Date:Thursday October 5 2006
One day, although hopefully sometime down the line yet Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes will move on, but when he does who could be in the frame to take over the Ewood Park hot seat?
Before the UEFA Cup second leg tie with Salzburg a former Rovers star Mike Newell, currently managing another of his former sides Luton Town in the Championship would have plenty of good words for his former team, words of which would get Vital Blackburn member Clint thinking:
"As for Newell himself, could he be a potential Blackburn manager??? Hughes will eventually move on to one of the 'bigger' clubs, i.e. Utd at some stage and Newell is cutting his teeth well in the game with Luton, who play some good football in the next Division - he would definitely be worth a thought."
Players often have a soft spot for their former clubs, especially if they have enjoyed a successful time with them, enduring a good relationship with the club and its fans therefore naturally will be linked with them in a managerial capacity in the future, so Mike Newell will be no exception.
As for other potential candidates Clint would add this:
"I would think Aidy Boothroyd from Watford may have a good shout along with Newell they would be MY first options, not done too much in the game but really good up and coming managers who would have fresh ideas just like Hughes at the minute. It depends on the time of the next man in charge, we'll have to see how Keane at Sunderland goes, may turn out to be half decent or Ranieri would be perfect as I like him but again depends where he is at the time."
So who are his candidates and what have they achieved, or in the case of most of them, having been fresh to management what could they achieve?
Mike Newell: 48 goals in 167 appearances for Rovers, with them being one of thirteen different clubs, seeing him play over 500 league matches scoring over 120 league goals, he needs little introduction really.
Newell got his first taste of management with Hartlepool United in the 2002-2003 season taking over from Chris Turner, who had departed for his former club as a player Sheffield Wednesday. Despite winning promotion with a second place finish Newell would be shown the door due to the poor end of season showing in which a massive sixteen point league would be thrown away.
He wouldn't be out of work for long as Luton offered him the manager's job in the summer of 2003, at the time rumoured to be as a result of a "fans poll" on who should take over, which despite him winning wasn't the truth.
With a side in severe financial trouble Newell would somehow steer a bare bones squad to the brink of the League One play-off's, when relegation was widely predicted by so many. 2004-2005 would see him guide Luton to the League One Title and a place in the Championship where they have remained.
Not afraid to speak his mind, and stand up for what he believes in, would be the instigator for the enquiry into football corruption following his "bung" allegations. With little or no money he has achieved wonders with Luton and as such not unsurprisingly has been linked with other sides in the past. Part of Rovers folk law so wouldn't need to convince many of his quality or commitment.
Adrian Boothroyd: "Aidy" would have a good career as a full back, primarily as a lower league player, although he would have a spell with Hearts in Scotland before his playing career would be ended prematurely through injury.
His playing career would end whilst at Peterborough, so it would be with these that he started his coaching career managing their U17, U19 and then reserve teams before his quality was spotted by Norwich City in 2001.
His duties at Carrow Road would be as a youth team coach, before taking up the roles of Youth Development Officer and Technical Director with West Bromwich Albion in 2003. Boothroyd would be on the move again in 2004 taking over as a First Team Coach at Leeds United.
Somewhat surprisingly he would be appointed manager of Watford early in 2005. Even some of the Watford fans couldn`t hide their surprise and concerns on the appointment but in his first full season as manager he guided the hornets back to the Premiership via the play-off at the end of the 2005-2006 season.
Having worked miracles to guide Watford to the Premiership, he is going to have to work even more to keep them there, but if anyone can Aidy can. Young, enthusiastic and above all full of ambition, just the type of person Rovers fans would want, although Watford will not want to lose him, but probably much like Rovers themselves with Hughes one day they will.
Roy Keane: Everyone knows almost everything there is to know about Roy Keane, so his playing career, in which he would be one of the greatest footballers of his, or arguably any other generation, so this doesn't need covering.
Always said he wanted to be a manager, and will almost certainly one day manage Manchester United. Taken his first steps into management with Sunderland in the Championship following his appointment in August 2006.
Keane isn't one to shy away from saying what he feels and telling it as it is. If he can find the right balance for his sometimes volatile temperament he has all the attributes needed to succeed at the very highest level.
Unless with a "massive" club by the time Hughes does eventually leave then should Rovers come calling they may get him as manager having failed to get him as player when they were linked to him in a playing capacity towards the end of his career. The worry would be that should a Manchester United or someone as big come calling he wouldn't hang around for long?
Claudio Ranieri: The eccentric Italian`s playing career as a defender would see him start with his home town club of Roma in 1973, only playing six matches before seeing out his days in 1986 with U.S. Catanzaro, Catania and Citta di Palermo all in the Italian lower leagues.
Ranieri made his name as a manager with Calgliari taking them from Serie C1 to Serie A in successive seasons between 1988 and 1991. In two years with Napoli he would finish a Serie A season in fourth but failed to win anything.
Fiorentina would be his next port of call in 1993, and after winning promotion from Serie B to Serie A he would maintain high levels of performances, winning both Italian Cups. Leaving for Spain in 1997, he guided Valencia to the European Cup Final during his time with the club between 1997 and 1999 before an ill-fated short spell with Atletico Madrid, who suffered financial difficulties.
Ranieri came to the attention of English fans in 2000 when he took over as manager of Chelsea. He spent big, and this was before Roman Abramovich's arrival, and despite achieving decent things with Chelsea, the highlight being a runners up place at the end of the 2003-2004 season, this would eventually not be deemed good enough by Abramovich, who had arrived in 2003, letting him spend a staggering Ł120 million in the summer of 2003!
Known as the tinkerman due to his rotation policy he is however a very good manager, who gets the best out of people. Not afraid to bring through youngsters, having done so with Valencia, bringing through people like Gaizka Mendieta and Miguel Angel Angulo to name but two and people like John Terry, Robert Huth and Carlton Cole at Chelsea. He also has a knack of picking up talented youngsters.
Ranieri laid the groundwork for the success that has been built upon by both Valencia and Chelsea, and although he had money to spend with Chelsea he generally, but not always spends it wisely and on the right people on the whole. With the renowned talent that is produced by the Ewood Park academy, with so much talent at his disposure at Ewood Park what could he achieve?
All of this is of course hypothetical, and until Hughes eventually does move on, which all being well will not be for some time to come yet it is a situation Rovers do not have to consider, however all the names mentioned could fill his shoes, if and when needed if available at the time?
As for what you think, these are a few of Clint's options and what they have achieved and what I think they'd offer, why not have your say by posting comment below...
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Date:Thursday October 5 2006
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