Just months after writing his name into Birmingham City folklore, Harry Redknapp was left clearing his desk after being given the boot by the Blues board on Saturday night.
The former Spurs boss saved City from relegation to League One at the end of last season, somehow clearing up the awful mess left behind by Gianfranco Zola. A 12-month contract was signed in May but Redknapp departed St Andrew’s after the 3-1 loss to Preston – the club’s sixth defeat in a row.
Birmingham signed 14 new players in the summer transfer window so the new boss will have plenty to work with. But who are the favourites to replace Redknapp?
With Lee Carsley sat in front of the defence in 2008-09, #BCFC conceded fewest goals (37) in Championship and were promoted.
— James Dale (@jamesdale__) September 18, 2017
A name that’s not exactly on the same level as Zola and Redknapp. But maybe a slightly more under the radar manager such as Carsley would work well. The former Everton midfielder played for Birmingham and was born in the city so knows all about the club.
The 43-year-old is the current U23s manager at Birmingham and has been asked to step in as caretaker manager of the first team. Despite his reluctance to publicly state his interest in the job full-time, Carsley has been installed as the bookies’ favourite
Happy 44th birthday @Karanka! 🇪🇸
— EverythingMFC (@EverythingMFC) September 18, 2017
A manager with experience of promotion from the Championship, Karanka could be a very good hire. Despite attracting some negativity for his Middlesbrough team’s style of play, the former Real Madrid assistant could be the man Birmingham need.
Still looking for a job after being sacked by Boro in March before they were relegated from the Premier League, Karanka is said to be interested in the post at St Andrew’s.
— Aidan McCartney (@aidanmccartney) September 12, 2017
Another with experience of guiding a team to the Premier League having led Southampton to second place in the Championship in 2012. Adkins has been out of work since being sacked by Sheffield United in May 2016.
Not a name that would get pulses racing but Adkins’ odds have been slashed over the past 48 hours so there is clearly a link there between the ex-Reading boss and the Birmingham hierarchy.
Cotterill would be a popular choice among Birmingham City supporters after being part of Redknapp’s backroom team at the end of last season. He left in the summer after reportedly assuming he would become first team boss with Redknapp moving upstairs.
The former Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City manager is keen on a move back to St Andrew’s, however, and will surely be at the top of Birmingham owners Trillion Trophy Asia’s shortlist.
— Uruguay Football ENG (@UruFootballEN) September 11, 2017
A free agent after leaving Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua earlier this month, Poyet could well be in line for a return to English football with his previous job on these shores, at Sunderland, ending back in 2015.
The former Chelsea and Spurs midfielder would be a big name appointment for Birmingham City but could it end up similar to his former team-mate Zola’s reign?
— The Offside Rule (@OffsideRulePod) August 31, 2017
Well, we all know how much Harry Redknapp loves Niko Kranjcar, right? Redknapp signed him for three different clubs – Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers – so if Kranjcar fancies moving into management, I’m sure Harry would put in a good word for him!
People often say that it’s only a matter of time until a professional club in England hires a female manager – well here’s the perfect opportunity. While Harry may be gone, it doesn’t mean to say the Redknapp association with Birmingham City has to be over.
While at Spurs, Harry famously told striker Darren Bent that he missed a chance his wife Sandra could have scored so she clearly has some pedigree. The less said about the time Harry ran her over with his Range Rover the better…