Who is set for the top job at Meadow Lane? Well, it seems that the interviews have been concluded after yet another week at Meadow Lane that could hardly be called uneventful. The candidates have strolled through Ray Trew and Jim Rodwell's door and made their case for the Meadow Lane hotseat and the calibre of applicant appears to be fairly impressive, throwing into question Steve Cotterill's budget complaints somewhat. Anyway, please enjoy NCM's guide to the contenders and pretenders for the job of Notts County manager. Paul Ince The Odds - 9/1 Former Clubs - Macclesfield Town, Milton Keynes, Blackburn Rovers, Milton Keynes Why should he be given the job? - Ince has a good track record in League Two, having led Macclesfield Town to a miraculous escape from relegation and won the title with Milton Keynes, who were renowned for their attractive style of play when they romped to the championship. As a hugely successful player with a glittering reputation, Ince also commands respect within the game and will have a phonebook bulging with the numbers of players and managers who may be willing to do him a favour. Why shouldn't he be given the job? - Since his early success, Ince has stagnated somewhat after an ill advised decision to join Blackburn Rovers. He was sacked early on in his reign at Ewood Park and it's clear to see that it was too much of a jump for him to make so early on in his managerial career. Having returned to Milton Keynes he struggled to replicate his early success and left the club in mid-table after a play-off campaign the year before, despite an attractive looking budget and playing squad. His success seems to be directly correlated with having experienced assistant Ray Mathias by his side. The NCM Verdict - We certainly wouldn't be against the appointment of Ince, but it must involve Mathias as well. Last season Ince proved that he is not yet ready to go it alone at this level and he struggled to live up to expectations with Milton Keynes. Craig Short The Odds - 3/1 Former Clubs - Ferencvaros Why should he be given the job? - He certainly knows the club well having made well over one hundred appearances for the Magpies in the early 1990's. He will also know the backroom staff well, which is a plus as it appears they are set to stay at the club with the new manager. He has also done a fairly impressive job with Ferencvaros, who it must be said are a bigger club than Notts. In a pressure cooker environment (one of Short's first games was stopped due to a riot) he has led the giants back from the wilderness and once again established them as one of Hungary's most successful clubs. Why shouldn't he be given the job? - The real issue with Short appears to be a lack of experience managing at this level. Whilst he has seen a degree of success with a bigger club in the top flight of a European country it is hard to see how that translates to the hustle and bustle of third division football in England. However, every manager has to start somewhere and if Short has impressed enough in the interview then it is hard to argue against him deserving his chance. The NCM Verdict - We feel that Short would be a risk and only Ray Trew knows how impressive he was in the interview, which will go a long way to deciding whether he is ready for the job. He seems to be enthusiastic and has some managerial experience, albeit in an interesting environment. He'd be a wildcard but one we feel could pay off. George Burley The Odds - 12/1 Former Clubs - Ayr United, Colchester United, Ipswich Town, Derby County, Hearts, Southampton, Scotland Why should he be given the job? - Burley's CV has countless success stories and he certainly doesn't lack experience. He's managed at a number of different levels and even at international level, so will definitely know the tricks of the trade. He will also have an extensive list of contacts and would be able to persuade people to join the club who others may not be able to. Why shouldn't he be given the job? - Burley's main success came at Ipswich Town, which was a long time ago. His CV is impressive in parts but also shows some failures that can't be overlooked. He's also never really managed at this level which makes him no more qualified than Craig Short in truth. The NCM Verdict - We feel Burley's best days as a manager are probably behind him and it'd be a risk to take on someone who hasn't seen a really successful spell at a club for quite some time, particularly when they've never managed at this level. Steve Clarke The Odds - 12/1 Former Clubs - Newcastle United (caretaker), Chelsea, West Ham United (both assistant) Why should he be given the job? - Clarke has a glittering CV and is highly respected and well thought of at three massive clubs that he has worked at in a coaching capacity. He will have a lot of contacts and is very well thought of within the game, he is also likely to be a popular choice amongst fans with his reputation as a 'nice guy'. Why shouldn't he be given the job? - His experience as a number one is just one game as caretaker manager of Newcastle United, but it's hard to slam someone who has been assistant to the likes of Mourinho and Scolari for a lack of experience. Whether he'll be willing to drop down to this level and down to the sort of wages that League One managers earn is, however, a whole different matter. The NCM Verdict - We think Clarke would be an excellent appointment but, in truth, it's unlikely that he's going to be willing to drop down to this level, even to be the main man. His glowing reputation and apprenticeship served under some of the best managers around mean he will have the tools to be a success, but a Championship job is more likely in our eyes. Pierre Littbarski The Odds - None Given Former Clubs - Yokohoma FC, Duisburg, Yokohama FC, Sydney FC, Avispa Fukouka, Saipa, FC Vaduz Why should he be given the job? - All publicity is good publicity apparently and appointing an illustrious former German international would certainly bring plenty more of that down to Meadow Lane. Having managed in a number of different locations he is also likely to have an exhaustive number of players on speed dial. Why shouldn't he be given the job? - In truth, his record just isn't very good. We're not sure that getting dismissed by FC Vaduz, the top club in Liechtenstein, for 'poor results' is really something to be proud of. He's also never managed in England, so would take a considerably amount of time to adapt to the pressures and style of play. The NCM Verdict - Certainly a curveball and it's almost flattering to have a former German international apply for the managers job at Meadow Lane. That said, Pierre just doesn't seem to be a very good manager and has never managed or played in England, let alone League One, so for that reason we think it's best to say thanks but no thanks. --- It is expected that an announcement on the new boss will be made either on Friday or the beginning of next week, so stay with NCM for all the reaction to the appointment, whoever it may be.
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