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Solskjaer leads the way at the top of the Next Cardiff Manager betting

So what next, genius?

by Aidan Elder | December 27, 2013

Cardiff Transfer Kitty

Well, in news that was only slightly less predictable than Ricky Martin telling us he wasn’t in fact a huge fan of Livin La Vida Loco with the ladies, Malky Mackay has been sacked as Cardiff manager by crazy Bond villain-esque owner, Vincent Tan.

Ever since the owner promised ‘not a single penny’ would be made available for Mackay in the January transfer window (hence our campaign to raise funds above), the axe has been poised and the Boxing Day hammering at the hands of Southampton was enough to see it fall. Despite getting the very red looking Bluebirds into the Premier League and making a half decent attempt at keeping them, the Malaysian owner has deemed that Mackay isn’t up to the job and in a break-up that was as pleasant to watch as Miley Cyrus’s latest unsightly gyrations, finally given him his marching orders.

So, who does Tan think is likely to do a better job than the perfectly acceptable job that Mackay was doing?  And more importantly, who would actually agree to work with the egomaniac who treats the club as if it’s a real-life version of Football Manager? The Paddy Power Blog looks at some of the early front runners in the race for the Premier League’s latest poisoned chalice.

All odds are subject to change

Ole Gunnar Solskjær – 1/2 >>> MOBILE | DESKTOP

A move to the Premier League for the Norwegian supersub has been mentioned for a couple of years as if he’s a guaranteed success. Yes he did spend a large part of his career under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, but as the managerial careers of Paul Ince and Roy Keane have shown us, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s able to manage the egos of a Premier League dressing room. Solskjaer (40) has done well with Molde in his native country and that’s nice to put on your CV, but does it mean he’s a step up from Mackay? You’d have to wonder.


  • Has a good understanding of British football
  • May have learned stuff off Fergie
  • Still looks about 12


  • No actual experience of managing a Premier League team
  • May not have learned a thing from Fergie
  • Probably won’t be able to buy his own cigarettes or booze

Sven Goran Eriksson – 5/2 >>> MOBILE | DESKTOP

Wow. Normally he’s one of the semi-joking options we tag on to the end of these markets, but it seems the Swede (65) is a genuine contender for the job. Over the last few years he’s developed the habit of getting well paid cushy jobs and not delivering a whole lot of results but it seems that rather grim yet accurate assessment of his abilities won’t put Tan off. He’s currently getting a truckload of money for doing sweet FA managing Guangzhou in the Chinese Super League, but he’s almost certainly still available.


  • Might actually be a good manager if he puts his mind to it
  • Will gladly do what the owner says in return for money
  • May help attract a higher standard of player to the club


  • Total mercenary
  • Will mainly care about his pay packet rather than developing the club
  • Will hog all the honey’s around the Cardiff City offices

Yılmaz Vural – 5/1 >>> MOBILE | DESKTOP

Sorry, this is lifted pretty much straight from Wikipedia. He’s Turkish apparently and his biography tells us:

Vural almost managed every club in the Turkish League except the three giants which are Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray

Soooooo …. that’s all the Turkish clubs except the good ones, right? Hmmmm … interesting. Without knowing much about him, he tends to switch jobs a lot which either suggests he’s (a) not very good at his job and keeps getting sacked or (b) he’s brilliant and keeps getting head-hunted by teams that are in roughly the same position in the league as his team. I wonder which one it is.


  • Might be a genius plucked from obscurity like Arsene Wenger
  • Will gladly do what the owner says in return for money


  • Might not be a genius plucked from obscurity like Arsene Wenger
  • Doesn’t know the club, the league, the country or possibly even where Cardiff is

Robert Di Matteo – 10/1 >>> MOBILE | DESKTOP

Unlike a lot of the options in the betting, Di Matteo (43) can boast having won a European Cup as a manager. Although like a lot of the options in the betting, his actual managerial credentials are dubious and he’s no guaranteed success. He’s showed promise at time during his spells with the MK Dons and West Brom, but the getting turfed out of the Hawthorns hurt is reputation. He was popular with the Chelsea fans, but that may have had more to do with their disdain for Rafa Benitez rather than reference for his managerial abilities and nice suits.


  • Has shown promise at previous jobs
  • Knows British football very well
  • Looks very slick on the sidelines


  • May be incredibly lucky
  • Vincent Tan won’t like him becoming the club’s new style icon

Robert Jarni – 12/1 >>> MOBILE | DESKTOP

Another strange choice for a potential manager. The former Croatian international (45) was recently appointed manager of Sarajevo in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Premier Liga, but because they’re on a winter break, he hasn’t actually led them into a competitive game. Prior to that, his credentials don’t scream ‘MANAGERIAL PRODIGY IN THE MAKING’. He had a middling spell with Hadjuk Split in 2007/08, another middling spell with Istra in 2010 and more recently, managing the Hadjuk Split Under 19s. He’s the other player we can think of that has ever moved from Coventry City to Real Madrid and maybe it’s that novelty value that makes him so attractive to Tan.


  • Might be a genius plucked from obscurity like Arsene Wenger
  • Eh …. we’re really struggling here
  • Maybe he knows which really good local players he can buy on the cheap


  • Might not be a genius plucked from obscurity like Arsene Wenger
  • Has virtually no experience as a manager, let alone Premier League standard experience

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