Vale fans have appealed for an experienced replacement for Michael Brown – so who could be in the frame and who is out of contention?
After opting for Rob Page, Bruno Ribeiro and Michael Brown as the last three appointees – and with limited success, it seems highly likely that Vale will now opt for a more experienced manager, a move that would seem to rule the likes of Chris Morgan or David Kelly, now both caretakers of the side, out of contention for a permanent position.
Old head Micky Adams seems destined for the Director of Football role rather than manager and similarly experienced operators such as Brian Horton and John Rudge would appear to be only considered for the role which Adams is hotly tipped to take up.
It also seems that Nigel Adkins won’t be coming to Vale Park anytime soon. Owner Norman Smurthwaite said he believed Adkins would not drop down to League Two and is holding out for a Championship role.
So, who’s left?
There are several leading contenders according to the bookies. Of the managers out of work, Justin Edinburgh, Ronnie Moore, Martin Allen and Steve Cotterill are both among the favourites. The quartet all offer bags of experience but the question would seem to be – which of these would be prepared to work under a Director of Football rather than in the more traditional managerial role? The same would seem to apply to Accrington’s John Coleman, very much admired by this website’s editor Rob Fielding among many other Vale fans, but would he be tempted by the new set-up or put off?
There’s also a younger crop of managers being linked. Former Vale players Gareth Ainsworth and Neil Aspin both have their admirers and would perhaps be happier to work under an older head such as Micky Adams. However, the dark horse could be Macclesfield’s John Askey. He’s local, has bags of experience in the non-league and is admired by Phil Sproson, who is known to be one of Smurthwaite’s confidants about the new appointment.
It looks like there is no one outstanding candidate so fans thinking of taking up betting offers such as those offered on Titanbet sportsbook stand a chance of a tidy payout if their hunch proves to be correct.
However, one thing seems certain. If Micky Adams is appointed Director of Football then the club’s next manager definitely won’t be Ryan Burge. Burge has astonishingly applied for the manager’s role claiming a record of playing success and the relevant coaching qualifications. However, Burge and Adams infamously fell out during the midfielder’s time at the club and any left-field appointment for the 27 year-old would seem to be about as likely as Vale making a call to the likes of Jim Gannon, Lee Sinnott or Dean Glover.
Whoever it is, they have a tough task to reinvigorate Vale’s fortunes. The transfer window is now firmly shut and Vale’s squad appears inbalanced, inexperienced and short of confidence. The new boss will certainly need to address the side’s lack of goals as an urgent priority.
Whoever it is, we wish them luck.