Rightly or wrongly, Phil Parkinson is under pressure. 2 points from 9 games is worthy of dismissal in clubs up and down the country regardless of the backroom situation. With no goals being scored and a weak defence being picked apart by opponents, perhaps it is time to start looking around.
Despite the poor performances, I don’t think firing Parkinson is a good idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, the squad just isn’t good enough to survive in the Championship so no one can help us. Secondly, he knows the way out of League One with this team so keeping him could help us bounce back. Finally, paying to fire him would be an inefficient use of the club’s limited resources - especially if we end up going down with a new man in charge.
Here are some of the potential candidates to replace Parky, if the Andersons do pull the trigger.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Adkins was one of the leading candidates lined up to replace Lennon in the Summer of 2016; his name being discussed hours before Parkinson was appointed. His last managerial post was at the biggest club in world football, Sheffield United, where he under performed and guided the Blades to an 11th place finish. He spent a successful portion of his career at Southampton, taking them to the Premier League, in 2012.
He is currently without a club.
Steve Cotterill is currently the assistant manager of Birmingham City, after being recruited by Redknapp to avoid the drop last year. He previously managed Bristol City and got them promoted to the Championship, but after a difficult start the following season he was fired in January. He has an attacking philosophy, which led to clashes at Bristol as he didn’t have the freedom to build the team he wanted - a situation likely to be replicated at Bolton due to financial difficulties and embargoes.
He is one of the favourites to take the Birmingham job but if he doesn’t, his job as assistant manager will likely be in jeopardy as a new man would want to bring in a new face. People who he has worked with recognise his talent and so, out of the bunch, he would be my choice to succeed Parkinson.
The former Derby and Newcastle manager has experience in the Championship but was never able to get Derby promoted, despite the wealth and ambition of the club. He is currently a coaching consultant at Maccabi Tel Aviv, but may be tempted back into management if his wages were high enough.
My major concern with this appointment is that he isn’t very good. During his second spell with Derby, where he had one of the most talented squads in the league, he couldn’t get them to the play offs so I dread to think what he would do with a squad built on a shoestring.
Currently the favourite to become the new Birmingham City manager, Karanka got Middlesborough back in the Premier League after working under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. During his tenure, they reached the Play Off final in 2015, with the help of player of the year Patrick Bamford, and automatic promotion in 2016. He was fired in December after failing to adapt to the Premier League, however he remains a proven Championship manager.
This is unlikely. Karanka’s success at Boro was due, in part, to the financial strength of the club and as Bolton are some kind of embargo, the extent of which is unclear, he would probably choose to steer clear. As he is a manager looking to get clubs promoted, he may not want to sully his reputation with a relegation fight at Bolton or, perhaps, Birmingham.
What surprised me about Phil Parkinson’s appointment last year was that we had to buy him out of his Bradford contract, which was expected to rule him out of contention. This could put Kevin Nolan, the Notts County manager who recently signed a three year contract, in the frame. Currently second in League Two with a 6-1-1 record, he may be the man to turn us around. He was a fan favourite during his time at Bolton, having recently been voted the 7th best player to grace the Reebok, meaning he may be open to coming ‘home’.
The biggest obstacle for this to work is the contract as the Andersons may not be willing to pay the considerable fee that Notts County would demand, especially if we have to pay to sack Parkinson. Furthermore, winning games in League Two is one thing but the Championship is an entirely different ball game, as Parkinson himself has proven going from 25-11-10 in League One to 0-3-7.
The idea that the Del Boy of football managers would come to a club as skint as ours is laughable.
No, please, there is only so much I can take...
Does anyone have Patricia Anderson’s phone number?