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Profiling England’s up and coming managers

The Boot Room

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I have put together this article on a day when Shaun Derry, in his first management role, for a club that he supported growing up, played for at youth and professional level, was sacked. I’m showcasing the talent that the English Leagues has, hopefully by portraying three excellent candidates that will prove to be decent, top end managers.

Justin Edinburgh

Justin will be remembered by many as a Spurs defender, but to me, he was the bane of my life at Primary School, given I had about 25 Justin Edinburgh stickers for swaps which I never got rid of. Other people are more forgiving about Justin, especially teams like Newport County, in which he joined in 2011. Before joining the Exiles, he made himself a name at Rushden and Diamonds from gaining the job as manager Garry Hill left in 2009. He then single-handedly went to make waves in his first season by narrowly missing promotion to the footballing league by being beaten in the playoffs against Oxford.

Following the liquidation of R&D he became Newport County’s manager in October 2011 and despite just avoiding relegation, he made his mark on the FA Trophy by getting all the way to the final only to lose to York City. Losing at the final hurdle may have seemed like a common theme for Justin at the time, but made it count the next season by guiding Newport County to the Footballing League with only a short absence of 25 years…

Claiming the Manager of the year in the Conference, he began to deny links to all League Two sides, ranging from Portsmouth to Northampton, but when League One side Gillingham came calling this season in February, he found the opportunity to compelling to turn down. For his track record in steadying the ship in the first season and making a decent crack in the second, I’m very keen to find out what becomes of the Gills next season, if indeed, he isn’t poached first.

Gary Rowett

The man from Bromsgrove had the opportunity in becoming a manager for two Championship clubs that he’d previously played for, in Blackpool and Birmingham this year, but given the structure of the clubs at the minute, decided with the latter, and what a move it’s been so far.

Not that a decision was made out of thin air by either Blackpool or Birmingham to get Gary at the helm; This was made clear to them given his track record of excellent seasons at Burton Albion. Albion are known for their judgement and often successful management selections ranging from club legend Nigel Clough through to present manager, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink. After gaining promotion from the Conference, Paul Peschisolido was placed in charge of the Brewers in which the brilliance was appointing Gary as his number two. Paul’s career didn’t take off well but as soon as he left and Rowett in charge, the Brewers fortune changed. Two successive seasons of hitting the playoffs, but dismay at never gaining promotion Gary left for Birmingham.

Rowett has been something of a transformation at Birmingham, given that when he’d arrived, Lee Clark had pretty much lost all faith from the Brum fans not helped by being unable to win in front of the home fans in 18 matches. Clark had the lowest win ratio Birmingham had seen in the 25 years that it ironically took Newport County to get back into the Footballing League. With Rowett, alongside players at his disposal with the likes of the outstandingly talented Demerai Gray and the revitalised Cotterill and Donaldson, had led them to 7 wins and losing only 2 in his first 14 matches at St. Andrews. Given that this is still his first half season with Birmingham, I’m thoroughly looking forward to what they can produce in upcoming seasons given the youth prospects in Gray, Redmond and upcoming Reece Brown all coming through the ranks.

Eddie Howe

One of the first articles I had published was about halfway through his first stint at Bournemouth. If memory serves me right, my thoughts we’re that his side looked fantastic, not hard given the opposition was my own Notts County in a season were they run riot on the league. Rumour was that he’d rejected an official approach to replace Darren Ferguson.  I went on to say that it wouldn’t be long before Mr Eddie Howe went on to bigger and better things. He of course did, reflecting back on it now, but his story is one of loyalty and admiration thereafter.

Moving to a big job in Burnley during a harsh cold of January in 2011, after a hardened Owen Coyle had resigned, Howe was touted as one of those “up and coming managers”, a stigma that could potentially ruin a career given the wrong club at the wrong time. Howe had a lot going for him, giving youth a go, obviously well-liked in and outside of the dressing room, successful in organising a team and something that Burnley overlooked, a piece of the furniture at Bournemouth.

