As Frank Lampard edges towards a return to Chelsea, Derby County are kicking off their own recruitment drive. The Rams were rewarded for their Lampard gamble, as they went to the playoff final. Now the key is to find a boss who can take this squad a step further, probably under more challenging conditions than Lampard faced. Championship promotion is the aim again, regardless of who takes charge.
Just who will succeed Lampard at Pride Park? Applications for the role have been reportedly flooding in for weeks now, despite Chelsea dragging their heels over a move for their former player. There’s obviously a lot of interest in one of the Championship’s biggest jobs. We’re looking through the contenders and the latest betting odds to find our prediction for the next Derby boss.
Dutchman Philip Cocu emerged as the favourite for the Rams post over the weekend. He’s priced up at 6/4 with Betfair to make the leap to Pride Park. The former PSV manager built-up his reputation during some glorious years in the Eredivisie, but he suffered a setback during a short-spell in Fenerbahce. However, could he be about to resurrect his managerial ambitions in the Championship?
While Cocu is a big name who could fill Lampard’s footsteps, this one isn’t quite so simple. Seeing him jump from the Eredivisie to English football will bring back memories of Franck de Boer. The failure of the former Palace boss makes this a harder transition for Cocu. There’s also the fact that Derby have never had a foreign manager which has us avoiding the current frontrunner.
Next up is Darren More, a man sacked for only getting West Brom to fourth place last season. The club didn’t effectively replace him, which has boosted Moore’s reputation even more. He enjoyed a decent 12 months in charge without really delivering anything major. Despite that, he’s a 2/1 chance with Betfair to take this job. Moore would be a steady hand on the wheel, but can he really drag Derby forward?
The Rams have a sentimental reason to turn to him, following on from Chelsea’s lead. Moore was a key part of their 2006/07 side which gained promotion. That was the last time that they made it into the top flight. Moore played in the Premier League with Derby during that campaign
His managerial record was mixed, with 23 wins from 48 games in charge of West Brom. However, his problems sustaining home form and inability to organise their defence led to his dismissal at the Hawthorns. It’s hard to imagine that record is going to tempt the Baggies into turning to Moore as Lampard’s successor.
Lincoln boss Danny Cowley is in the frame for almost every Championship job at the moment. He’s just guided his side into League One, but he’s going places either with or without his current club. Many in the game expect Cowley to continue to climb up the ranks, but will he do it at Pride Park? Cowley can be found at 6/1 with Betfair to take the role.
Derby showed their willingness to take a chance when they moved for Lampard. Cowley has much more managerial experience than the incoming Chelsea boss. However, there’s a big risk for a side who were 90 minutes shy of the Premier League in May. It’s also a big leap for Cowley to try and promote a side who have been Championship contenders since 2008. Given that he’s also going to cost Derby money in compensation, we expect Cowley to be passed over for this one.
One man who has featured in every Championship managerial race has been Chris Hughton. The former Brighton boss was sacked at the end of last season, which has left him on the market. So far he’s been linked with a second-tier return, given his experience at building sides towards a return to the top flight.
Hughton was an early contender for West Brom and now Derby, but like the Hawthorns job talk linking him to Pride Park has cooled. We’ve seen him drift out of the frame, which has led to his price dropping to 20/1 with Betfair. As a result, we struggle to see Hughton as a real contender to take charge.
After leaving Birmingham City, Garry Monk isn’t likely to stay out of a job that long. He doesn’t tend to stay in jobs all that long, either. Despite that, Monk is a great option at this level. He has done solid jobs at Swansea, Leeds and Birmingham. His time at Middlesbrough wasn’t great, but he also didn’t get time at the Riverside.
Thanks to Birmingham’s calamitous ownership, Monk is now available on a free. The former Swansea boss has experience playing a passing game, which is something Derby want. He may have to make concessions over playing youth-team products and the club’s transfer policy. However, he’s got recent experience when it comes to overachieving in this division.
Given Monk’s pedigree, his price and the marks against the other contenders, we think he’s a brilliant option out at 25/1 with Betfair. He’s reportedly been included in Derby’s shortlist, so expect his price to drop as a result. We are backing Monk to make the jump to Pride Park, especially at those odds.