It may be six months until the end of the season, but football club owners are beginning to take stock of how the season is unfolding and it would be no surprise if a few were considering whether a new manager could bring a little more success.
This summer it is likely that the three men widely regarded to be the world’s best football managers will all be seeking employment. Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking from Chelsea yesterday, his name can be added to a highly desirable shortlist of candidates. The other contenders are Pep Guardiola, whose contract at Bayern Munich expires at the end of the season, and Carlo Ancelotti, who is expected to end his sabbatical at the same time. Do embattled chairman dare miss out on this gilt-edged opportunity?
It’s been widely reported that Ancelotti is set to replace Guardiola at the German champions. This leaves the prospect of Guardiola or Mourinho managing at one of the Manchester clubs next season. To facilitate this, either Louis van Gaal or Manuel Pellegrini, or both, may be jettisoned. As it stands, van Gaal is the more likely to leave if it is assumed that Manchester City’s spending power will ultimately see them secure the Premier League title. To add further complexity, it is not inconceivable given Rafa Benitez’s difficulties at Real Madrid to suggest Florentino Perez may be looking for a new manager in the coming months. And what of the England job if Roy Hodgson is unable to deliver the progress at Euro 2016 that the FA are looking for?
As the season reaches its climax, football managers across the world will be waiting for the phone to ring.