A huge and unexpected twist has come in the Sheffield Wednesday managerial search as a new favourite emerges according to reports.
For a long while now, Paul Cook had been listed as the leading candidate to takeover from Tony Pulis who left earlier this season.
Cook explained how badly he wanted to manage the club one day and that will have no doubt boosted his odds on getting the job.
It’s been an eventful few weeks as speculation continues to rumble one, we’ve gone from Sven Goran Eriksson been keen, to then Sheffield Wednesday said to be considering appointing two-time title-winning coach Rene Weiler formerly of Anderlecht and Al Ahly boss to then Joey Barton entering the running, then Chris Coleman and Roy Keane was in the frame, and now it seems as though recently sacked Vladimir Ivic is being offered the role.
The Owls are on the search for a new boss after sacking Pulis, who came in to replace Garry Monk, only to last 45 days in charge and was dismissed with a disappointing record of just one win in ten games.
Cook’s odds on becoming Wednesday’s 37th permanent boss was 2/5, but now it’s 5/2 with Sky Bet, he’s been replaced at the top however with the recently sacked Watford boss at 1/2.
Cook said: “It is very, very flattering to be linked. I am an out of work manager and I am desperate to get back into football.
“You miss the day to day of the dressing room, good or bad. The interaction with the players.
”Sheffield Wednesday is an absolutely massive football club. It would be a fantastic club for anyone to manage so while I’m being linked with it, it is obviously very flattering.”
Earlier today reports emerged within Europe, suggesting that Ivic, who was axed by the Hornets after just four months in charge, has been offered the role which has understandably led to his price plummeting.
CURRENT ODDS (8pm Friday)
Vladimir Ivic – 1/2
Paul Cook – 5/2
Chris Coleman – 11/1
Neil Thompson – 14/1
Roy Keane – 14/1
Joey Barton – 20/1
Ivic won the Championship Manager of the Month award for November – ahead of Norwich boss Daniel Farke – and won his first game after that award success, 1-0 at Birmingham thanks to a late penalty from Troy Deeney.
His side were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Brentford then slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Huddersfield, with Ivic leaving Deeney on the bench for unexplained disciplinary reasons.
That left Watford fifth in the Championship table, nine points behind Norwich and four behind second-placed Bournemouth, the two teams they were came down from the Premier League alongside – with the ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv boss brought in as Nigel Pearson was axed before the final game of the season.
Draws were the problem for Ivic in the EFL, only losing four of his league games in charge but winning nine and drawing seven, to take 34 points from a possible 60.
A Watford statement said: “Watford FC confirms the departure of head coach Vladimir Ivic with immediate effect. Ivic’s coaching staff will also be leaving Vicarage Road.
“The Hornets thank Ivic and his staff for their efforts this season and wish them well for future success elsewhere. No further comment is available from the club.”
Fans reacted to the huge twist in the Sheffield Wednesday managerial search as a new favourite emerges…
We get through so many coaches at Watford, that the ‘Wednesday job’ is an actual position, normally followed by the ‘Thursday job’ and so on.
— Paul (@Paul_Wilson86) January 15, 2021
@henshscottyw: Won Greek Cup with PAOK, won Israeli league twice in two seasons, lost two league games in two years, at Watford he won 9 drew 8 and lost 5 winning Championship manager of month two weeks before being sacked. Sounds disastrous!
@Dazutra1: I’d take him over cook
@dan_N_smith: Cheap option, no surprise.
@OwlPricey: I’d imagine he’d cost more in wages than Paul Cook
@AndyJGard: We love a Watford outcast, McGugan, Pudil, Forestieri, Abdi, I suppose two of them were ok…let me guess Doyen??
@therealtbailey: This exactly the appointment I expect us to make. Even though the fans overwhelmingly want Paul Cook.
@breakfaststeve: Well at least he’ll be used to the short contract syndrome
@deharpham: Yet another worrying development in our declining club’s fortunes. This doesn’t seem the. right man to get involved in a relegation scrap.
@MarkSta28405728: I bloody hope not!!!!!
@chrisashley121: We literally have Paul Cook in the palm of our hands. He is ours if we want him. So instead we’ll go for a manager who plays awful football and was sacked after 22 games at Watford with the squad he had as well
@s15gey: Get Paul cook or sell up Chansiri it’s that simple
@wednesdavewells: Apparently a really good coach – but his super-strict no smiles stick-based style with players and reputation for playing dull (albeit potentially winning) football means for me he’s not what we need right now. Another time, maybe, but I’m perplexed as to how he fits DC’s remit.
@cphyde: He provided the most boring defensive football that I’ve seen from a Watford team in 50 years! #swfc
@MccaslinAdam: If this is true then that’s it! Chansiri strikes again with yet another fucking waste if space! Last 3 month be out! Just like I said with pulis and monk! Who is advising him? There is 4/5 English managers I’d have over him why him? Joke
@Hill7Conor: Made it clear cook was my first choice a while ago but to be fair we could do alot worse.. Ivic has a decent win percentage and reckon DC won’t go English again #swfc
@JOELH0LMES on the huge twist in the Sheffield Wednesday managerial search: Don’t you dare @swfc. Paul Cook is interested and by far the best man for the job.
@jacob_culshaw: No doubt that Ivic is good coach and should do well if given another opportunity in England. The right coach at the wrong time at #watfordfc.
@JackCian99: Vladimir Ivic to Sheffield Wednesday is an interesting one. Not the most exciting style of play, but give him players who are willing to invest in his philosophy, and he could turn out to be a very successful appointment.
@Adam_Drury1: Didn’t work out at Watford, but I don’t think that was all on him at all. Good coach with good ideas and it’ll work out somewhere (it already did at PAOK and Maccabi Tel Aviv).
@MattrpSwfc: This is a no brainer. Give it to Cook in the short term and if he can do with us what he did with Wigan we’ll stay up. Ivic is just another punt who’ll be gone within a year, if not sooner.
@Savagesheff2: I would personally love Paul Cook but ivic’s record is pretty decent, even at Watford he did decent but they sack managers for nothing so cant judge by him being sacked by them
@WEZF1D5: I’d take Vlad Ivic all day long. #swfc