Aston Villa next manager betting madness

The saga that is the race to become the next Aston Villa manager shows no sign of coming to an end soon, and Alex McLeish’s resignation from Birmingham City earlier today has just increased speculation that he is the man to take over after Gerrard Houllier’s resignation/sacking.

McLeish was odds on favourite a couple of hours back and both he and Mark Hughes have traded below even money on Betfair. On top of that Rafa Benitez has traded down as low as 2.00, Roberto Martinez down to 2.12, Steve McClaren has been as short as 3.05 and Claudio Ranieri 3.10.

Most of these have also been odds on with the bookmakers as well, it has been a layers delight for the bookies and punters on the exchanges.

If my opinions are correct, this is set to continue as I can’t see Alex McLeish getting the job. There are good reasons to back this up, although the lack of a convincing reason (so far) for McLeish’s resignation has got me slightly questioning myself.

First, Randy Lerner does things properly and doesn’t involve himself or his club in underhand behaviour. As a result of this it is widely regarded that Mark Hughes ruled himself out of the running by quitting Fulham in the manner he did.

If Hughes won’t be appointed because of this, then why on earth would Randy Lerner employ McLeish if he has pulled the same stunt as Hughes did?

Also, Randy Lerner is supposed to have ruled out Steve McClaren because of a potential fans backlash.

So surely the prospect of employing a Blues manager would be a total no go with the fans, and not just any Blues manager, but one who has just overseen his team get relegated. What chance that? It seems highly unlikey to me.

Unless Lerner is running out of options and is getting desperate that is, in which case maybe it could happen. But the rational thinking is that this is a total no goer.

So who could it be? I did think that after what happened with Roberto Martinez that the chance of another Premier League manager coming to Villa Park was very unlikely. Who would want to be seen as second or third or fourth choice behind the Wigan manager? Would Owen Coyle or David Moyes consider the job after that? I’m not too sure.

I did think it would be an out of work manager or a foreigner, but now the name of David Moyes doesn’t seem to be going away. He has a proven track record and the fans will surely approve.

One problem could be his club though. I can’t see Everton giving in easily over this and if Lerner sticks to his Mark Hughes principles, then he won’t employ him if he walks out on Everton.

At times last season Moyes cut a frustrated figure on the touchline with Everton. Could he have decided he has taken Everton as far as he can on the current budget? Maybe he has been told he has to sell to balance the books this summer? I now think there could be a number of reason why Moyes might consider the job.

He now seems to be the name on the move, as I write he’s joint favourite with McLeish at Skybet and is closing in on favouritism on Betfair, it will be interesting to see what Monday brings.

Steve McClaren – No, to West Ham job

I see Steve McClaren, the bookies early contender for the West Ham managers job has already ruled himself out of the running.

It doesn’t say much for the Hammers, when a man who is aware that he won’t have the pick of the bunch when it comes to getting employment and who has already stated he is looking to get back into management, says he isn’t interested in managing your club within 24 hours of a vacancy becoming available.

Personally when I heard he was favourite earlier today I couldn’t help but think this was a bad fit for both parties. McClaren has a reputation to rebuild in England and going to a club that looks in freefall wouldn’t be a wise move for him.

I also believe that McClaren wouldn’t have had the backing of the fans, all you need to do is look at Liverpool and Newcastle to see what happens when you don’t have the fans onside.

Gold and Sullivan need to tred carefully here, there is no point in appointing a manager who will further turn the fans against the board. They need to look for someone with a West Ham connection who is willing to invest in youth, they need to go on a charm offensive.

Another wrong move here that splits the club further could be catastrophic.

Chris Hughton is the new favourite at 2/1 with Betfair, I’m not convinced he is the perfect fit either, but I think he would be a better choice than McClaren.