With the departure of a manager, speculation and rumours are bound to follow. As Neil Warnock’s departure from Cardiff City was announced, betting companies installed their favourites to succeed the Cardiff legend.
But who do the VFTN team fancy as Cardiff’s next manager?
Scott Salter – Nathan Jones
I was tempted to put myself – I’ve had a bit of success as Cardiff manager on Football Manager!
Anyway, I’d welcome Nathan Jones as Cardiff’s next manager. Welsh, a former Cardiff youth player and plenty of positive ideas of how football should be played and a club operated. He’d no doubt look to introduce youth players to the first team.
I know it didn’t work out at Stoke – but that is a cursed club at the moment. I don’t think that should be a reflection on his managerial record or class.
Having spoken to a Stoke fan, he admitted that Jones was highly unlucky, although could’ve adapted better as it was his way or the highway when it came to style of play. He does say he thinks Jones will learn and adapt and be better in his next role.
Ask a Luton fan and they’ll give you a positive assessment. Jones would be an appointment that would excite me – although I appreciate many will be put off by his time at Stoke.
Scott Johnson – Chris Hughton
I just don’t see a better option out there than Chris Hughton.
Plenty of the names doing the rounds don’t do it for me and some of them would be a crushing disappointment. Some are calling for revolution rather than evolution and I think that’s a very bad idea. We all lived through Cardiff going from Malky Mackay to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Russell Slade after all.
Cardiff have 18 months to get things right, or chances are that this team will be disbanded. Hughton has a more refined approach than Neil Warnock, but wouldn’t bring about a culture clash. He’s also one of the good guys, which counts for a lot in my book.
This all depends on Cardiff being able to afford and attract him of course, as he turned down Stoke’s recent advances while he holds out for a Premier League opening. There are further caveats in that he was overlooked in favour of Mackay and that Paul Trollope is his assistant, but I don’t really see either as an insurmountable obstacle.
Fail that, just please not Tony Pulis! Warnock, with none of the charm.
Ben James – Gareth Ainsworth
There’s a lot of dross out there at the moment. A lot of names I really don’t want.
If we are trying to make a statement about the next few years and how this football club is going to look, then Gareth Ainsworth is our man. This isn’t because he used to play for us – thanks for signing my ticket while you at a hot dog, Gaz! It’s because he’s doing things the right way, building an ethos at a football club but also getting results.
Cardiff fans want a full blooded manager, a manager who is passionate. Well, he doesn’t have the nickname Wild Thing for nothing. But I think we are now craving a progressive manager, someone who wants to build a culture at the club. And he’s doing that too. Wycombe have impressed and built year on year for the past seasons and I think Cardiff fans would respect good, progressive football, even if it doesn’t lead to immediate results.
It also feels like he’s looking for a move. If we can get him now, he could be the manager that takes us to the next level and installs a long-term ethos that so many crave.
Paul Gronow – Alex Neil
Cardiff City need someone who knows the Championship well and someone who can transition the club from long ball to today’s preferred passing style. Alex Neil represents precisely those things and has a good record in the Championship to boot.
He is in the mould of a Cardiff City manager, someone who likes hard work and graft and takes absolutely no prisoners on or off the pitch. One of the younger managers in the league, he represents a solid long-term investment and would be a real statement of intent.
Granted with the way Preston are going this season, it would be a real coup to get him but Cardiff City represent a very attractive proposition and so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he would come.
It’s essential Cardiff City get this right, now is the time for the Bluebirds to push on and Alex Neil would allow this to happen seamlessly.
Scott is a lifelong Cardiff City fan and freelance football writer. Scott hosts the VFTN podcast.