Birmingham City next permanent manager odds
Harry Redknapp has been brought in on a short-term contract to ensure that Birmingham City maintain their place in the Championship for the 2017/18 season, with the club sitting dangerously close to the relegation zone. Despite their position, it seems that Redknapp has managed to get the job done and will now sit down with the board to discuss his future.
Given the high turnover of managers this season, — Redknapp is the third boss in the St Andrew’s hotseat since December 2016 — the board will be looking for their next appointment to bring some stability to the club. Yet, with a seemingly unhappy wife at home, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager may not be willing to extend his stay beyond the current campaign.
Should Redknapp turn down the role, who are Birmingham City likely to turn to next season?
Nigel Adkins was among the frontrunners when Gary Rowett was sacked midway through the 2016/17 campaign and would likely be among those considered once again. The Englishman has plenty of experience at this level and would certainly be confident that he could pull Birmingham City away from the bottom of the Championship.
While his spells at Reading and Sheffield United have been less successful, he did a fantastic job at Southampton, taking them from League One to the Premier League in just two seasons. Despite their struggles, Birmingham will be dreaming of a return to the Premier League and Adkins could be the man to make it happen.
However, former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson would likely be the favourite for the job. It was widely believed that he would take the reins following Zola’s exit in March, but Redknapp ultimately proved to be the more attractive option. However, with plenty of experience at this level, having led Leicester, Hull City and Derby County in the Championship, he certainly has the ability to turn Birmingham’s fortunes around.
While it was Claudio Ranieri who won the title with Leicester, it is Pearson who is regarded as the architect of that team. Although, while his track record on the sidelines speaks for itself, he is well known for causing a scene, which may divide opinions in the boardroom. He fell out with the Leicester City board, as well as Derby County owner Mel Morris prior to his departure, and will likely be just as opinionated in his next role. It’s a risk, but it may be one that Birmingham are willing to take in order to return to the top.
However, with interest from Premier League sides, Pearson may prove to be unattainable. If that’s the case, Alex Neil might be another option worth pursuing. Despite his short time in management, Neil has both Championship and Premier League experience, which will suit the club well.
The Scottish manager was sacked by Norwich City earlier this year after failing to maintain their place in the playoff spots. Yet, he is held in high regard by the Birmingham board and would likely be considered for the position once again.