Right Royal Job - Assessing the Candidates
Paolo Di Canio - The current and overwhelming favourite for the vacant post. Most recently manager at local rivals Swindon, where he guided them to promotion to League One, pushing for automatic promotion the following season. Paolo doesn`t seem to the popular choice among fans for his reported fascist links, but should this defer from his promising managerial abilities?
We would not want another Chelsea-Rafa situation, it is the last thing we would need at the moment. He certainly has the passion and drive to inspire the players in their increasingly difficult survival bid in the Premier League, along with some tactical nous. If he is surrounded with the right people, I would not say no, but would prefer the two men below.
Roberto Di Matteo - At the tender age of 42, the Italian has achieved quite a lot in the game. Similarly to McDermott, despite earning promotion with West Brom, was sacked the following season. Roberto took over at Chelsea a year later, to guide them to FA Cup and Champions League glory against the odds. Reports are saying he is not keen on the job and I think he would have every right to hold out for a bigger job, but it depends how fast he wants to get back into management.
Nigel Adkins - The physio-turned-manager received sympathy across the footballing world for his unjust sacking from Southampton, tipped for a swift return to management. A quite reserved yet positive man, who is one of the very few managers to earn back to back promotions, getting Saints playing some good stuff in the process. Have a slight inkling he could get the job, with obvious barriers with the above candidates.
Alan Curbishley - The former Charlton manager is linked with every Premier League post these days, but can`t see him being appointed here. Some newspapers are claiming he is on the short-list of managers draw up by Nicky Hammond. May have experience in this league, but can`t imagine he would be a popular choice among our fans.
Dick Advocaat - The Russian`s odds have shortened in recent days, with Anton`s Russian links obviously playing a part in this. The former Rangers boss is currently with PSV in the Dutch League, fighting for the title, so will he want to swap that for a relegation battle in the Premier League? I highly doubt it.
Mark Hughes - Despite a very good spell with Fulham two seasons ago, the Welshman`s spell with QPR has very much brought him back down to earth. His experience in this league is probably better than most of the candidates, but as this season has proved, doesn`t prosper with teams now on confidence.
Gus Poyet - The Brighton boss has emerged as one of the favourites today; with some news sources stating he is on the shortlist. I have always been a massive fan of Poyet for this style of football, a style of play which has had him touted as a possible future replacement for Swansea boss Michael Laudrup. However, would he want to leave for a team that is likely to be the same division as him next season? I doubt it.
Karl Robsinson - The MK Dons manager has always done a consistently solid job with the League One side, making them play-off candidates, despite a lack of notable investment. They`re going slightly off the boil at the moment, but Robinson has to earn credit for the job he`s done. Would still be a massive risk at his age.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer - The former Manchester United is earning plaudits for the job be is doing at Molde in Norway, having already won two consecutive league titles. The Premier League would be a completely different kettle of fish for Solksjaer, but his potential is there for everyone to see.
Phil Parkinson - A Royals legend, who is becoming a wanted man for his incredible cup exploits at Bradford. His odds dropped to 5/1 yesterday with Sky Bet, but when questioned about it yesterday, advised people to not put their money on it! Probably still a bit early for Parky, but would be all for him taking the job sometime in the future.
Graeme Murty - Another Royals legend, but would be a good addition to the coaching staff. Currently working at the Southampton academy, but has publicly stated his desire to be a manager one day. Obviously nowhere near ready at the moment, but being given a first team coaching role at the club could be a fair reward for his superb services to the club.
Steve Coppell - You might as well chuck Sir Steve in that legend category, a man that would always be welcome back at this club. He is apparently keen to get back on the managerial scene and was even linked with the Swindon job last month. I have always said you should never go back and tarnish any memories you had, not that relegation would, but he has nothing to prove to us.