Best of British

Last updated : 02 December 2004 By Keith Allman
Milan has popped up on Sky Sports News today saying that he's interested in bringing in someone British for the manager's hotseat (as well as re-affirming that Zajec is not in the running, something that we already knew but that the media are struggling to get to grips with). As well as this, Milan hinted that he may be interested in head-hunting someone from the Football League; "If he's a hard-working man on the field and works well with the players and has demonstrated that he has produced young players into good players, why not", said Pompey's chairman in a roundabout blabbering statement.

So who could this be referring to? Mick McCarthy was a name thrown around early doors, and no doubt he'll feel he has something to prove after Sunderland were dumped out of the Premiership under his stewardship. Even so, the Black Cats are doing better this season and he may want to hang around and finish off the job of trying to get them promoted again. Ian Holloway is another name supposedly in the frame, a popular young manager who has achieved results on the pitch, as well as a cult following off it for his straightforward and no-nonsense approach to the game. Certainly a good option, but QPR will no doubt have something to say, and Holloway himself seems fairly settled. He's under little pressure there, and well-liked.

Steve Cotterill at Burnley is another suggestion, once a target of Harry Redknapp as a potential assistant manager. However, it may be time for him to buckle down to one club; after moving between Cheltenham, Sunderland and Stoke within two years, he needs to really settle down rather than getting a similar reputation to Steve Bruce at the start of his managerial career.

One of the more likely names mentioned is that of Mike Newell at Luton. Although now doing an excellent job managing the club where he was once a player, the lure of stepping up two divisions could be hard to turn down. It's an interesting situation for Newell, as despite being clear at the top of League One he still wasn't the first choice for the job originally - fans voted overwhelmingly in favour of Joe Kinnear in an open poll, but Newell still got the hotseat. Once again, as with Holloway, whether or not he'd leave a club doing well for one where the pressure would be much higher remains to be seen.

Other names linked - more unlikely candidates - include Swindon's Andy King, Leeds' Kevin Blackwell, and former Pompey player Martin Allen, currently in charge at Brentford. Young managers, although they've not really had success at their respective clubs.

And if all else fails, how about Paul Merson for player-manager. Or perhaps not.