There is a multitude of football managers out there, and a great many of them are being linked with the vacant position at Huddersfield Town. Some seem ludicrously over-ambitious, some seem about right, and some seem as if they’d be considerable downgrades, though as always, the caveat remains that you never know how good someone is at something until they try. With a list of favourites emerging (see a poll on fans’ site Down At The Mac HERE) I can’t help but think there’s some perfectly good candidates for the position being completely ignored. As such, I thought I’d write a brief summation of some men I think can do the job, but the press (and the bookies) seem not to.
So here’s a list of some managers you might not have thought of, with brief summaries, and then a few pros and cons where appropriate. They’re not necessarily done in order of favouritism, though I’d have a few preferences. You’ll note that they’re not all English – that’s because the cohort of ‘likely’ managers is generally English.
Chris Powell – Ex of Charlton Athletic
Career Win % – 41.36%
During the early part of Huddersfield’s recent relationship with Charlton that has taken in countless cup games, a promotion and the demise of a 43 game unbeaten run, the unassuming Powell was at the Addicks’ helm. He saw them through choppy waters with aplomb and although he seemed to lose his way a little during last season, his record with the club speaks for itself.
Pros – Knows the division very well, has a good eye for a player, very level headed.
Cons – Has largely been based in the South, left Charlton disappointingly.
MNHMC (Marco’s Next HTAFC Manager Choice) – 7.5/10
Gianluca Vialli – Ex of Chelsea and Watford
Career Win % – 49.23%
Famous for his playing exploits as well as his bald head, Vialli was a catalyst for Chelsea’s resurgence before Abramovich arrived at the club, winning a number of trophies at the late 1990s, including the Cup Winners’ Cup – you may remember a dramatic win in Tromso en route to that.
Pros – Knowledgeable, should have contacts in another country, big name.
Cons – Hasn’t managed since 2002, English is second language.
MNHMC – 6/10
George Burley – Ex of Ipswich Town, Scotland and Southampton
Career Win % – 42.74%
A man who was on the receiving end of the Marcus Stewart sale, George Burley oversaw Ipswich Town’s most successful spell of recent times, proving himself adept and remaining loyal to the club. He has never been able to settle in a job long away from Ipswich, but the stability of his reign of the Tractor Boys is something that Huddersfield Town must be aspiring to at the moment.
Pros – Has great Championship experience, thought highly enough of to be Scotland manager.
Cons – Thought of as fairly defensive, has been out of work since 2012.
MNHMC – 6.5/10
Fabrizio Ravanelli – Ex of Ajaccio
Career Win % – 7.69%
While the Italian’s career started well, as he successfully worked with Juventus’ youth system, the first management job he took was a huge challenge and one that he was not able to live up to – trying to sign players he knew and winning a single game in charge of an Ajaccio team who were doomed from the start. Ravanelli represents something of a gamble, as his abilities are unknown outside the Bianconeri system, but his contacts book must be huge.
Pros – Big name, passion for football is undoubted, has been successful in England before.
Cons – Largely untested, but has only disappointed in first team management, English is not first language.
MNHMC – 3.5/10
Oscar Garcia – Ex of Brighton & HA.
Career Win % – 51.69%
Despite an unsuccessful playoff campaign last season, Garcia was able to continue the good work of Gustavo Poyet at the Amex Stadium and ensure the Brighton remained a promotion candidate amongst teams that – at least at first glance – they should have been well behind. He might have appeared a little tetchy at times, but the passing football his team played was infectious and even brought a decent cup run, too.
Pros – Has showed worth in recent Championship seasons, plays passing, attacking football
Cons – Recently re-joined Maccabi Tel-Aviv so would cost to buy out of contract.
MNHMC – 7.5/10
Micky Adams – Currently of Port Vale
Career Win % – 38.21%
Micky Adams is a name that, when he’s out of work, is linked with every job going – and with good reason. He has a decent track record with working with limited teams with limited funds – witness Port Vale’s promotion despite starting the season in administration. Of course, he would take some prising away from Vale Park, but Adams is a loyal manager who seems capable of getting the best out of his players (Tom Pope?) and improving them over time – just what Huddersfield Town need.
Pros – Has enjoyed success with limited budget, has revolutionised Tom Pope.
Cons – Is currently employed by Port Vale.
MNHMC – 7.5/10
Serse Cosmi – Ex of…Livorno, Siena, Lecce, Palermo….
Career Win % – 37.65%
With his bald head and cap, Cosmi could be a typical Yorkshireman. Unless you see him in action. Never short of passion, and never short of a word or two, he is one of the more instantly recognisable managers there is. Generally working with teams in the lower reaches of the table, he once took Perugia into Europe via the Intertoto Cup. Cosmi is a known advocate of the 3-5-2 that flips to a 5-3-2 out of possession, which is a formation Huddersfield are familiar with.
Pros – Familiar formation in 3-5-2, unquestionable passion for his job, will increase cap sales.
Cons – Has never worked outside Italy before, is more excitable than Lee Clark, is not known for longevity in position.
Hong Myung-Bo – Ex of South Korea.
Career Win % – 20.80%
Hong is perhaps the greatest Asian player of all time, and certainly one of the better known. The jury is still out as to whether South Korea’s decline is related to Hong (No! How could it be?) or related to the lack of talented players coming through youth teams that…were coached by Hong at the time. It would be silly not to mention that he didn’t manage South Korea to Olympic Bronze in London, as well as a bronze in the 2009 Asian Games. OK, so that isn’t the be all and end all, but somebody has to take a chance on Hong, and it would instantly transform Huddersfield into a team that were a global concern – while the fact that his main successes have come with younger teams is a good thing, in my eyes.
Pros – Has enjoyed success in England before, and has shown himself to be good with younger players, is a huge name in world football.
Cons – English is not first language. First team coaching record is very limited.
MNHMC – 6.5/10