Martinez and Lambert favoured as Aston Villa get rid of McLeish

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Aston Villa fans have finally seen their wish granted with Alex McLeish leaving the club and Roberto Martinez is seen as the likely successor at 7/4.

McLeish was never a popular appointment at Villa Park, partly because of his previous spell at Birmingham and also because of his largely unsuccessful record of avoiding relegation.

He mainly lived up to this tag at Villa, winning just seven games this season and collecting just 38 points, less than he achieved at Birmingham in the last campaign when getting them relegated.

Meanwhile, the statistics show that he is officially the worst manager in the club’s history.

Now the quest will begin to find a new manager and chairman Randy Lerner may take his time in making an appointment to avoid another expensive mistake like McLeish.

Wigan manager Martinez was towards the top of the shortlist last summer, but he turned down Aston Villa to remain the JJB Stadium.

However, 12 months on and Martinez may be more willing to take over, given that his own stock has arguably risen and the expectations of Villa fans have reduced in the intervening period.

Punters have wasted little time in backing Paul Lambert to take over, with the Norwich manager quickly shortening from an opening 8/1 into 5/2.

Alan Curbishley comes next in the Premier League odds at 6/1, but this appointment is unlikely to inspire Villa fans, in the same way that the likes of Steve Bruce or Mick McCarthy will also fail to.

At bigger prices, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be ready for the Premier League and would be an interesting appointment at 25/1, while a punt may be taken on Gus Poyet stepping up to top-flight management from Brighton at 16/1.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.