Wayne Rooney is the favourite to be the next permanent Derby manager after the Rams sacked Philip Cocu over the weekend. The Dutchman has presided over a disastrous start to the campaign, and Derby currently sit bottom of the Championship table.
Captain Rooney has been placed in temporary charge alongside coaches Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker. Rooney has served as player-coach as well as captain at the club.
“I'm sorry 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,” Rooney said. “The most important thing now is to stabilise the club and start moving up the table. I’ve 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.”
Aston Villa assistant manager John Terry has emerged as another leading candidate for the vacant role at Derby. Terry’s former Chelsea teammate, Frank Lampard, was Derby manager for just one season before landing the top job at Stamford Bridge, so Terry could view it as an exciting springboard.
He helped Aston Villa beat relegation by a whisker last term, and they have come flying out of the blocks this season, with many praising Terry for his role in organising the defence. He is unlikely to want to spend too long as Dean Smith’s assistant, and this could be an interesting challenge for him.
Terry and Rooney spent several years as England teammates. Terry captained his country, while Rooney became England’s all-time record goalscorer.
Unibet makes Terry 7/2 to take the job, followed by Eddie Howe at 5/1. Howe left Bournemouth after their relegation to the Championship last season. Former Wigan manager Paul Cook is 6/1, followed by Garry Monk – recently sacked as Sheff Wed boss – at 14/1.
Many bookmakers now have Slaven Bilic and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as joint favourites to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post. Bilic is in trouble after his West Brom side took just three points from their opening eight games.
They are still winless this season, leaving them marooned in 18th place. The Baggies suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Fulham at the start of the month, and then lost 1-0 to Spurs, leaving Bilic feeling the heat.
Solskjaer was the clear favourite after his side lost 2-1 away at Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League. They were also in poor domestic form, but a 3-1 win against Everton at Goodison Park may have bought the Norwegian a bit of breathing room.
Bet365 has 2/1 on both Solkskjaer and Bilic being the next boss to be sacked. Yet a new challenger has emerged in the form of Sheff Utd’s Chris Wilder. The Blades are bottom of the table, with zero wins, one draw and seven defeats from eight games thus far. They have only managed four goals in that time, and the magic Wilder displayed last season has seemingly vanished.
West Brom are now the narrow favourites to be relegated at 2/5 with Bet365 and various others. Some bookies make Fulham the favourites, but Betfair and Paddy Power have a market leading 4/9 on the Cottagers going down.
William Hill is offering even money on a Burnley side that failed to invest in new talent during the summer. Sheff Utd, who finished in the top half of the table last term, are now at evens to be relegated with some bookies, but Bet365 is still offering 11/8.
Longer shots include Newcastle at 9/2 with William Hill, Brighton at 11/2 with Betfair and Crystal Palace at 15/2. Any of those teams could be sucked into the relegation battle, but right now the bookmakers see just four teams – West Brom, Fulham, Burnley and Sheff Utd – fighting to finish 17th and stay up.