Nine managerial options for Stoke City following Hughes sacking

Matthew Kirby takes a look at who could replace Mark Hughes.

Nine managerial options for Stoke City following Hughes sacking
Ronald Koeman and Slaven BIlic both lost their Premier League jobs earlier this season. Photo via Getty Images

Mark Hughes was relieved of his duties as Stoke City manager after an Emirates FA Cup defeat to Coventry City on Saturday.

Other results have meant the Potters have slipped into the Premier League relegation zone and their ten-year stay in the top-flight could be coming to an end.

Stoke have won just two of their last 12 league games plus they have the worst defensive record in the division, which ultimately cost the Welshman his job.

 

 

 

Here is a list of potential replacements after Hughes was given the boot.

Ronald Koeman

Everton sacked the Dutchman in October following a 5-2 defeat to Arsenal leaving the club in 18th place. However, he guided the Toffees to seventh in his first full season in charge and a bit of patience could have seen him transform their campaign.

The 54-year-old had previously guided Southampton to finishes of seventh and sixth respectively before taking the Goodison Park hot seat and there was plenty to like with what he achieved on the south coast.

If he was ready to get back into management then he’s got the calibre that ticks the Premier League experience box but will the job done at Everton have left a slight stain on his record?

Martin O’Neill

Stoke chairman Peter Coates is a long-time admirer of O’Neill and his methods, so he would be a very plausible option despite the direct nature of his football.

 

 

 

Think back to his time at Aston Villa where he guided them to three sixth-placed finishes when it looked likely they were to challenge the established ‘top four’ of the time.

He has a 36% win rate as a Premier League manager and if the interest was there from both parties then he’d be the most likely appointment.

Steve McClaren

After spending time in Israel working as a consultant at Maccabi Tel Aviv, the former England manager has returned to these shores ready to get back into management.

He won the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Twente back in 2010 and he’s since had short spells back at the club plus two tries at Derby plus time in charge of Newcastle.

In the Premier League, his points per game is 1.22, which is better than what Mark Hughes earned last season (1.16) and the current 0.91. Given he’s made noises about returning to management then he is one that the Stoke board could target.

Nigel Pearson

Currently in charge of OH Leuven in Belgium but the former Leicester manager could surely be tempted by a Premier League position.

Pearson joined Stoke in 1999 with Gary Megson as manager. However, Megson didn’t last too much longer and was replaced by Gudjon Thordarson and the pair struck up a good working relationship that saw them work together until the Icelandic was sacked in 2001.

He’s worked for the club before, has Premier League experience and could be a good short-term appointment to get players into gear for a survival scrap.

Thomas Tuchel

The former Borussia Dortmund manager has been out of work since May but has been linked to a number of jobs, including the Everton role.

He came to prominence during a spell at Mainz where he led them to their best Bundesliga finish before joining Dortmund to follow in the footsteps of Jurgen Klopp.

This appointment would be one of real intent and is pie in the sky given the board’s inclination to want a British manager with Premier League experience.

Andre Villas-Boas

Left his job in the Chinese Super League with Shanghai SIPG to race in the Dakar Rally at the end of January.

 

 

 

That would mean putting an interim manager in the job until the end of the month and AVB coming in with little of the transfer window to sign his players but he’d shake it up with a better brand of football to the one that is currently on offer.

After spells at Chelsea and Spurs in the Premier League, this would be a considerably different task for the 40-year-old but one where he could thrive if things went to plan.

Slaven Bilic

Not yet snapped up to be the next James Bond villain but the former West Ham gaffer will be looking to write the wrongs following his dismissal from the London Stadium.

Seventh in his first season in charge at the club was followed by an 11th placed finish, which was put down to the stadium move but things didn’t start too well this season with the Hammers loitering around the drop zone after spending £40 million in summer.

Last month he said he was ‘ready to go again’, so if the call came I’m sure Bilic would be willing to take over from Hughes.

Brendan Rodgers

The Northern Irishman is one who would fit a couple of the criteria set by the Stoke board – British and has Premier League experience.

He’s suffered just one league defeat since moving north of the border, as his Celtic side has broken record after record in Scottish football.

If he was getting fed up of the monotony of domination then a different task could await him in the Potteries, however, if he were to leave Celtic then you’d imagine it being in the summer.

Graham Potter

Seemingly re-writing Swedish club football right now, as he’s transformed the fortunes of Ostersunds taking them fourth-tier to the Allsvenskan, winning the Swedish League Cup and guiding them to the Europa League knockout stages.

The 42-year-old went to Sweden for his opportunity and he’s taken it with both hands. He’s altered the fortunes of the club plus a number of players he’s taken under his wing at the club.

He spent three years as a player at Stoke, so if the board want an ex-player who is making a name for himself by playing attractive football and winning things, then Potter’s the man.