Chelsea look set to follow Manchester United’s lead in turning to an inexperienced manager whose main credential for the job seems to be that they served the club with distinction as a player.
If every club went down a similar road, this is where it might take us…
Arsenal – Mikel Arteta
The former midfielder almost got the gig when Arsene Wenger finally relinquished his power a year ago but the Arsenal hierarchy got cold feet and went with the safer option of Unai Emery’s experience. When the job comes up again, Arteta may have to take on Patrick Vieira, who has the benefit of first-team management experience with Nice, and that will always be the question mark over the Spaniard until he leaves Pep Guardiola’s side. Thierry Henry might have had eyes on the job too but his miserable Monaco experience should have ended that prospect.
Aston Villa – John Terry
The former centre-half will forever be associated with Chelsea and the ex-Blues captain will doubtless have eyes on managing his former club. But, like Lampard, Terry should look for first-team management experience, which may come at Villa Park, where he finished his career as a player and began his couching journey. One problem: Dean Smith is Villa through and through and is not expected to vacate the hot seat any time soon. But who knows what a rotten start back in the Premier League might do to the nerves in the boardroom?
Bournemouth – Jason Tindall
The Cherries already have their own answer to Lampard or Solskjaer in Eddie Howe. But if one day a bigger club opts to take a punt on the Bournemouth boss, they may well continue to stick with what they know. The south coast club also has former players Richard Hughes and Steve Fletcher on their staff as technical director and assistant coach respectively, but Howe’s right-hand man Tindall, who played for Bournemouth between 1998 and 2006, would be the first name in the frame, presuming he’s not content to remain an assistant for the rest of his career.
Brighton – Liam Rosenior
The former Seagulls defender finished his playing career at the AmEx where he was part of the squad which won promotion to the Premier League in 2016/17. Since retiring a year ago, Rosenior has been assistant coach for Brighton’s Under-23 side after completing his UEFA Pro Licence. He was linked with the vacant Middlesbrough manager’s position before Jonathan Woodgate got the gig. Woodgate wanted Rosenior alongside him at The Riverside but the 34-year-old has opted to stay where he is to work alongside Graham Potter.
Burnley – Graham Alexander
The former full-back made 177 appearances in four years at Turf Moor towards the end of his playing career before he moved into management. Alexander cut his teeth in the Football League with Fleetwood and Scunthorpe before taking over from the two shouty fellas at Salford City when the Class of ’92 saw an opportunity to get rid. Alexander will doubtless be keen to drive Salford up through the EFL but bigger clubs will undoubtedly start looking at the 47-year-old if he continues to prove that he can be trusted with big resources.
Chelsea – John Terry
It might not be after Lampard, it might not be after the man who replaces Lampard, but you can bet your house on Terry making a play for the top job at Stamford Bridge. “Yes, it’s true, I want to be the manager of Chelsea one day,” he said in 2018. “But that is a five to eight-year plan.” Meaning we could be five to ten managers away from Terry taking a turn.
Crystal Palace – Richard Shaw
Before Gareth Southgate returns to the club after winning the World Cup with England and the Champions League with each of Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich, Shaw could keep the Palace hot seat warm by stepping up from his current role as the club’s Under-23s coach, which he has done for six years. The former defender has had stints in caretaker charge at his other former clubs, Coventry and Millwall, so he just needs Palace to complete the set. Converting Aaron Wan-Bissaka from a winger into a £55million full-back would certainly further his claim on the job.
Everton – Duncan Ferguson
The Toffees turned to one of their own in 2017 between Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce when David Unsworth struggled, but that experience is unlikely to sway Everton fans from pushing Ferguson for the top job at some point. The former striker spent 10 years at Everton across two spells before starting his coaching career on a voluntary basis within the academy. Since then, the 47-year-old has worked his way up to working with the first team. His one-club career in coaching could be a positive or a negative, but we’re not going to tell Big Dunc he’s not up to the job.
