Mouth of the Tyne: Where next for Stevenage after Alex Revell's departure? Some of the possible runners and riders
- Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO
The end of Alex Revell's reign as manager of Stevenage was in the end not too much of a surprise. All the promise of the run after Christmas last season seemed to be coming true when they beat Luton in the Carabao Cup in between wins against Barrow and Bristol Rovers in the league.
But from then it unravelled quickly.
There was just one more win in the next 14 League Two games and with the relegation places just two points below them, the decision was made to remove both Revell and assistant Dean Wilkins from their post.
It came just 24 hours after he said he would stick it out "until we're told differently" following the 2-1 home defeat to Mansfield Town.
However, who comes next is not yet known and there could be a few runners and riders. I'm not one to back down from a challenge though and have come up with six possible names who may be in the frame for the Lamex Stadium hotseat. So, in no particular order...
1.Luke Garrard (Boreham Wood)
I've included him in a number of similar lists before. He's still a young man, two years younger than Revell at 36, but has overseen Wood's rise from National League makeweights in 2015 to table-toppers.
And that brings up the first snag in what will no doubt be a difficult managerial hunt for Boro chairman Phil Wallace. Why would he want to leave Meadow Park when things are going so well and they could arguably replace Stevenage as a Football League club?
His years in the National League will have done him the world of good and he is more than ready for a full-time league post.
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He knows the pool of players from where Boro have to do most of their shopping and he has produced plenty of gems that have moved higher up the pyramid, something Wallace likes.
I'd say unlikely but then so was Stevenage appointing Teddy Sheringham.
And talking of left-field appointments with Tottenham links...
2.Sol Campbell (unattached)
Has been out of a job since leaving Southend United in June 2020 and doesn't have the best of track records after an unsuccessful spell at Macclesfield Town and a bizarre 29-day stint at Notts County.
But he has constantly looked to get a role in management and this could be seen as a chance to prove himself once and for all.
Like the Sheringham deal, Wallace has a penchant for high-profile managers and while wages may be a sticking point, this wouldn't be too much of a surprise.
And neither, amazingly, would...
3.Graham Westley (unattached)
While this was originally going to be put in as a bit of a joke, can anyone truly say it is a non-starter?
Hour previous spells have come before this and he is probably one of the most-successful managers in Boro history, if not the most.
His last return in the last week of December 2019 last just two months and in a similar circumstance to this, with the club struggling at the wrong end of the table.
It didn't end well, just two wins in 15 games, and it may have finally severed the links between him and his chairman.
Dare to bet against it though?
So if not one Stevenage legend, then why not...
4.Ron Henry (Royston Town - player)
No mention has been made of who will take the reins for the FA Cup replay with MK Dons on Tuesday but after Mark Sampson left last week, Henry came in temporarily to help with first-team coaching.
He will be the obvious choice to be in the dugout next and perhaps the delay in announcing that is due to discussions with his Crows manager, Steve Castle.
But as a coach with the club, and with over 500 appearances to his name, he would not only have the backing of the fans but would seem to be the natural choice.
It's a big step but why not. He knows the standard inside out and with his team in the academy and with both Billericay and Royston since leaving the Lamex, he will have built up a good knowledge of who is out there and who can be relied on to help.
He'd be may favourite but he's be another rookie in the managerial world and after Revell, will Wallace want to go do that route?
So, if it is experience you want...
5.Ian Holloway (unattached)
Take some of what I said for Sol Campbell and bits of what I reckon about Graham Westley and paste them here.
But he is highly experienced and even if his last post wasn't much to write home about, in charge of doomed Grimsby Town last season, there may still be one good fight left in the old dog.
It would make interviews fun if nothing else.
Back among the much-more likely is...
6.Michael Flynn (unattached)
Only left League Two rivals Newport County in October so will still be full of fresh ideas and knowledge about the league and how best to navigate up its rankings.
Wouldn't be a bad shout. Every reign ends but last season he guided them to the play-off final where they went down to one solitary goal against Morecambe, the same score that prevented them getting promotion in 2019 at the same stage.
Had some memorable cup successes too at Rodney Parade, knocking Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Leeds United out as well as drawing with Tottenham in two successive campaigns.
Stevenage could do a lot worse.
Best of the rest
Believe the bookies and Neil Harris and Andy Woodman of Bromley are among the top favourites in the early market.
There are some with knowledge of the area too with both Richard Money and Shaun Derry having been in charge at Cambridge and Chris Powell and Phil Brown at Southend.
Outsiders who are currently out of a job include Colin Calderwood, Harry Kewell and John McGreal.
As for National League managers who may be tempted to move up a division then there is King's Lynn Town's Ian Culverhouse and how about ex-Boro boss Darren Sarll, now at Yeovil Town.
Stevenage can't afford to rest on their laurels. They need to get a new man in place and working before the season falls away from them completely.
Getting one in and giving them a knowledge of the squad before the January transfer window is also vital.
This one will move quick and change almost hourly. Strap yourselves in.