Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has put Martin Jol, Owen Coyle and David Moyes on his shortlist of successors for under-fire manager Gerard Houllier. Reports from last weekend suggested Houllier’s poor run of form this season will see the Frenchman axed regardless of how he performs in the final eight games of the season.
Everton manager Moyes is the front-runner for the post, as he was heavily linked with the job after Martin O’Neill quit at the start of the season. Moyes has endured another frustrating campaign on Merseyside, with limited financial muscle and a thread-bare squad. But he has performed wonders at Everton in the nine years at the club – an FA Cup final and, Champions League and Europa League action.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle is another possibility. The Scot has won many plaudits for the way he promoted Burnley and has transformed the Trotters in such a limited time. This time last year he was fighting off relegation with ease and now he is an FA Cup semi-final and on the verge of Europe. His availability could be a problem as he would not want to leave if he manages to secure Europa League qualification.
The last name on the list is ex Tottenham Hotspur manager Jol. He was another named link with this post before Houllier got the job. Lerner is attracted to the former Ajax coach because of his continental experience and he will be able to attract big-names to the club.