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Top six favourites to become next Derby manager

We take a look at the current top six favourites to become the next manager of Derby County following the sacking of Phillip Cocu.

The Rams currently sit bottom of the Championship table, taking just six points from 11 games played so far. That really is bad.

Assistant Manager Chris van der Weerden and Specialist First Team Coach Twan Scheepers have also left the club by mutual agreement.

So who are favourites to replace him and attempt to guide the club out of relegation and up the table? Find out below…

6) Steven Gerrard and Garry Monk

Former Liverpool and England player Steven Gerrard has spent three seasons at Ibrox in what is his first major coaching position.

He’s failed to prevent Celtic winning the Scottish Premiership in the last two campaigns, but now looks on course to do it at the third attempt.

Now Gerrard has caught the eye of plenty from clubs in the second tier of English football.

Bristol City had been interested in him when they said goodbye to Lee Johnson, before Dean Holden took over instead.

Gerrard declined the opportunity, instead choosing to remain at the Scottish giants and endure another campaign at Rangers.

After retiring in 2016 he then went into coaching with the Liverpool academy before getting the chance to prove himself in May 2018.

He is yet to win a trophy for Rangers, however his achievement will be narrowing the gap on Old Firm rivals Celtic, as they hope they can stopped Neil Lennon’s side from winning an historic tenth title in a row.

He signed a new contract last December to remain with them until at least the summer of 2024.

There were rumours in May 2020, that Gerrard was considering his future at the club.

However the ex-England international came out and revealed has no intention of leaving Rangers in the “near future” unless the Ibrox club sacks him.

Gerrard, who has ambitions to become Liverpool boss one day, told The Times: “If people think I am going to leave Rangers in the near future because it is my decision, and I don’t want to be there, then that opinion is wrong.

“In terms of me being proud and happy to be the manager, and wanting to move the club forward and improve it, then I am all in. It was always going to be a job where I had to learn on the go.

“Now, I never for one moment thought I was going to get everything right and everything was going to be positive.”

Garry Monk, recently sacked by Sheffield Wednesday, has been given the same odds as Gerrard for the Derby job.

At the time of his departure, the Owls sat 23rd in the Championship, with six points, but their goalless draw against Millwall was the final straw it would seem.

The move came despite the second-bottom Championship club having seen their 12-point deduction for breaching spending rules halved last week.

He’s also managed the following clubs:

Swansea City – 4 Feb 2014 until 9 Dec 2015 – 77 G, 28 W, 17 D, 32 L, 36.4% won
Leeds United – 2 Jun 2016 until 25 May 2017 – 53 G, 25 W, 11 D, 17 L, 47.2% won
Middlesbrough – 9 Jun 2017 until 23 Dec 2017 – 26 G, 12 W, 5 D, 9 L, 46.2% won
Birmingham City – 4 Mar 2018 until 18 Jun 2019 – 59 G, 19 W, 20 D, 20 L, 32.2% won
Sheffield Wednesday – 6 Sep 2019 until 9 Nov 2020 – 58 G, 18 W, 15 D, 25 L, 31.0% won
Total – 273 G, 102 W, 68 D, 103 L, 37.4% won

Sky Bet odds: 22/1

5) Paul Cook

Paul Cook is currently out of work having departed from Wigan Athletic who are in administration.

In August 2020, the Latic’s relegation to League One was confirmed due to the points deduction on the final day, despite a cracking run of form, subsequently saw the resignation of the manager.

Cook has previously managed Portsmouth, Chesterfield, Accrington, Sligo and Southport – winning the League One title with Wigan in 2017/18, the League Two title with Pompey in 2016/17 and with Chesterfield in 2013/14.

Sky Bet odds: 20/1

4) Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe is bound to be linked with clubs for the manager’s position for however long he stays unemployed.

The 42-year-old guided the Cherries to more than 450 games across two spells spanning more than a decade but stepped down this summer following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Their five-year stay in the top flight ended despite a 3-1 win at Everton on the final day of the season.

Howe also made more than 300 appearances as a player in the famous red and black stripes.

Howe was initially appointed AFC Bournemouth caretaker manager in December 2008, with the club sitting on -17 points at the bottom of the Football League.

Against all the odds he secured their safety and followed it with promotion from League Two the following season.

After a brief spell in charge of Burnley, a masterstroke from owner Maxim Demin bought Howe back to Dorset, and he then proceeded to achieve two further promotions in three seasons, leading the Cherries to the Premier League, where they remained for five years.

Sky Bet odds: 8/1

3) Rafael Benitez

He’s managed in the Championship before, and won the title at the first attempt with Newcastle in 16/17, but would he be up for doing it all again?

The Spaniard is now being linked with a shock return to England’s second-tier however Benitez is currently out in China, managing Dalian Professional, a job he’s held since July 2019.

The Champions League winning gaffer has often been linked with a return to English football, however while he one day hopes to come back, his previous comments indicate that he is see out his contract at Dalian.

“In the future I would like to come back to the Premier League but there’s no chance that I would come back right now,” he said on Monday Night Football last December, when he was being linked with Arsenal, Everton and West Ham.”

Benitez has a year remaining on his his deal although the season coming to a close in China last week.

Sky Bet odds: 9/2

2) John Terry

John Terry has been the number two to Dean Smith at Aston Villa since retiring from his playing career in 2018. Reports previously linked him with the Watford, Bournemouth and Bristol City job.

Terry has been linked to the Derby job before Cocu even departed, with the Daily Mail reporting that he could be an option for the Pride Park club.

Darren Bent has warned the former Chelsea and England player that it may be too early for his managerial career to begin.

“I can see him being a manager, but not yet,” he told website Football Insider before Cocu’s departure.

“Derby are rock bottom of the Championship and they’ve got Cocu who is an experienced manager.

“We’re talking about a guy in John Terry who this will be his first managerial job and his task is to get them off the bottom of the table.

“I don’t quite understand it, I don’t get it, for me, it’s a bit of a weird one.

“I’m all for people getting opportunities and I think John Terry will get his opportunity but I don’t think this is the right one for him at the moment.”

Meanwhile, former Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has urged him to take up the role.

“John would probably do a Frank Lampard, go down the Frank Lampard route of going to a Championship team,” he told footballinsider .

“Derby have got huge potential, we’ve seen Frank was nearly there with the play-off.

“If John can get to that sort of level and even more so, getting them into the Premier League, if the resources are there of course, that’s what you have to think of as a coach and as a manager going into a new job.”

Sky Bet odds: 2/1

1) Wayne Rooney

A new manager will not be appointed until Derby’s new owners arrive and, until then, the coaching team consists of Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior, overseeing matters.

Rooney, a 35-year-old player-coach, will work alongside Rosenior, who was appointed specialist first-team coach last summer, the goalkeeping coach Shay Given and first-team development coach Justin Walker, who has played a key role in getting several younger players into the first team.

Derby believe they have a wealth of experience between them and are more than capable of leading the club in the short term.

Rooney said: “I am sorry that Phillip and his staff have left the club and want to thank him personally for all his help and encouragement as part of his coaching staff. The most important thing now is to stabilise the club and start moving up the table. I have been asked to be part of the coaching staff to help the team’s preparations for next Saturday’s vital match against Bristol City. The coaches and I will speak with the players on Monday.”

Sky Bet odds: 1/1

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