The international break is the perfect time to appoint a new manager, as it affords them more time to work with their new squad without the pressure of competitive action.
And so it has proved: Championship sides Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and QPR all relinquishing their previous incumbents of their roles in the last couple of weeks.
So who are heading the Next Permanent Manager markets for these three sought-after jobs?
Paul Lambert (1/7)
Former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is like the classic office Christmas party flirt at the moment – he is apparently in talks with two manager-less clubs, according to Sky Sports.
One of those is Blackburn Rovers, and with his price this short you would have to assume that those talks are in their advanced stage. It’s quite a comedown for the former Champions League winner, who has been unemployed for the best part of a year, to be taking over at a club rooted in the lower reaches of the Championship.
But at these odds, you would assume it is a formality that he will be announced as new manager of the club in due course.
David Moyes (10/1)
The ‘Scottish One’ has been out of work for little over a fortnight after his time at Real Sociedad came to a premature end; he managed just a 28% win ratio at the Spanish club, so his exit was perhaps no surprise.
Following the tremendous job he did at Everton, it will be a worry for Moyes that he has ‘failed’ in his last two roles now at Sociedad and prior to that Manchester United. This means he may have to step down a rung or two of the ladder in order to land his next position: hence the rumours linking him to Blackburn.
He has managed in the north of England three times before, and enjoyed a lengthy spell as a player at Preston North End. A return to his Lancashire roots wouldn’t be a surprise, so keep an eye on Paul Lambert’s movements in the coming days.
Tim Sherwood (14/1)
Bookmakers often like to add two and two together and come up with five; and a lot of punters fall for the bait. Sherwood was of course captain of the Blackburn side that won the Premier League trophy in the 1994/95 season.
But that doesn’t mean all that much when consider that the 46-year-old has been sacked by his previous two clothes after barely six months of service. Ignore the emotional ties: Sherwood is one to avoid here.
Nigel Pearson (5/2)
Nigel Pearson performed a minor miracle in guiding Leicester City to top flight safety last term, and his credentials as a manager – two titles in four full seasons at the Foxes – are not in question.
However, his rather tactless relationship with the media and a series of run-ins with a variety of chairmen will surely make Fulham think twice. Their last four managers – Kit Symons, Felix Magath, Rene Meulensteen and Martin Jol – haven’t come with the level of baggage attached to Pearson, that’s for sure.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (3/1)
A manager with a growing reputation is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and he deserves a lot of credit for taking on his first job in English football at the lower end with Burton Albion; where he is learning the trade, rather than diving in at the deep end with both feet at the top level never to be seen again.
Much of the credit for Burton’s upsurge must go to previous manager Gary Rowett, who brought in many of the personnel and introduced the slick passing style that would see them promoted to League One last term.
Hasselbaink enjoyed a playing career that took in two London clubs, Chelsea and Charlton, and given Fulham’s current Championship status – not going up, not going down – now would be a good time to take a chance on a relative managerial novice. Whether the 43-year-old would be willing to walk out on a three-year contract at Burton after just 12 months remains to be seen.
Uwe Rosler (16/1)
One manager who seems to fit the Fulham blueprint of a thoughtful, continental-style head coach (Symons apart) are Uwe Rosler and Slavisa Jokanovic.
Rosler has done well in English football, essentially guiding Fulham’s London neighbours Brentford to promotion (before he was harshly sacked) before leading Wigan to an FA Cup semi final and a Championship Play Off appearance. At Leeds, he fell victim to the brainless leadership of alleged chairman Massimo Cellino.
In this market, the German looks a smart bet.
Nigel Pearson (4/6)
See Fulham above!
Paul Lambert (5/1)
See Blackburn above!
Neil Warnock (6/1)
You could argue that the ball is in Neil Warnock’s court right now. As the ‘interim manager’, a series of good results would surely see the 66-year-old become the leading contender for the role.
Warnock enjoyed a decent spell in charge of the Hoops from 2010 to 2012, managing to get the best from a testing squad of players including the mercurial Adel Taraabt. He is well-liked by QPR fans and has a good relationship with owner Tony Fernandes even after his sacking.
That’s a strong case to back Warnock in the Next Permanent Manager market.