Birmingham City next permanent manager odds
Birmingham City looked on track to secure their place in the 2016/17 Championship play-offs heading into the New Year, with a chance of returning to Premier League football for the first time since they suffered relegation from the top flight in 2010/11 on the cards.
After losing just one of their opening 10 matches this season, the club had settled into sixth place and continued to put together results over the next few months. By December 3rd, the club had climbed to fourth. However, Birmingham City’s good spell quickly came to an end, with Gary Rowett’s side suffering four defeats in their next five games.
Rowett saw his contract terminated just two defeats into that poor run, with former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola taking up the post as his successor. However, the change did little good for Birmingham, who failed to win in their next five matches following Rowett’s departure.
It’s still early days for Zola, but with Birmingham City slipping down the Championship table, the club need to turn their results around quickly if they are to push for a place in the Premier League this season.
The Championship has proven itself to be one of the most trigger-happy leagues this season and we are likely to see plenty more changes before the end of the campaign. Whether Zola will be the next manager in the firing line remains to be seen, but who will Birmingham choose to replace him should they part ways?
If Birmingham City are committed to regaining their place in the top flight, they need a manager who has experience at that level. Roy Hodgson was a name mentioned prior to Zola’s appointment and he would be a fantastic choice for the struggling club, having previously worked at the highest level with the likes of Inter Milan, Liverpool and the England national team.
His finest moments didn’t come at the top, but he did a fantastic job with both Fulham and West Bromwich Albion in the bottom half of the Premier League and could be just the man to take Birmingham to the next level. Of course, the Championship would be new territory for Hodgson, but with more than 40 years of managerial experience under his belt, Hodgson has enough about him to cope.
The club could opt for a similar appointment in Nigel Pearson, who guided Leicester City from League One to the premier League. Unlike Hodgson, as well as his top flight experience, Pearson has had plenty of practice in the lower reaches of the game. Given their current struggles, Birmingham need somebody with the wisdom to transform a good Championship side into promotion candidates and Pearson has proved in the past that he has that ability.
Of course, the likes of Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane have showed in the last decade that experience isn’t everything in the managerial game. With a number of high-profile former British players beginning to take their first steps into management, Birmingham could consider making a move to unearth a real gem. Ryan Giggs is the man of the moment, while Steven Gerrard is also reportedly keen on moving into management after announcing his retirement at the end of the 2016 MLS season. It remains unclear whether either of them have what it takes to become a top manager, but, if they do, the rewards could be well worth the punt for Birmingham City.