On the 6th of June 2020, Tranmere Rovers announced the departure of long-serving boss Micky Mellon, who embarks on a new journey across the border into Scotland, with Dundee United his new destination. Since then, the club has been tight lipped on potential incomings to the club on the managerial front. Today, in the third instalment of the ‘Top 5’ series, I take a look at five managers who could and should be shortlisted for the Tranmere Rovers job.
The current Colchester United boss in the odds-on favourite for the Tranmere position, according to TheSackRace. McGreal will be well known to Tranmere fans, as he did begin his youth career at the club back in 1990, before going on to make 195 appearances for the Merseyside club. McGreal’s current position is with fellow League Two side Colchester United, who just suffered the unfortunate situation of a play-off heartbreak, losing out to Exeter City in the Semi Final. McGreal has turned Colchester into a consistent top half League Two side, with three top eight finishes in his 4 years with the club. His persistence with playing youngsters in the first team has enabled a lot of home-grown talent to be nurtured into top stars, with Kane Vincent-Young, Frankie Kent and George Moncur just some of the talent sold by the club in recent seasons for decent money. Moving to Tranmere would be a very good decision for John McGreal in my opinion, admittedly I wouldn’t be against the gaffer moving himself back down to Suffolk and taking over Paul Lambert’s job with Ipswich. That’ll suit me nicely. But, this is about Tranmere, and if I was Pallois I would be going all out to get the Liverpudlian.
This one may be a bit of a stretch, just because it would be surprising if Nigel was to drop down from League One into League Two, after a lot of successful years with Burton in the third tier. However, with not many managerial positions open at present, and I’m not expecting Clough to be heading to Bristol City or Birmingham anytime soon, maybe a step down could be exactly what Clough needs. With Burton, Clough turned them from a mid-table League Two side, to a surprise Championship squad, and then stabilised them as a decent mid-table to top-half League One team. With limited funds at his disposal, Clough has been able to craft a competitive side each season, and who wouldn’t want to go to a side that is surely the outright favourites for League Two next season. If Tranmere can convince Clough to make the drop down to League Two, it will be a massive coup and a big confidence boost for them. Do I think it could happen? Less likely than McGreal in my opinion, but you can never say never in football.
The current Hartlepool boss is seen as a dark horse in the race for the next Tranmere manager, with the Chester-born defender previously spending eight years with the club between 1994 and 2002. Challinor’s previous managerial experience has hit at Colwyn Bay, AFC Fylde and currently Hartlepool. The gaffer does have experience with promotion campaigns, as he led Fylde into the National League after spending 8 years with them. In November of 2019, he parted ways with Fylde and headed north to take charge of Hartlepool in the Vanarama National League, and led the side to a respectable mid table finish this season. Challinor, like Darren Currie in the previous ‘Top 5’ about Southend United, is a manager who can be acquired much cheaper than current League Two or even unemployed managers. If Tranmere are looking for a stable season in League Two, then Challinor could be their man.
The ex-Bolton and Rochdale manager is looking for a new job having be released from his position at Bolton a few weeks back. Hill was actually linked with the Tranmere job way back in 2009 when he was Rochdale manager, and could be looking good for the job in 2020. Hill’s resume highlights a few League One struggles, but he does have experience getting out of League Two, with two promotions with Rochdale in two separate spells in charge. If Tranmere are looking for someone who can take them instantly back up into League One, and someone who wouldn’t be too amiss dropping down into League Two, compared to someone like Nigel Clough, then Keith Hill is probably the guy that you want to be looking at. But, the one thing that goes against Hill is the fact that he spent the whole season losing games continuously. Yes, he was at Bolton, but with all the new signings he made they had League One players in January, but they couldn’t seem to turn the tide despite the better players turning up.
Didn’t expect this one to be so high up in the bookie’s charts, but here it is. Ex-Liverpool starlet Robbie Fowler has only recently left his position as Head Coach of Brisbane Roar in the A-League, and is looking to make his first steps into the English leagues. He knows the area, obviously being scouse and all, and in fairness to the lad he did actually have a very good season down under, leading Brisbane Roar to a 4th place finish. He would be a very interesting appointment from Tranmere Rovers, and it would give Fowler his first adventure into England for a manager position. I honestly didn’t expect Fowler to be in the running for the job, but don’t be surprised if Tranmere shock everyone a take on Fowler in League Two. It is probably the right league for Fowler to dive into first of all, so let’s see if he does get the job when the owners decide to make their intentions known.
What do you guys think? Is Robbie Fowler or Dave Challinor the right man for the job? Can Southend afford the money required for Nigel Clough and Keith Hill? Is the favourite John McGreal retuning back to Tranmere? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to follow All Out Football on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.