Making 201 appearances for Bournemouth in an eight-year stint he moved into management at just the age of 30 after coaching both the reserve and the youth teams, he made his step up when Jimmy Quinn was sacked at the end of 2008. With a 17-point deficit, it was Eddie’s guile and man-management that helped them turn it round and survive relegation. Next season they broke out of League Two after being there for two years and found themselves in league one in the same year that my beloved Notts were promoted.

I anticipated that he’d move to a big job or to be more precise a big club and obliviously looked past his loyalty and passion for Bournemouth, a club that held him in very high regard, swaying further than the board and management of the club. In 2004, the Bournemouth chairman Peter Phillips made an appeal to fan’s and supporters to re-sign Howe from Portsmouth, in which they made up in two days.

He took over the reigns at Turf Moor a year after they were relegated from the Premiership but soon found himself missing the pull of the South Coast, and after his mother died in March 2012, Eddie realised he needed to be close to his family and footballing family, Bournemouth. Moving back with his Assistant in Jason Tindall, the man he’d taken from Bournemouth to Burnley, only then to go back to Bournemouth (The two racked up some air miles in those 21 months in charge). The two had set down some foundations at Burnley, in which they believed in strongly for the next manager (Match of The Days pundit crush and much loved Sean Dyche). Back to Bournemouth and within the year had gained them promotion from League One to the Championship and with excellent signings such as Matt Ritchie, Eunan O’Kane and Yann Kermogant alongside players that have been with the side since League Two, in McQuoid and Pitman, find themselves in a similar situation gunning down the Championship’s automatic places.

Only 37, Eddie is renowned for a Bournemouth side that a direct and rely on technical and physical players, for example Wilson and Kermogant. Genuinely the bigger players but still with great technical ability, Howe possesses an excellent eye for fitting the gap where players are to fit in to his squad. And given he is still only 37, and Bournemouth have a larger financial backing than most people in football realise, they may just become a Premiership squad and he may just prove himself in unison with the elitists.

The Boot Room is a football analysis website, bringing original and creative content to the fans of the English Football League.

Burnley

Tom Heaton would be the perfect replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham

The 32-year-old is being valued at just £10 million.

Josh Kerr

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Tom Heaton
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has emerged as a potential replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham, according to reports from The Sun.

The report claims that Hart will not return to West Ham following his loan move from Manchester City. His mixed time at the club hasn’t given Hammers supporters a reason to demand a permanent deal for the England international.

The 31-year-old is unwanted by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, and his poor form in East London has meant few clubs are showing an interest.

Instead, the East London side have turned their attention to Burnley and Tom Heaton as their new number one, with the 32-year-old keeper valued at £10 million.

The Chester born keeper began the season as Sean Dyche’s first choice but lost his place to Nick Pope after he suffered a dislocated shoulder last August.

The outstanding Pope and immediately staked a claim to be England’s number one in the summer World Cup. Due to his displays, he looks to have kept Heaton out of the team for the foreseeable future.

(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Considering Heaton has been an England squad regular in recent years, it is difficult to see him happy to be the number two at Turf Moor and an exit for the former Bristol City keeper could be imminent.

With over 178 appearances in the Premier League, Heaton would be the perfect signing for a goalkeeper position that has caused a lot of headache for fans at the London Stadium.

Both Hart and Adrian have been in and out of the first team and neither has pushed their cause as to why they should be the standout choice for the number one spot.

At Burnley, Heaton’s move to the substitute bench is one of the more unfortunate stories of the season as no-one came close to the 6ft 2 keeper before his injury.

If it wasn’t for Pope having one of the greatest debut seasons of the Premier League era then it would have been a given to see Heaton come back in as number one.

His manager, Sean Dyche, will most likely want to keep him at the club, especially considering the club’s Europa League commitments next season.

