This summer will provide one of the biggest shake-ups in terms of Premier League managers with four vacancies currently waiting to be filled. Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City had all initially been looking for new bosses and after the departure of Tony Pulis this week, Stoke City are also on the search for a new gaffer.
Pulis originally took over the Potteries club back in 2002, rescuing the club from relegation to Division Two on the final day of the season. He left briefly in June 2005 after a dispute with the club’s Icelandic owner and spent the next season at Plymouth Argyle before returning to the Britannia stadium under the new chairman Peter Coates.
His biggest achievement with Stoke was the promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2007/08 season after finishing second in the Championship. He secured safety with ease in their debut Premier League season and has secured mid-table finishes every season since.
Their run to the FA Cup final in 2011 was another particular highlight for the Welshman although they were downed 1-0 by big spenders Manchester City. The runners up spot did mean they secured a spot in the Europa League last season where they reached the last 32 before losing to Valencia.
This season was more of a struggle for Stoke although Pulis did guide the club away from a relegation scrap in March but Coates decided to dismiss him at the end of the season.
The club will now be aiming for a top-half finish and former QPR manager Mark Hughes seeming the most likely replacement. He has been out of work since November after his sacking from Loftus Road and Sky Bet, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power are all offering the best odds, albeit short ones, at 2/1.
Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo seems second favourite to take charge with Bet Victor offering the best odds of 7/1. Other linked names include Gus Poyet, with Bet Victor and Paddy Power offering 9/1 whilst Bet Victor are offering the best odds of 12/1 with recently-relegated Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez.
Martinez is favourite to fill the vacant manager’s spot at Everton though with Bet Victor offering the best odds of 3/1 on him taking over at Goodison Park. The odds have improved since last week, with the best price available for Martinez being David Moyes’ replacement originally being 2/1.
Vítor Pereira has become second-favourite to be the Toffees new manager, with the FC Porto boss being offered at 4/1 by Bet Victor and Paddy Power. Neil Lennon is still linked to the job with him coming in from 8/1 last week to 6/1 this week with Sky Bet offering the best odds.
After his departure from Malaga this week, Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment as Manchester City manager seems like a matter of when, not if, with the best odds of 1/9 being provided by Sky Bet, presenting little value for punters.
Jose Mourinho is second favourite to take over at Eastlands at 14/1 but that seems highly unlikely with ‘The Special One’ set to return to Chelsea. The best odds being offered are currently with Stan James at 1/33 which again provides little value.
Gianfranco Zola and Michael Laudrup are the only two other names linked with the job but these appointments seem improbable with Stan James offering 16/1 on both.
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