Pretenders To The Throne

Last updated : 05 November 2009 By Tom Collins
In bookmaker's odds order:

5/1 - Alan Curbishley: Vastly experienced at keeping a club of similar size to City in the Premier League against the odds for several seasons. Forced out at West Ham, despite doing a reasonable job in difficult circumstances, and this week won a case against the East End club, freeing him up for an easier move to another club. Surely the stand-out option, but will he come 'ap norf'? Peter Taylor did...

5/1 - Gareth Southgate: Can't see it myself, thrown in at the deep at at 'Boro, and didn't really do the business. Looks like he should be a great manager in the future, and will be a better boss for his experiences on Teeside, but surely he needs to learn his trade more down the leagues.

8/1 - Paul Jewell: Mixed record as a boss, and sacked by Pearson at Derby last season. Has done sterling work at Bradford and Wigan in the past, so can clearly do a good job in the right circumstances. Fans of the Rams and Sheffield Wednesday may beg to differ though. Not a bad candidate, but would his past with Pearson help or hinder his chances?

8/1 - Slaven Bilic: Has done a terrific job with the Croatian national side and has made no secret of his desire to move into club management. Looks like a Mourinho figure in the making and will surely walk into a big European job soon. Could he be tempted by a job with the Tigers?

8/1 - Peter Taylor: Been there, seen it, done it with City. Knows the club inside out, and we know what we'll get with him. He'd steady the ship, probably improve the team defensively, but will he inspire the fans and players enough to remain in the Premier League? A very safe pair of hands who would be welcomed back to the club with great affection, but many would see his appointment as a step backwards.

12/1 - Steve Coppell: Solid, experienced campaigner with a great CV, particularly with what he did at Reading. A big name that the fans would no doubt be impressed with, but would he relish what is a sizeable long-term job?

12/1 - Darren Ferguson: Has been impressive at Peterborough, but lacks any experience in the higher leagues. Many will claim he's making a living on the back of his father's name, but he clearly has managerial talent. Someone will take a punt on him eventually, but it's unlikely it'll be Pearson.

Bar 16/1: Others mentioned include Gus Poyet (decent outside bet I'd say), David O'Leary (as if!?), Graeme Souness (God no!) and Peter Reid (errr... no)

But here's a crazy notion: What about those in work who are doing a good job down the leagues and deserve a crack at Premier League management? Let's buck the trend and appoint the likes of Gary Johnson, Alan Irvine, Nigel Adkins or Paul Ince? Only if you get sacked like though Brownie, obviously.