Crystal Palace . . . Steve Coppell
Coppell is one of the best English managers around. In management for 26 years, his CV is bursting with success stories. He would be a good choice for pretty much any side in this division.
He is also a Palace legend. It’s going to be a tough few months in South London and it will be a great advantage to have someone who will have the fans behind him.
Finally, Coppell has unfinished business. For all his achievements, the tag of “quitter” hangs over him. The way he walked out on Bristol, a club that had shown faith in him by giving him money to spend, left a bad taste in the mouth. Taking on a relegation scrap would prove his mettle.
Burnley . . . Eddie Howe
Just 33 years of age, Eddie Howe is the golden boy of English football management. His achievements with Bournemouth are stunning. In a couple of years, he has taken them from battling to avoid relegation to the Conference to fighting for promotion to the Championship. All this with the added complications of a points deduction and a transfer embargo.
There would be a degree of risk. Howe is young and has no Championship experience. But why not embrace talent when you see it? I can’t help feeling that a Championship club is eventually going to take Howe on and will be well-rewarded. Burnley also seems the perfect environment for a young manager to develop. It’s a well-run club with a stable finanical situation and reasonable expectations.
Burnley fans could well consider the case of Owen Coyle. He was older than Howe but came to Burnley after just a couple of years managing in the Scottish First Division. And that worked out rather well.
Preston . . . Gary Megson
Megson is not a popular figure; just the mention of his name is enough to make many football fans shudder. At Bolton, he was widely disliked despite doing well.
This isn’t a time for sentiment at Deepdale. Megson is vastly experienced and has a track record of getting a decent job done with very little. His style of football is notoriously basic. But when you are bottom of the table with perhaps the weakest squad in the division, basic might just be the best option.