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*Odds correct as of November 18, 2022
Wigan Athletic sit 22nd in the Championship table and have recently parted company with Leam Richardson. The north-west outfit continue to search for a new manager and Neil Critchley has leapfrogged Duncan Ferguson and Steven Gerrard in the outright betting.
Until very recently, the best betting apps had Steven Gerrard as the betting favourite to make a quick return to the dugout following him recently being sacked by Aston Villa. However, he has now been overtaken by former assistant Critchley and Ferguson.
The football betting sites still make Gerrard one of the favourites, with Neil Critchley also potentially in the running after also recently leaving Aston Villa. Former Wigan Shaun Maloney is also prominent in the betting at present.
Steven Gerrard made a name for himself at Glasgow Rangers and initially started well at Aston Villa when replacing Dean Smith. However, the Liverpool FC legendary midfielder struggled during the early stages of the 2022-23 season and his position at the Midlands club became untenable.
Gerrard is now out of work and looking for a fresh opportunity. Perhaps this will be in the form of the Wigan Athletic manager's position which is significantly lower-profile than Rangers or Villa. The Championship club are currently near the foot of the table and there's an opportunity for Gerrard to make an impact.
Wigan themselves might regard the hire of Gerrard as a coup and the 42-year-old would perhaps be open to a club who are geographically based close to his native Liverpool. It will be interesting to see whether this move happens but the odds suggest there is a strong chance of it happening.
Neil Critchley was recently installed as one of the betting favourites to take charge of Luton Town, and he is also prominent in the Wigan Athletic manager market. The 44-year-old has a strong reputation in the game considering how well he fared with Blackpool, and it’s easy to see Wigan considering him.
Critchley steered the Tangerines to promotion from League One through the play-offs, and he was doing a fine job keeping the Lancashire outfit in the Championship before deciding to leave Bloomfield Road and become part of Steven Gerrard’s coaching staff at Villa Park.
However, after Gerrard was sacked by the Midlands club, Critchley became a free agent, and it might be that he looks to improve the fortunes of a Wigan side who are currently in a downward slump.
At the age of 50, Duncan Ferguson will feel ready to enter the world of football management. Most recently, the Scot has been part of various Everton coaching teams, having supported bosses such as Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez at his beloved Merseyside club.
There were also a couple of caretaker stints at Everton for Ferguson in 2019 and 2022, although owner Farhad Moshiri decided against promoting Big Dunc from within despite being a hugely popular figure with Toffees supporters.
Since early 2022, Ferguson has been out of work and applying for vacant managerial positions, with the Scot now seemingly close to being given the opportunity to take charge of Wigan just a couple of weeks after Michael Carrick took charge of Middlesbrough.
Edwards was all the rage when steering Forest Green Rovers to League Two promotion last season, and owner Dale Vince wasn’t particularly happy when Watford swooped to make the former Wolves coach their manager last summer.
Many also questioned the wisdom of Edwards leaving for a club with a track record of hiring and firing managers, with the 39-year-old lasting just 11 games at Vicarage Road despite noises previously being made that he could build a squad.
Edwards has been linked with a host of jobs, and it’s clear that he has probably applied for a number of vacant positions recently, with Wigan Athletic the latest club who might consider someone who didn’t get a fair crack of the whip with Watford.
Shaun Maloney played 79 games for Wigan Athletic between 2011-15, and the 39-year-old could be interested in a Latics return, having a reasonable amount of coaching experience already. He has spent several years working with Roberto Martinez as part of the Belgium national team setup.
Maloney then left to take charge of Hibernian between 2021-22, with the former midfielder lasting just 19 games at Easter Road, with the team winning six, drawing six and losing seven of their matches.
The Wigan board could put him on the shortlist when it comes to this vacant role, although perhaps the Championship club might look to appoint someone who has a stronger track record.
We’ve seen Paul Cook in the Wigan Athletic dugout before, and the 55-year-old previously took charge of the Latics between 2017-2020. He has previously led the team to the League One title after leaving Portsmouth and remains popular among the fans.
Indeed, there were mitigating circumstances why he previously left the DW Stadium, with the club having gone into administration when they were relegated, and he’s currently managing Chesterfield in the National League.
If a club like Wigan came calling for someone with a huge amount of managerial experience, it might be that Cook can’t turn down this opportunity.
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