Brian McDermott
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McDermott exit inevitable after Cellino took Leeds reins

| 31.05.2014

There are no surprises when something is expected. Brian McDermott leaving Leeds United has had an air of inevitability about it ever since the ‘was he, wasn’t he’ removed from his position at Elland Road debacle at the end of the January transfer window.

Few managers have had more lousy luck with new ownership in recent times than this quietly thoughtful and dignified man.

He took Reading back into the Premier League in 2012, only for Russian tycoon Anton Zingarevich, who took over in their Berkshire boardroom from Sir John Madejski, to sack him the following March. The Royals were subsequently relegated under Nigel Adkins.

McDermott resurfaced at Leeds just a month later, but in little over a year is again out of work as Massimo Cellino completed his protracted takeover.

Continuing the themes of inevitability and no surprise, all the early market leaders are compatriots of the Italian corn magnate.

During the late 1990s, it became somewhat fashionable for Serie A stars to come and ply their trade in England.

Benito Carbone (7/2 to fill the vacancy in the dugout), given the somewhat grey title of ‘Special Consultant’ at Elland Road, had a tour of Yorkshire and the Midlands before half a season on loan at Middlesbrough in 2002 ended a six-year spell in Britain.

In fact, the Teesside outfit is the common denominator among a couple of other rumoured candidates. Gianluca Festa (10/1), a former Cagliari player and coach that worked closely with Cellino at the Sardinian side, made over 150 appearances at the Riverside between 1997 and 2002.

Fabrizio Ravanelli (25/1), a Champions League winner no less with Juventus, also spent a season at Boro, but his scoring exploits could not save them from relegation.

His own foray into management has not been successful so far either, as he was sacked by Corsican club Ajaccio after just five months in charge, and they went on to be relegated from France’s Ligue 1.

Chelsea hero Gianfranco Zola came within a penalty kick of steering Watford, also under Italian ownership, into the Premier League in 2013. He was the early 9/4 favourite with Coral, but is now 7/2, and should he get the chance to take Leeds on going one better is what Cellino will expect.

Paolo Di Canio (14/1), sacked by Sunderland early into the season just finished and after a mere 13 games at the Stadium of Light, would certainly come under the ‘safe pair of hands’ description, because of his penchant from combustion.

There are a few other Italian names linked with Leeds too. Claudio Ranieri (20/1), who recently stood down as manager of Monaco, Roberto Di Matteo (12/1) and Max Allegri, deservedly sacked for his part in a dismal campaign for AC Milan, would be difficult to attract, however.

Coral rate Leeds as 22/1 outsiders to top next season’s Championship table, so whoever takes the job on has their work cut out for them.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.