clubs such as Hartlepool in the past. But fans may feel that, as assistant to Abbott, he was partly at fault for the clubs dismal start to the season and, as such, should follow Abbott out of the door. Kavanagh and Davie Irons will take over temporary duties so, should they produce good results, expect those odds to dwindle further as the chairman looks for Carlisle’s next manager.
Paul Simpson at 6/1 (BetVictor)
Born in Carlisle, it was at his hometown club where Simpson made his name as a manager. Having taken them down to the Conference in 2003, he then guided them not only back to League 2 the following season, but into League 1 as champions the next. Consequently he won the League 2 Manager of the Year award. Simpson hasn’t had quite the same success since leaving United however. Having failed to guide his next clubs, Preston and Shrewsbury to respective promotions, Simpson was sacked from both as well as non-league Stockport. Having then left his subsequent post at Northwich Victoria, Simpson is currently head coach of an academy in Portugal. Although his recent history is not littered with success, he may feel that he has unfinished business at Carlisle.
David Unsworth at 8/1 (BetVictor)
Everton legend David Unsworth is one of the most respected figures in the national game. As a Pro Licence holder, the former FA Cup winner has all the necessary badges to move into management, as well as an 8 page managerial guide that accompanies his CV upon future applications. Having retired as a player in 2009, Unsworth hasn’t rushed into a head position, establishing himself as a coach at Preston and more recently, an assistant manager position at Sheffield United. Having rejected a number of managerial roles already, Unsworth is by no means in a rush to take a top role, but Carlisle may want to snap him up before someone else does.
Zigor Aranalde at 66/1 (BetVictor)
A fans favorite, but not favorite to be Carlisle’s next manager, Zigor Aranalde played a key part in Carlisle’s League 1 winning season in 2006 and made a total of over 100 appearances for the club. A happy figure, Aranalde, regularly professed his love for Carlisle and English football as a whole. Although he left in 2008, he told to Carlisle News and Star that he’d love the opportunity to one day return as a manager.
“I enjoyed England – the country and the football – and to go back as a coach or manager is something I am thinking about.
“If I had the chance to work with either of those clubs, I wouldn’t think twice. To manage Carlisle would be a dream for me. I love the club and the people there, so we will see what the future brings.”
There’s no doubt that Zigor will be keeping a close eye at the current events at Brunton Park. It could be a dream move for all concerned.
Peter Schmeichel at 66/1 (BetVictor)
Up until a week ago, the mention of Peter Schmeichel managing Carlisle United would have been as irrelevant as any one. However, a recent appearance on Sky’s Goals on Sunday saw The Great Dane profess his desire to return to England as a manager. He told the show:
“At some point you realise your life is football and you might just want to go back in. I am doing my badges and I am kind of looking at may be going into management but I am not overly keen at going in at any club and doing anything, just being a steward at a club. So I am thinking about moving back into football.
“I am addicted to English football. I have been addicted to English football for all of my life. It is the only place in the world that I would work.”
He may not have any managerial experience, but the contacts that some of Schmeichel’s calibre could bring with him to the club could be invaluable. He’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for in the hunt for Carlisle’s next manager.