West Brom sacked Tony Pulis after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat against Chelsea left them just one point above the relegation zone. It capped a miserable run of form for the Baggies that has seen them claim just two wins in their last 21 league matches. Axing Pulis represents a huge gamble as the Welshman specialises in dragging relegation-threatened teams to safety, but the fans turned on him and the owners eventually ran out of patience. There is still plenty of time to turn around West Brom’s season, and several leading coaches are in the frame to replace Pulis:
The Northern Ireland boss is the early favourite in this market and as low as 6/5 with Sky Bet, but Boyle Sports is offering a more generous 3/1. O’Neill guided Northern Ireland to Euro 2016 and they came close to securing qualification to the World Cup, only to lose to Switzerland in a heart-breaking playoff. Now he is looking for a new challenge and O’Neill, who lives in Edinburgh, is the odds-on favourite to take over as Scotland boss after being given permission to speak to the country’s FA. However, the chance to manage in the most popular league in the world might cause him to rethink his next move.
Big Sam is 4/1 with William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral and his name understandably gets touted when any Premiership job comes up after the magic he worked at Selhurst Park last season. Palace were dead and buried when Allardyce took over, but he resurrected them and guided them to safety, beating the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal along the way. He left in the summer, claiming he did not fancy another season scrapping away in this unforgiving league, but he showed interest in the vacant Everton job and may be tempted to apply for the West Brom role if he cannot engineer a move to Goodison Park.
The 46-year-old has performed a sterling job at Aberdeen and made them the closest thing Celtic have to a rival in the Scottish Premier League. However, given the Hoops’ dominance north of the border, McInnes may be persuaded to move to England to further his career. Some reports have suggested West Brom have approached the Dons about signing their manager, and McInnes looks a good bet in this market at 6/1 with Bet Victor and 8/1 with Sky Bet.
Sky Bet and William Hill have just 3/1 on the former Crystal Palance, Newcastle Utd and West Ham boss taking the reins at The Hawthorns, but Betfred is offering 10/1. He would be an interesting choice because he has vast Premiership experience and has enjoyed several successful seasons. He would bring a touch of gravitas to the role and might be tempted as he has been out of work for a while now.
The Dutchman is 16/1 with William Hill and various others and he could prove to be an inspired appointment if he is given the job. He won the Eredivisie as manager of Ajax and PSV and did a great job at Southampton, guiding them to sixth place in the Premiership. The following season he finished seventh with Everton, but was sacked this autumn after the Toffees made a poor start to the season. His stock is still fairly high though and he would be a coup for the Baggies, but he may not fancy taking a role that is far from glamorous.
Caretaker boss Gary Megson, a former manager of the club, is 16/1 with Ladbrokes, but the hierarchy is likely to seek a fresh face. Recently sacked bosses Craig Shakespeare and Slaven Bilic are both 25/1, while Ryan Giggs is 33/1 with Betfred. Some are offering 20/1 on former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, which is an interesting left-field shout and Betfred has 50/1 on this.