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Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Hull’s management contenders

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Phil Brown may have only just been removed from his position at Hull around 12 hours ago, yet the club are already assuring fans that they have a shortlist of managers they would like to speak to, and hope to appoint somebody by Wednesday.

Any manager who jumps into the Hull hotseat is going to be under massive pressure. 3 points from safety, and working with a squad who are unfamiliar to whoever takes the job, is a huge undertaking even for the most experienced of managers.

Alan Curbishley, who has been without a club since leaving West Ham in 2008, has been quickly ruled out by those in the know at Hull.

Who is going to try and attempt to be the hero for Hull? These are the rumoured contenders:

Gary Megson

Until recently, Megson was residing at fellow Premier League strugglers Bolton. Although he managed to save them from the drop in his first Premier League season with the club, he seemed unpopular with the fans and his team spent most of the time going from one relegation battle to the other. He was relieved of his duties back in December, and is effectively on gardening leave as the club and Megson were unable to come to any agreement.

Although his tenure at Bolton was difficult, he is remembered fondly at West Bromwich Albion. Like Bolton, he managed to keep the Baggies up in his first season in charge, and lead them back into the Premier League, although they struggled to maintain this position, and gained a reputation as a yo-yo team.

Based on these two roles, Megson has proven somewhat that he can steady a sinking ship and claw a team back to safety, but perhaps not the vision they need in a long term manager.

Iain Dowie

Iain Dowie has been out of full time management since the end of 2008 when he left QPR after just 15 games in charge. Since then, he has worked with the Newcastle coaching staff at the end of the 2008/2009 season, but now seems to have turned his hand to working as a sports pundit for Sky Sports.

Dowie carved out a great reputation at Palace, where he managed to take the club from 19th place to 6th place, and secured a Premier League place with a win over West Ham in the final. Although Palace only lasted one season in the top league, he was still greatly admired within football and the club rebuffed Portsmouth’s advances in 2006. The end of his leadership at Palace did not go well, with the club badly losing to Watford in the semi-finals and Dowie coming to a mutual agreement to leave the club, which later infuriated Simon Jordan as he joined Charlton just 8 days later.

The lack of steady management in the CV of Dowie over the past few years is not something that will go for the manager. He has proved though to be a likeable figure, and seems to inject a boost of life into struggling teams. Once again, as a short term appointment, he could possibly help turn the season around. He was linked with the job before however, and said that taking a job at Hull would be a slap in the face for his family.

Paul Jewell

Paul Jewells record at Wigan is something people will look upon the most. A team that rose from the old division two to the Premier League is a bit of a fairytale. Jewell lead his Wigan side to a League Cup final, which they ultimately lost, and his name was whispered as a contender for England manager when Sven Goran-Erikkson left the England set up, but Jewell ultimately lost out to Steve McLaren.

After leaving Wigan, he took over Derby who were struggling in the top league. Jewells magic just couldn’t rub off on the Midlands side, with them equalling a Premier League record of 11 points gained during the season. Derby continued to struggle, and he left when they were placed 18th in the Championship.

Jewell is a good, young manager who would benefit from a brand new challenge. A break from the game has probably done him good. If he could manage to steer them away from the drop, he would only add to his reputation as a manager. He also seems the type of manager who could work with Hull in the long haul, and aim for a return in the Premier League should the worse happen.

Mark Hughes

Unlike the managers above, Hughes’ first foray into management came on an international, rather than a domestic level. As Wales manager from 1999 – 2004, he managed to transform them from a struggling side to a side who narrowly missed out on Euro 2004 qualification, with a highlight being the welsh win over Italy in the qualifying stages.

It seems a familiar tale, but Hughes also joined his domestic club with the aim of steering them away from relegation. As well as avoiding the drop, Hughes also lead Blackburn to their first FA Cup Semi-final in over 40 years.

He showed to have a great eye for a bargain, and managed to get some fantastic players into the club for relatively low amounts of money. The likes of Benni McCarthy (£2 million), David Bentley (£500,000) and Roque Santa Cruz (£3.5 million) transformed the side, and lead them to a tenth place finish in the 2006-2007 season. Other highlights included reaching the final 32 of the UEFA cup, and 3 FA Cup Semi-Finals. His management career at Blackburn ended on a high, with a 7th placed finish in May 2008.

Hughes then moved to Manchester City, who were then bought by the Abu Dhabi investment group. This meant that Hughes had huge amounts of money at his disposal, and with this came greater expectation. Although his second season at City started well, a run of successive draws meant that Hughes was removed from his post, some would argue rather harshly, to be replaced by Roberto Mancini.

Mark Hughes would be the manager they really wanted. He managed to show his high class pedigree in his transformation of Blackburn. Although he wouldn’t have a transfer window to use at Hull, many would argue that Hughes would be the one to motivate these players to battle for their place in the Premier League. He is also a fantastic long term prospect. With Hull having estimated debts of around £40 million, any manager who comes to Hull for the long term will need to have an eye for a bargain. If Hughes could mould Hull into the sort of team that Blackburn were under his reign, the Hull board would have no worries for the future.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

March 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

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