Nottingham Forest still 14/1 for title despite luring McClaren
Those Nottingham Forest supporters that were sceptical about their board’s decision to sack Billy Davies after a second successive season of play-off disappointment will surely be reassured after Steve McClaren was confirmed as their new manager.
The one-time Manchester United assistant has the CV of a Premier League boss after five successful years at Middlesbrough and an Eredivisie title win with FC Twente but his unimpressive stint in charge of England had turned him into a figure of ridicule.
It was his poor reputation in his homeland that caused Aston Villa to overlook him for the vacancy at Villa Park, a questionable decision given that the 4/6 favourite for that post is Alex McLeish, however their loss looks set to be Nottingham Forest’s gain.
Despite the high-profile appointment, the Tricky Trees remain 14/1 to win the 2010-11 Championship, with five clubs fancied more than them, while odds of 9/2 are available on the former UEFA Cup finalist gaining promotion at the first attempt.
The fact that McClaren has been forced to drop down a division to gain employment in England shows just how much of a poisoned chalice the national team job has become, with his predecessor Sven-Goran Eriksson already there as Leicester boss.
The early indications are that there will be some hugely talented managers in the second tier, with West Ham convincing another previous candidate for the Three Lions position, Sam Allardyce, to join them and consequently being installed as 11/2 title favourites.
Leicester are 6/1 second in the running because of the aforementioned Eriksson link and 8/1 joint-third favourites Birmingham could have a big name of their own with former Blues player Alan Curbishley 6/1 to replace Alex McLeish after his shock resignation.
Last year’s pre-season frontrunners Middlesbrough are also expected to do well at 8/1 and are led by Tony Mowbray, who has topped the Championship before with West Brom.