Friday, 29 August 2014

The Race to Lead Leeds

Some are saying that good candidates will be put off by the turmoil at Leeds, but regardless of Cellino's perceived shenanigans, with David Hockaday gone, one of the biggest jobs in the Championship is up for grabs. You would expect a club of Leeds' stature to attract some big names. Just who is in the running:

Rolando Maran (4/6 - favourite)

We only get shit refs
51 year-old Maran is currently out of work, having been sacked from Catania for a second time on April 6th of this year. His previous reign at the Sicilian club having ended only just over six months previously, he was brought back in an attempt to turn the club's season around. However, his second spell at the club ended in five straight defeats.

That was his last job: sacked for the second time from a struggling club. Five straight defeats is worse than the Hock managed. Unlike Hockaday, however, Maran has quite a lot of experience as a head coach, albeit it at lower-tier Italian clubs. Though his time in charge of both Bari and Vicenza ended in him getting the sack, he did have some success at Varese, whom he led to the Serie B Playoffs Final.

Steve Clarke (7/2)

Clarke's is probably one of the more encouraging names in the frame for the job. Though he's only held one senior role as head coach, when he managed West Brom for around 18 months, Clarke has a good reputation. He's been assistant manager at Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and Liverpool and the one season he completed with WBA saw them achieve their highest finish (8th in the Premier League) since 1981.

He's been out of work since leaving the Baggies in December of last year. To my mind he'd be a good fit for Leeds, but what do I know?

Benito Carbone (8/1)

They get Tom Lees, we get this man?
Carbone spent a few months at the club earlier this year, assuming the verbose job title of Special Consultant to the Board of Directors for Sport Matters including Facilities & Academy. His time at Elland Road ended in the summer, with family reasons being cited, though many suspect that he failed to get on with Cellino, which I imagine is a fault common among many humans.

As a player, Carbone reached the highest level. As a coach, his greatest distinction was keeping third-tier Pavia safe from relegation in 2011. Apparently fans there dubbed him Harry Potter for the magic he worked. Since then he's been sacked by Varese, where he was replaced by Rolando Maran, and quit as head coach of Saint-Christophe Vallee d'Aoste.

Gary McAllister (8/1)

Club legend, not yet proven as a manager.
McAllister's spell in charge of Leeds lasted less than a year and was not marked by particular success, though he did lead the club to the 2007/08 League One Playoff Final, where we lost to Doncaster.

Since leaving Elland Road at the end of 2008, McAllister has mostly been out of the game, though he did spend some time as Gerard Houllier's assistant at Aston Villa.

Gary Megson (20/1)


Paul Ince (66/1)

The man played at Inter and Liverpool too but those associations wouldn't be seen as a problem.
This is just getting silly now. Aside from good spells at Macclesfield and MK Dons in the lower leagues, Ince has not covered himself in glory as a manager. His time at Blackburn saw his write 'shoot!' on a piece of paper, since his strategy wasn't getting across to Premier Leaue players. Last season at Blackpool, meanwhile, his main tactical manuevere seemed to be "play my talented son, Tom".

As a former Man U player, would he be accepted at Elland Road?

I'm sorry, I keep seeing flashes of Megson's face in my mind's eye. I'm going to have to go and lie down for a bit. Before I go, one last candidate:

Tony Pulis (18/1)

At least his appointment would lead to baseball cap sales at the club shop.
Say what you will about his boring tactics, but he consolidated Stoke's position in the top league and got Palace to their highest finish in decades. Our defence has been a joke for some time now. Unlike most of the other candidates mentioned here, you can say with some certainty that Pulis would deliver results. Would you rather dull stability or topsy-turvy excitement?

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