However, the Burnley boss would also understand that a keeper of his quality is too good to be wasting the final years of his career on the sidelines.

If Heaton were to move to the London Stadium then West Ham will have yet another England international in their ranks.

However, this time they would be getting an assured, established Premier League keeper, who has been fundamental in Burnley’s success for many-a-year.

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Bristol City

Joe Bryan would be the perfect signing for Sean Dyche’s Burnley

The 24-year-old has had a fine individual season at Ashton Gate.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

Burnley have been the feel-good story of the Premier League over the last two years, as the club are set to complete a journey from the Championship to the Europa League.

The finances in football mean that it is difficult for a club to progress naturally, but the Clarets have shown that it is still possible and Sean Dyche has been the driving force behind their upwards trajectory.

One major reason for their success has been their recruitment.

The club have not tried to over-spend or sign players based on their reputation.

Their approach allows them to sign players tailored for their needs and it is no surprise that the majority of their signings over the last two years have fitted in seamlessly.

It would be a mistake if they changed their approach this summer, even with the added pressure of the Europa League.

In recent days, they have been linked with one Championship player that seems to be the perfect fit for the squad at Turf Moor.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Telegraph report that Joe Bryan has emerged as a target for the Premier League club.

They go on to state that Dyche is ready to offer £6 million for the Bristol City left-back as he tries to improve both the quality and depth of the squad ahead of next season.

The rumour mill is starting to accelerate and the majority of media stories need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but this does make a lot of sense.

If Burnley continue with the recruitment policy, Bryan would be a great fit for them and immediately improve their starting eleven at left-back.

Bristol City’s season slowed down during the second half of the campaign, but they have impressed those that have watched them regularly and Bryan has been one of their standout performers.

The left-back has contributed four goals and three assists in the league, in addition to two strikes in the League Cup including one against Manchester United.

He would add a much-needed attacking threat from left full-back and that would provide an extra dimension to the Burnley team.

Although his decision making and defensive contribution needs work, he is a very good young full-back with the potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Bryan is an aggressive defender, as shown by his average of three successful tackles and 3.2 clearances per game.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

At times, he can be guilty of committing to too many forward runs, but that is something that could be addressed.

Dyche is very good at coaching a defence and the 24-year-old would benefit from working with the Burnley manager.

Dyche will be the first to admit that it will be difficult to replicate Burnley’s success, especially with the scheduling problems caused by the Europa League.

However, it would be foolish to make any huge changes to how they are currently conducting business.

Joe Bryan may not be an international with lots of experience in Europe, but he would be a great signing for this squad and fit in immediately.

The Clarets should do everything in their power to secure his services.

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Burnley

Rangers signing of Scott Arfield from Burnley could be a major coup

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Photo: Getty Images.

Another Old Firm derby looks likely to provide even more disappointment for Rangers fans, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as reports indicate that the club are close to sealing a deal to sign Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a free transfer.

According to Sky Sports, Rangers are closing in on a pre-contract agreement which will see the Canadian international move to Ibrox Stadium on a free transfer in the summer when his existing deal with Burnley expires.

The move will see Arfield return to the SPL, where he previously made his name with Falkirk having come through the ranks at the club, scoring 16 goals in 124 games.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has become a regular for Sean Dyche in his five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring two goals from 19 Premier League appearances, including 15 starts, before injury to his calf in February put a halt to his season as he remains sidelined.

Given that most of Rangers’ squad who do boast experience in England come from men past their best, as was the case when Joey Barton moved north of the border, and lower league talents, like Josh Windass, mixed with some loanees from Championship clubs, to sign a regular in a team competing for Europe in the Premier League can be considered a coup.

The left midfielder is consistent and looked comfortable in the Premier League, chipping in with some memorable goals in the process, and if he can take such quality to Ibrox it will be a significant statement as the club look to cut the gap behind league leaders and arch rivals Celtic.

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