Alan Curbishley is right back in the managerial fray today. The veteran of the Goals on Sunday sofa is supposedly in Birmingham to interview for the vacant Villa post; news which has reminded us all of the manager-less plight of Aston Villa, and now that the transfer window is closed, Randy Lerner is free to hire someone who can’t try to buy/sell anyone for the next four months. Bliss.
Curbs hasn’t had a job since leaving West Ham (two years ago tomorrow, fact fans) and is now the bookies’ second favourite to take the reigns at Villa Park. But who else is in contention?
Kevin MacDonald 6/5 When Martin O’Neill left Villa, few were talking about MacDonald as a permanent suitor. Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and he’s favourite for the job. He certainly knows the place well, having been with Villa since 1995, but hasn’t held a senior management position before, not to mention embarrassing defeats to Newcastle and Rapid Vienna in the time he’s been caretaker manager.
Alan Curbishley 7/2 Curbs must be desperate to get back in the game at this rate, following a two year absence. He might seem like an odd choice for Lerner, given that he left West Ham following a dispute with the board over the sales of Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney, who were sold without Curbishley’s approval. But he’s a solid manager, who took Charlton from the third to top tier in his 15-year spell at the club.
Sven-Göran Eriksson 5/1 Eriksson expressed an interest in taking the job recently, and is looking to reignite his passion of getting paid vast sums of money far disproportionate to his managerial ability. He hasn’t been genuinely successful anywhere since leaving his Lazio post in 2001 to take the England job, despite having five jobs in football since then. Plus, he tends to embarrass his employers in some sort of scandalous manner. But he makes up for it all with his impeccable selection of suits.
Gerard Houllier 5/1 The former Liverpool manager is another who has been out of the game for a while, having stepped down as Lyon manager at the end of the 2006-07 season. The Frenchman hasn’t managed in England since leaving Liverpool in 2004, but won back-to-back titles with Lyon (admittedly, at the time when Lyon routinely won Ligue 1).
David Moyes 8/1 The loss of Moyes could be more than a little disruptive for Everton, but the Scot’s odds have shortened significantly over the past few days. He’s been with the Merseyside club for eight years now, and has done an excellent job with them, without much money, since moving from Preston. He could be one of Lerner’s best options, but also one of the most difficult to bring in.
Also in the running: Mark Hughes (12/1), Gareth Southgate (20/1), Martin Jol (20/1), Ronald Koeman (20/1), Ottmar Hitzfeld (25/1), Gianfranco Zola (25/1), Jurgen Klinsmann (25/1), Alex McLeish (25/1), Paul Lambert (25/1).
Obviously, the greatest thing that could happen here, at least for non-Villa fans, would be for Diego Maradona (still in there at 40/1) to take the job. Seeing as how this won’t happen, though, who would you fancy seeing in the home dugout at Villa Park?
Odds taken from Ladbrokes
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