Five replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Cardiff City coach
Controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has accepted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resignation as Bluebirds boss, after just 30 matches in charge.
The ex-Norway striker, 41, is best known for his 11-year spell as a player at Manchester United, but won just nine games in charge of the Welsh capital club, losing 16 and drawing five. Solskjaer brought Cardiff down from the Premier League and, as results failed to improve in the Championship, has decided to leave.
Coral’s football experts have got their heads together and assessed the leading contenders to take charge of the Bluebirds.
Former Crystal Palace and Stoke City boss Pulis has a proven track record of managing in English football’s top two divisions. Cardiff fans can expect the slide their side is on to end under this Welshman, as he has the distinction of never being relegated.
Born and raised in nearby Newport, this would be a chance for Pulis to revisit his roots. Tan would have to back him in the loan and January transfer windows, however, as Steve Parish’s failure to furnish him with signings was a reported cause of Pulis’ exit from Selhurst Park on the eve of the season. Pulis is odds-on 4/5 favourite to land the role.
One-time Hearts captain, Celtic and Scotland midfielder Hartley has moved into management impressively north of the border. Starting at Alloa Athletic in the lower leagues, he then got Dundee promoted into the Scottish Premiership.
A similar job from a burgeoning coaching talent would be needed at the Bluebirds. Hartley’s inclusion among the front-runners is somewhat out of left-field, but he has lived relatively close to Cardiff before when he played for Bristol City.
Dundee released a statement, however, saying Hartley remains committed to their club, and is not interested in the vacancy. Odds of 9/4 say different and he could be the next Bluebirds boss.
There hardly a vacancy in the Championship that MK Dons manager Robinson doesn’t get linked with. His stock is sky high having steered the Milton Keynes club to a comprehensive giant-killing of Manchester United in the last round of the Capital One Cup.
Liverpool native Robinson has shown loyalty to the Dons during his four years in charge at Stadium:mk, yet spent much of his playing career in the Welsh league. Like Hartley, he has never managed at this level, but unlike the Scot is yet to win a trophy as a coach.
Ex-Celtic boss Lennon is still seeking the new challenge he talked about when he stepped down from his spot in the Glasgow giants’ dugout. The Bluebirds may be exactly what the Northern Irishman is looking for.
Lennon’s compatriot Brendan Rodgers took Cardiff’s bitter south Wales rivals Swansea City up into the Premier League and help establish them there. Tan would expect a similar job to be done by the old Bhoys captain and manager, and is 10/1 to appoint him.
There’s unfinished business for Jones at the Bluebirds. In six seasons with them (2005-2011), he failed to get Cardiff up into the Premier League. As a result, they were billed as choke artists and this tag can only be erased by a second spell where he does succeed.
Jones has the ear of Tan, who used this former manager of the club as an advisor. Whether this influence is strong enough to secure a return to the dugout, following poor results in his last job at Sheffield Wednesday, remains to be seen.