Three up-and-coming managers for 2010

By Thomas Crean

Laurent Blanc

The Sport Review tips three talented, up-and-coming managers for success over the next 12 months.

1. Darren Ferguson (Preston North End)

Darren Ferguson is probably known more for bring the son of Sir Alex, but he has begun to establish a managerial reputation of his own.

He came up through the youth ranks at Manchester United, actually winning the title in the 1992-93 season, but failed to establish himself in the long term.

He enjoyed a career spanning several clubs including Sparta Rotterdam, Wolves and Peterborough, but it was at Wrexham that he spent most of his time, earning 310 appearances scoring 51 goals.

He quit as manager of Peterborough in November following a poor start to the season. This was hardly expected following successive promotions from League Two to the Championship.

His father Alex revealed that his son had dismissed his advice to leave the club at the start of the season.

Ferguson was recently as manager at Preston North End and has already spoken of his ambition to carry the Lancashire outfit up to the Premier League.

Before his appointment, he was strongly linked with the Bolton job. This must surely have been flattering seeing Ferguson has only managed one club previously.

Ferguson has the pedigree to succeed and had shown that he can do a job in managing a lower league side.

Many will be keeping a close eye on “Baby Fergie” at Preston, for potential similarities to the most successful manager in British football, his dad.

2. Roberto Martinez (Wigan Athletic)

“Proving you can be successful with stylish football in any league has been my fight in the British game since I arrived in 1995.”

This statement by Roberto Martinez sums up his approach to the game, and may explain why his Swansea side were compared to Arsenal during his tenure.

Having taken over at Wigan last summer, he has continued to stamp this philosophy of positive football on his new side, with limited resources.

He was a skillful midfielder in his playing days, although never played in the top flight, with his clubs including the likes of: Walsall, Swansea and Wigan.

Martinez is regarded to have an extensive knowledge of European football, mainly through surprising his teammates with winning betting slips from virtually unknown leagues of all corners of Europe.

If Martinez is able to mature into the manager many anticipate he will, and retain his positive outlook on football, it would be no surprise if Manchester United or Arsenal come knocking on his door when Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger eventually call it a day.

3. Laurent Blanc (Bordeaux)

Rumours have been circulating in recent weeks stating that Laurent Blanc has already agreed to take over from widely unpopular France coach Raymond Domenech after the World Cup.

The Frenchman has impressed French football enthusiasts in his first managerial position, winning the French Manager of the Year award in his debut season of 2007-08.

This has been on the back of Bordeaux’s recent rise to the dizzy heights of Ligue 1; winning the title in the 2008-09 season, while also picking up the League Cup along the way.

We all know Blanc from his playing days, where he earned a reputation as a solid centre back or sweeper, winning the World Cup and European Championship with France.

He is vastly experienced, having turned out for the likes of Barcelona, Inter and Manchester United among many others throughout his career.

It has also been speculated he may replace Alex Ferguson on the Scot’s retirement in the next few years.

However, as with Darren Ferguson, he has only managed one club and so could be difficult to judge whether he could be a success at a higher level.


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