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Chris Flanagan column: Speculation means silly season is in full flow
WHAT do Diego Maradona, Luis Figo, Edwin van der Sar and Andy Ansah have in common?
All greats of the game, I hear you say. Except Andy Ansah.
We can go on. What about Roberto Donadoni, Carlo Ancelotti, Ronald Koeman and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink?
All of these names, and many more, appear on at least one list for the managerial vacancies at either Blackburn Rovers or Burnley – or even both.
Bookmakers in Lancashire are probably planning their summer holidays as we speak such is the happy coincidence they have stumbled upon with Rovers, Burnley and Bolton all without a manager at the same time.
The bets must be flooding in.
And at times like these, all notions of reality are suspended.
On one national bookmaker’s list for the Burnley job, virtually alongside each other at 66/1 are Ancelotti, Ansah and former Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Now it would perhaps be unfair for me to rule out any of those as possibilities, but those don’t seem to be particularly enticing odds.
Ancelotti, admittedly, must be seriously pondering whether to give up his job at big-spending Paris Saint-Germain to throw his hat in the ring.
Meanwhile Ansah’s qualifications for the role include a brief spell as a player with Brighton, choreography for a number of football TV adverts and, most compellingly, a role in Sky’s once renowned Dream Team programme as assistant manager of the fictional Harchester United.
Give that man the job now.
Depending on where you look, you can even get odds of between 16/1 and 100/1 for Steve Kean to turn up as the new Turf boss.
At Rovers, after previously chasing the signatures of Ronaldinho and David Beckham, admittedly anything is possible most of the time.
But one suspects that does not stretch to the appointment of Van der Sar, Didier Deschamps or Brian Laws. If you disagree, though, you can get 66/1 for any of the three, or 250/1 for Pep Guardiola.
The actual appointments Rovers and Burnley make will hopefully revive two clubs who are now sadly slipping backwards after facing each other in the Premier League only three seasons ago.
That none of the three currently has a manager says a lot about the problems they have collectively encountered in that period.
For each club, appointing the right person is important now.
If they get it wrong, they will surely have one nagging doubt.
If only they’d chosen the safe option and gone for Maradona.