Connect with us

English Football League

Ex-Preston, Sheff Wed and West Brom boss holds talks about surprise return to management

Alan Irvine is in talks with Scottish side Hearts about a potential return to management, according to reports.

Craig Levein lost his job last month, and the club are still pursuing a replacement, but should they pick Irvine, it would be his first job north of the border.

His last club was with Norwich City as caretaker for ten games in 2017 after Alex Neil was given the boot. He won five, drew two and lost three, before Daniel Farke was then appointed.

Previous to that he was with West Brom in June 2014 on a 12 month rolling contract, his first in top flight. It wasn’t until the fifth game in September that he won the first match with the Baggies.

A week later, he got his first home league victory in 4–0 win against Burnley, making it their biggest league victory since 2012 and moved them up seven places in the league to 10th.

Irvine’s time came to an end after just seven months in the role, on 29 December 2014, with the team lying in 16th position in the Premier League having won only four of 19 league games under his managership, and just one point above the relegation zone.

Four years before that, he was named the new manager at Sheffield Wednesday, where he got off to a good start and won Championship manager of the month for January.

The form deteriorated and on the last day of the season Wednesday faced a Hillsborough relegation showdown against Crystal Palace who had suffered a 10-point deduction, needing a home win to avoid relegation. The match ended in a 2–2 draw, relegating Wednesday to League One.

Wednesday then had severe financial issues, the club appeared in court twice over winding up orders. Though following the successful takeover by Milan Mandarić at the end of 2010, Irvine was allowed transfer funds to revamp his squad. He made several new signings, the team continued to have consistently poor results and in February 2011, Irvine was dismissed with the side lying 12th in League One.

Back to where his managerial career began and it was at Preston North End in November 2007 with the club in a relegation battle.

He guided Preston to a respectable 15th place in the 2007–08 season and then in his first full season in charge, Irvine guided Preston to the play-offs. After that he was named the Championship Manager of the Month for April. Preston lost their playoff semi final to Sheffield United 2–1 on aggregate.

He was dismissed on 29 December 2009 after Preston suffered a poor run of results where the team only won once in 10 games. His departure from Preston reportedly caused “outrage” from fans.

Irvine also has been a youth manager at Blackburn, Newcastle and Everton, and was assistant at West Ham, Blackburn and Everton.

His playing career between 1977 and 1992 saw him make appearances for Queen’s Park, Everton, Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn.


Fans have given their reaction to Alan Irvine being linked with the Hearts job and it’s fair to say they really don’t want him – see what they had to say on the next page.


Pages: 1 2

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Football League