Leeds United are to begin their search for a new manager after current boss, Neil Warnock, confirmed at the weekend that he won’t stay at the club unless they achieve a miraculous promotion to the Premier League.
With Leeds currently languishing 10th in the Championship and without a win in four games, the chances of them clawing back a seven-point deficit over sixth-place Leicester to make the playoffs is highly unlikely and the new owners are already looking at next season for the big push.
Now Warnock is leaving, many Leeds fans in the betting world are wondering who will be the new man in charge and, as luck would have it, a fresh name has just become available that would be perfect for the Yorkshire club.
Michael Appleton was this week sacked by Blackburn Rovers after just 15 games and 67 days in charge. His reign was nothing compared to previous Rovers boss Henning Berg (who lasted a mere 57 days) but nevertheless the departure has shocked fans in the betting world.
For Appleton is one of the best young bosses currently without a job having made a success out of stints at both Portsmouth and Blackpool before Rovers came calling.
Evidently that career move was a mistake but there is currently no disgrace in failing at Blackburn – a club completely rudderless in its direction and going nowhere fast.
Leeds, on the other hand, have owners who want to move the club forward sensibly and strategically; and one cannot help thinking Appleton needs managerial stability to fully implement his footballing ethos.
He would get time and reasonable resources at Leeds next season and should relish the challenge of automatic promotion. What United fans crave more than anything else is a return to the Premier League and with Appleton at the helm that dream can be realised come May 2014.