Leeds United next manager: Five to take over at Elland Road
Holly Thackeray | October 19th
Wanted: New boss for fallen West Yorkshire giants
Leeds United’s owner Massino Cellino has once again wielded his impatient axe, this time culling coach Uwe Rosler, the fifth boss to be given the boot since the Italian arrived at Elland Road.
Three back-to-back defeats and just two Championship victories so far has seen the Yorkshire Club (3/1 chances for relegation with Coral) fall to within three points of the relegation zone. So, whoever takes over the poison chalice will have his work cut out, yet there is plenty of potential in the Whites’ ranks.
The obvious question is, then, which courageous coach is next in line for the Leeds vacancy? Here are Coral experts’ five picks…
Hotly tipped by tabloids to take over imminently is Glaswegian gaffer Evans, and there is often no smoke without fire. On Leeds’ agenda is eventually a promotion, or at least play-off place, push.
That may now look unlikely, but this former manager of Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United has a promising history of leading clubs up leagues. While under his management, the Millers catapulted themselves from League Two in two terms to reach England’s second-tier, and that kind of acceleration would go down well at Elland Road.
Certainly a controversial character, it would be intriguing to see how Evans would fare in an encounter with unpredictable Cellino, of whom he once said: “If you take the job under Massimo, you know the rules; he picks the players.” Perhaps not such a simple appointment after all.
What a coup it would be if Leeds could lure unemployed ex-Leicester City coach Pearson. Perhaps the fiery former Foxes leader would not fancy a return to the Championship after sampling the bright lights of the Premier League, and much less be tempted by the potential for a relegation scrap.
Yet, plucky Pearson has the iron will to overcome a poor patch of form, and has escaped the drop with higher stakes before. While the Englishman’s excellent work with Leicester has been overshadowed recently by successor Claudio Ranieri’s fine run, it should not be overlooked. A stumbling block here, could however also be temperament, as Pearson is now rather famous for his attention-attracting outbursts.
Sunderland have continued to struggle since giving Poyet his marching orders, with Black Cats coaching appointments looking increasingly less like the problem as more managers get caught in the Northeast outfit’s revolving door.
Ex-Uruguay international and former Chelsea midfielder Poyet deserves a second shot with a big club, then, having already proven himself previously with Brighton and Hove Albion at Championship level, though the situation ended somewhat acrimoniously. With top talents such as Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor and Alex Mowatt to work with, young coach Poyet may be an ideal fit.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Cellino could do with currying a bit of fan favour, so returning a former Leeds playing legend and installing him in the dugout may be the makings of a masterstroke.
Having already taken Burton Albion into League One, the Whites could make a wise move here by testing out an up-and-coming coach. Though a reunion would be romantic, ex hitman Hasselbaink might not be attracted to the instability.
An outside shout certainly, but the rumours are perhaps just bonkers enough to be true. Vastly experienced Redknapp has been twiddling his thumbs for far too long, and would be a real star name to energise Elland Road, while his numerous contacts may make for interesting transfer talks alongside Cellino.
More than qualified to rally the troops, Redknapp usually works best with underdogs, though at age 68 the drama often surrounding Leeds may also not appeal.
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