This weekend’s return of Championship sees three high profile managers back patrolling the sidelines in a bid to turn around the fortunes of some massive clubs.
Steve Bruce (who looks like he hasn’t touched gravy since leaving Hull) took over at Aston Villa last night, while Neil Warnock (who’s in search of his 17 millionth promotion) was appointed Cardiff City manager eight days ago. However, possibly the most shocking comeback of all was Derby’s resurrection of (the Wally with a brolly) Steve McClaren yesterday.
With the recent spate of creepy clown sightings terrifying people across Ireland and the UK, we’ve decided to have a look at what they’ll bring to their new clubs and rate their chances of success, circus style.
So will the trio come out as a good clown or total jokes? Let’s find out!
God, one day at Aston Villa has already taken its toll on Steve Bruce… pic.twitter.com/6S3cC2ycwu
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 13, 2016
After being linked with every job from England national team manager to Swansea, Steve Bruce finally made his return to football management on Wednesday night taking charge of relegated giants Aston Villa.
Bruce walked out of Hull, after a rumoured fall out over lack of investment in the team, just a week before the start of this Premier League season in the wake of winning promotion through the Championship Play-Offs the previous campaign. His stint in charge of rivals Birmingham will mean patience will be in short supply from beleaguered Villa fans, but there’s no doubting his quality record at this level.
Bruce has four promotions to his name (Birmingham 2001-02, 2006-07 and Hull 2012-13, 2015-15) – including two Play-Off wins – and seems to be genuinely liked by players wherever he goes. He’s to get Villa promoted by the way, despite their horrific start to the season.
His first test on Saturday is a stern one at home to Wolves, but he’ll at the very least get Villa stuttering defence in order. A first win in 10 for the Villians comes in at and you wouldn’t put it past good old Brucey!
Verdict: Good clown.
ICYMI: Neil Warnock was named new Cardiff City manager today. Gives us another excuse to look at his likeness to Tony Soprano’s mum. pic.twitter.com/8eRM1ugIYL
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 5, 2016
Club in crisis? Just sacked your manager in the Championship? Who you gonna call?
Neil Warnock that’s who! You really can just imagine him sitting by a glowing red phone every time a manager departs.
Wales was his next port of call, as Cardiff City turned to the veteran after Paul Trollope lasted just 12 games at the club. Warnock has wasted no time diving straight into the free agent market for marquee names like: Keiran Richardson, Junior Hoilett, Sol Bamba and Marouane Chamakh.
If the former Sheffield United gaffer has the brief of keeping the club in the Championship, than he is probably the right man for this job given his miracle act at Rotherham last season.
A win over local rivals Bristol City at on Friday would be the perfect start to Warnock’s efforts to get the Bluebirds flying again.
Verdict: Good clown – as long as Championship survival is the aim.
CONFIRMED: Steve McClaren is back at Derby…https://t.co/3lscLpGHn9
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 12, 2016
This one has got even Paddy perplexed, as former England manager Steve McClaren returned to Derby County just 17 months after they sacked him previously.
McClaren was dogged by Newcastle job rumours towards the end of his time at the Rams, and his failure to dismiss those coupled with not making the Play-Offs brought his reign to an end in 2015.
He did take Derby to the 2014 Play-Off final, losing out to QPR, and McClaren’s 54 per cent win ratio in charge of the Rams previously is impressive. However, with yet another managerial mess on his hands at Newcastle last season, this is a move destined to finish in disaster.
It looks a tough start for McClaren this weekend, with Derby entertaining a resurgent Leeds side who have posted five wins in their last six games. A home win is available at for McClaren’s men.
Verdict: Joke shop.
With all three clubs playing at home at the weekend, a new manager treble on Villa, Derby and Cardiff winning comes in at just over 9/1 for anyone interested.