Leicester City – Esteban Cambiasso
The former Leicester Player of the Season in 2014/15 has just picked up his UEFA Pro Licence ready for his first steps into management. Okay, so he may be inexperienced, but if it’s a choice between Cambiasso or Lennon… #welcomeEsteban
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Feliz por recibir este importante diploma. Han sido semanas intensas de trabajo en las cuales he aprendido mucho. Quiero agradecer a la Real Federación Española de Fútbol por haberme dado esta oportunidad, a todos los instructores por su profesionalidad y a todos mis compañeros que han compartido conmigo esta magnífica experiencia. #UEFAPro #UEFAProLicense @uefa_official Felice di ricevere questo importante diploma. Sono state settimane intense di lavoro nelle quali ho appreso moltissimo. Voglio ringraziare la Real Federación Española de Fútbol per avermi concesso questa opportunità, gli istruttori per la loro grande professionalità e tutti i miei compagni con i quali ho condiviso questa bellissima esperienza. #UEFAPro #UEFAProLicense @uefa_official
Liverpool – Steven Gerrard
On the same course as Cambiasso was Xabi Alonso, and the prospect of the former Liverpool midfielder in a suit on the Anfield touchline is a mouthwatering one. But, like everyone else, Xabi will have to get in the queue behind Gerrard.
Manchester City – Patrick Vieira
This is an obvious choice for the Citizens. He may have only 32 appearances for the club but Vieira knows exactly what the modern City is all about. Having worked at New York City FC, basically City’s B team, many have him as the perfect replacement for Guardiola when he eventually looks for a new challenge.
Now manager of Ligue 1 side Nice, Vieira is forging a reputation as one of football’s hottest managerial prospects. Some of these suggestions will never come to fruition but Vieira to City has a decent chance of becoming a reality one day.
— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) October 30, 2018
Manchester United – Ryan Giggs
We would love Roy Keane to get the United job. We wish he’d have got the gig after Jose Mourinho because blood would have spattered the dressing room walls and it would have been hilarious for anyone not currently a first-team squad member at Old Trafford. But Ed Woodward, though he may be many things, isn’t daft. The vice-chairman would look for someone who, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, would be so grateful for the job that he wouldn’t consider rocking the boat. Give it Giggseh…
Newcastle United – Kevin Nolan
Nolan will be remembered fondly for captaining the club to the Championship title in 2010 and scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Sunderland the following season. Perhaps not the biggest legend, but Nolan has the make-up of a decent managerial prospect.
The former midfielder may have had two ultimately fruitless spells as player-manager of Leyton Orient and Notts County but there are definitely arguments he was unlucky. At Notts County, he was particularly frustrated as he guided them to relegation safety in 2017 before qualifying for the League Two play-offs the next campaign. However, a run of losses led to his dismissal early on last season.
Joey Barton, currently going steady at Fleetwood, also deserves a mention – but we can all guess how that would end up. Absolute bloody carnage.
Norwich City – Craig Bellamy
Bellamy left his role as Cardiff City youth coach in January and joined Belgium club Anderlecht as part of their coaching setup. Never a stranger to controversy, Bellamy is still being investigated by the Bluebirds over accusations that he bullied players.
Bellamy is obviously a talented boy when it comes to coaching with reports claiming he ‘impressed’ during interviews for the Wales national team job, ultimately landed by Ryan Giggs. The proud Welshman started off his career at Norwich after coming through the youth ranks, scoring 34 senior goals in 91 matches, before playing for another eight clubs. If Daniel Farke ever dismounts his horse at Norwich then Bellamy wouldn’t be a bad shout at all.
Sheffield United – Neill Collins
Currently top of the USL Championship Eastern Conference table in America, Neill Collins is making waves as the manager of Tampa Bay Rowdies. Despite playing for nine other clubs and failing to enjoy much success at the Blades, Collins has always maintained his special connection with Sheffield United and their fans. His central defensive partnership with the now Manchester United-linked Harry Maguire, was one of the best in their six-year stay in League One. Far from a legend but always respected by the fans.
