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…
Championship side Birmingham City are currently monitoring Forest Green Rovers manager Rob Edwards ahead of a potential approach in the summer, according to a Patreon report from journalist Alan Nixon.
The 39-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful season in Gloucestershire, guiding the League Two side to the third tier of English football quite comfortably and only trailing Swindon Town in terms of league goals scored in the fourth tier this term going into the final game of the season this weekend.
He may not be joining Rovers in the third tier though with Salford City and the West Midlands outfit both thought to be interested in luring him away from The Fully Charged New Lawn, though both sides still have permanent managers in place at this stage.
Quiz: Which club did Birmingham City sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?
Birmingham’s Bowyer enjoyed a reasonably successful start to his spell at St Andrew’s, guiding the club to safety last term before climbing into the play-offs in the early stages of the 2021/22 campaign.
However, their decline since then has seen them fall to 20th place, a real disappointment considering their promising recruitment and excellent start to the season and this has left Bowyer in real danger of being dismissed.
This could open up the vacancy for Edwards and with this in mind, we asked three of our writers at Football League World if he would be a good appointment at St Andrew’s.
It is no surprise that Edwards has emerged on the radar of a Championship club, but that is not to say that a move like this would not come with its risks.
Still early on in his managerial career, Edwards has seen tremendous success with FGR this season, a campaign where they have defied expectations to seal promotion to League One.
Not only have they won promotion, but for the vast majority of the campaign, they have been playing like a side already in League One, proving to be a level above the majority of their divisional counterparts.
Playing an exciting brand of attacking football, that places a high emphasis on the productivity of the wing-backs, which certainly provides promise when looking at Birmingham and their current squad.
As stated before, the appointment of Edwards would represent a risk, but it is a risk that could ultimately lead to high rewards with Birmingham making very little progress over the last few years.
Edwards would definitely be a completely different character to what Birmingham have in the dugout at the moment in the form of Lee Bowyer.
In his first season as a head coach, Edwards has delivered an overdue promotion for Forest Green Rovers to League One and he’s got the best out of some talented young players.
Clearly his coaching methods are working and with Birmingham themselves having some youngsters who could flourish, Edwards’ success has perhaps been picked up on and they may think that he would be a better fit than Bowyer.
Something clearly isn’t working with Bowyer at the Blues – despite his affinity with the club from his playing days and the early success in results he had last year it has quickly gone downhill.
Edwards would be a big risk considering his lack of managerial experience, but it’s a risk worth taking for Birmingham considering they’ve had so many years of disappointment.
It would be an excellent appointment.
However, Edwards would be ill-advised to move from a club as well-run as FGR to one operating as poorly as Birmingham City.
I do not see this one as a goer with the current regime in place at St Andrew’s.
The lure of a big Championship club and the potential pay rise he would receive, are diminished significantly by the way the club has been operating in recent years, with many managers trying and failing to arrest their slide in the second tier.
At the moment, relegation is inevitable for the Blues, no matter who stands in the dugout and Edwards would risk tarnishing his reputation.