Speculation grows over change at Anfield helm
A DAY of intense speculation over Kenny Dalglish’s future as Liverpool manager saw Paddy Power at one stage chalk up even money about Roberto Martinez replacing the Scot at Anfield.
Dalglish and his assistant Steve Clarke were summoned to Boston to
explain why the Reds finished eighth on 52 points – their lowest tally
since 1954 – and punters were quick to latch on to former Reds boss
Rafa Benitez and Wigan manager Martinez as potential candidates for the hotseat.
Martinez, who was also favourite for the vacant Aston Villa post, was
at the centre of most activity though he was still 5-2 with Hills on Tuesday night, while Benitez’s odds tumbled from a best-priced 5-1 to 3-1.
There was also some support for Norwich manager Paul Lambert, cut from 25-1 to 16-1.
Whoever leads Liverpool into the 2012-13 campaign will be faced with
the challenge of arresting the club’s slide.
The first priority will be to get the clubback into the Champions
League after a three-year absence. But Boylesports do not rate the
Reds’ chances and offer 13-8 about them finishing next season in the
top four and going 1-2 that they finish fifth orlower.
However, improvement is expected with Boyles going 8-11 that Liverpool win at least 20 league games and evens that they don’t – the club managed just 14 victories in 2011-12.
Lambert and Martinez have been strongly linked with the Aston Villa
job and were last night available at quotes of 2-1 and 5-1 to replace
Alex McLeish, who was dismissed on Monday.
But they seem to face strong competition from Mick McCarthy, whose odds tumbled from 33-1 to 6-1 on Tuesday.
McCarthy was dismissed as Wolves manager in February after presiding over their slide into the Premier League relegation zone.
His emergence is a surprise but Villa may not have the luxury of
cherry-picking the most attractive candidates after enduring such a
disappointing 12 months.
Chris Hughton seems to be leading the race to replace Roy Hodgson at West Brom.
The Birmingham manager is the 4-5 market leader with bet365.