The reality is though that United already have Chris Wilder – a manager that would be on this list if he wasn’t already managing his boyhood club.
— Neill Collins (@neillycollins3) June 8, 2018
Southampton – James Beattie
James Beattie wanted to be a brain surgeon. Either that or a professional swimmer. Or…football management, James? You can always swim through the sh*t thrown at you on a daily basis. In fact, Beattie has already dipped his toe into that particular pool, taking charge of Accrington Stanley in 2013. Since being sacked by Stanley with a win percentage of 27.6%, the flamboyant striker has been shadowing the Garry Monk as one of his coaches. Beattie remains in a job at Birmingham despite Monk’s very recent sacking, before inevitably following him elsewhere.
When you think of James Beattie you think about Southampton. Where better to smooth a rough diamond than St Mary’s? Only one man stands in Beattie’s way: the Alpine Klopp.
Tottenham – Scott Parker
There is no suggestion Mauricio Pochettino will be leaving Spurs any time soon. It wouldn’t be the craziest sight, though, to see former Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker succeeding the Argentine.
Parker took charge of only ten Fulham matches at the end of the 2018/19 season in his first spell in management. After that spell in caretaker charge, Parker was backed by owner Shahid Khan to get relegated Fulham back in the big time. Khan said on Parker’s permanent appointment: “Since that time, day by day, whether in training or on match day, we’ve undeniably become a better football club.” Praise indeed for the Lambeth-born boss.
He may have only played 63 times for Spurs but he was named Player of the Year in 2011-12 and has a personality that many fans love. Jonathan Woodgate, who recently succeeded Tony Pulis at Middlesbrough, is worth a shout. But Parker edges it in terms of experience.
Watford – Neal Ardley
At one point during Neal Ardley’s spell as AFC Wimbledon boss – where he spent six years – he was the third longest serving manager in English League football. The former Watford midfielder then moved onto struggling Notts County, who were relegated from League Two last season, and Ardley will prepare his side for at least one season in the National League. Hardly a glittering career in management but with more resources Ardley could do some damage. The fact Notts County have trusted him to turn the club’s fortunes around despite relegation says a lot.
Ardley will be fondly remembered by most Watford fans for their run to the FA Cup semi-final in 2003 and the League Cup semi-final in 2005. Ardley is still close to a number of like-minded Hornets favourites such as Neil Cox, Gavin Mahon and Sean Dyche. He has not always seeing eye-to-eye with Watford fans, especially on his return to Vicarage Road with Cardiff, but it’s slim pickings, Hornets. Dyche would have been perfect but he’s already made it to the Premier League with Burnley.
West Ham – Michael Carrick
He’s already at one of the biggest clubs in world football but Michael Carrick will no doubt leave Manchester United in the future to fulfil his managerial ambitions. Happy for now as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching team, Carrick said in 2018: “If you said at this moment in time do you want to manage I’d probably say yes, I would yeah.” Over a year ago he was already getting itchy feet. He won’t be the United manager any time soon and a chance as the boss of another club would potentially be welcomed.
Playing for seven years under one of the greatest managers of all time in Sir Alex Ferguson, gave Carrick an “incredible desire” and “strong mentality.” The former Spurs midfielder wants to be a manager in the future and where better than where it all began, playing with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole at West Ham. Who better to usher in a new Golden Generation at the London Stadium that one of their OGs? Pardon us, Mr Pellegrini, you are doing a fine job, sir.
Wolves – Robbie Keane
Wolves are doing just nicely at the moment with Nuno Espirito Santo absolutely bossing it in his first season in the Premier League. It may have gone under your radar, though, that Robbie Keane has just been appointed Jonathan Woodgate’s assistant at Middlesbrough. Keane has promised to bring an “exciting brand of football” to the Riverside, which would be music to the ears of any fanbase in their right mind, surely. He’s already ticked one box for us. Not only that but Keano is going to juggle two assistant jobs at the same time, as Mick McCarthy’s number two for the Republic of Ireland. What a guy!
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) June 17, 2019