Life after Malky?
We`ve seen this all before - club of similar stature to our own sacks grossly underachieving manager, our manager linked loosely before eventually taking the post despite fervently denying any interest in the job.
In fairness to Malky Mackay, nothing is done yet, and he is, as yet, to deny his interest in the vacant managers post at Burnley (not sure if that makes this better or worse though). Bad news certainly came this morning though as SkyBet and a host of other bookmakers slashed their odds on Malky joining Burnley from 5/2 to 1/5 or 1/4 in some cases.
Now of course, the bookmakers aren`t always right, but they`re very rarely wrong once they get some inside information and this gross fluctuation in odds certainly points in the direction of Malky making the move to Turf Moor in the very near future.
So, say the worst does happen and Malky becomes a Claret, who is going to take the hotseat at Vicarage Road?
We all know money is tight, and there seems little point in losing the money we make from Mackay by compensating another club for their manager`s service`s - else what`s the point in player/manager trading.
Therefore, it seems most likely somebody will be promoted from within or a free agent with relatively cheap wage demands becomes gaffer at the Vic`.
So, from within - who`s it going to be? Sean Dyche
is the immediate choice and the former Hornet`s centre-back would surely step up to be caretaker if Mackay were to depart. Dyche has served his apprenticeship with the club, rejoining the coaching staff under Aidy Boothroyd in 2007 before serving under Malky as assistant since the Scot`s appointment in the Summer of 2009.
In terms of experience of management, like Mackay, Rodgers, Boothroyd and Lewington - nil. But then between those four times were hardly appalling for any great spell.
Alec Chamberlain is another experienced Hornet in the ranks of the coaching staff but has the former goalkeeper got designs on management, and would the board fancy him - very few managers go onto management afterall and even fewer succeed.
The final football-based member of Mackay`s backroom team is first-team coach David Kerslake, another man without actual experience of management, though the 44 year-old is young enough to make the transition from the backroom to the front of house with plenty of coaching experience at Spurs and Northampton. Surely the outsider of any in-house candidates.
Looking further afield it`s hard to see anyone who`d fit the 'young, hungry, cheap` bill. Chris Hughton has been mooted but surely the former Newcastle coach is far to expensive. George Burley has just got the boot (once more) at Crystal Palace but the Scot is frankly old and done badly at Southampton, Scotland and Palace now so losing stock rapidly.
Brian Laws, Ian Dowie and Kevin Blackwell are all floating around somewhere in the managerial wilderness but surely none of them fit the board`s shortlist parameters...
A younger manager on the dole is of course Darren Ferguson, but the Scot is used to having money to spend at Peterborough where he made a name for himself signing rough diamonds from the lower leagues.
In short, who knows? I`d expect it to be a youngster or someone from within the club`s existing coaching structure, but only time will tell.
Of course, all this said, Malky could stay. Chief Executive Julian Winter has made clear that the club have had no approaches for the former centre-half and that any approach would 'not be welcome`.
Furthermore, Burnley fans reckon that the interviewing process only began yesterday. Perhaps, perhaps, we`re all getting wound up about nothing!