This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City have reportedly held preliminary talks with Nigel Clough over potentially replacing Pep Clotet at St. Andrew’s, as per Sky Sports.
Blues will be on the lookout for a new head coach between now and the end of the season, after recently announcing that Clotet will be leaving St. Andrew’s at the end of the campaign.
According to Sky Sports, one man who could be set to replace Clotet is Nigel Clough, with the club holding preliminary talks over him potentially replacing Clotet at St. Andrew’s ahead of 2020/21.
Clough is on the lookout for a new job after recently leaving Burton Albion, helping to ease the club’s financial position by bringing an end to his second spell in charge of the Brewers.
The 54-year-old guided the Brewers to automatic promotion to the Championship in 2016, as well as enduring spells in charge of Sheffield United and Derby County in the past.
Here, the FLW team discuss whether he would be a good appointment for Birmingham City…
I think Blues fans might have wanted someone a bit more high-profile but Clough does have a lot of skills that could work out well.
He’s got good experience of the EFL and earned promotions during his time with Burton Albion.
Indeed, he can work on a tight budget which he might have to do at Blues and also has the ability to coach players to punch above their level based on his work at the Brewers over the years.
It might not be some Blues fans’ first-choice, but I can actually see some of the method behind such a suggestion.
He strikes me as a very steady option for Birmingham, steady yet unspectacular in all honesty.
Clough has done a relatively decent job at most places he has been, notably at Burton Albion where he has got the side competing in the higher echelons of the table with a shoe-string budget – whilst bringing them up through the leagues.
The 54-year-old enjoyed relative success at Derby and Sheffield United without pulling up trees mind, and if Birmingham have ambitions of automatic promotion next season, then I question if Clough is the man to deliver it.
Known for his man management skills and ability to rejuvenate a side, Clough would certainly offer a contrast to Clotet who has perhaps more tailored to the coaching side of things.
Ultimately, it all depends on the Blues’ ambition for next season. For me, Clough would offer some much needed stability after years of chopping and changing, though I do question if he has the nous to consistently challenge at the top end of the Championship.
How old these 14 current Birmingham City players?
I’m really not convinced he’s the manager to take them in the right direction.
With the greatest of respect to Clough, I just think that Birmingham need a manager that has a proven track record of success in the Championship.
The Blues have been somewhat of a ‘sleeping giant’ for far too long now, and it’s about time they looked towards the future in a more positive outlook.
They should be targeting someone like Slavisa Jokanovic or Chris Hughton as their top managerial candidates instead, as they have already shown that they know how to get teams out of the Championship and into the Premier League.
There are better options out there for Birmingham, and I’ll admit that I was stunned to hear that they had held talks with Clough over the vacancy heading into the summer.
You feel that this next appointment for Birmingham City simply has to be the right one as they look to close the gap on the promotion places.
With Jude Bellingham set to leave the club this summer, the funds could be beneficial for Blues and they will need a manager in charge who can manage those funds to full effect and can strengthen their squad.
Appointing Clough would be a bizarre move, in my opinion. He has hardly set the world alight whilst managing in League One and he hasn’t been successful in the Championship before.
Fans will be uninspired with this news, and so they should be, as there are much better managerial options out there.