What next for Villa?
Sky Bet examine the runners and riders for the vacant Villa job
Last Updated: May 14, 2012 5:00pm
Paul Lambert: Favourite to succeed Alex McLeish at Villa Park
Aston Villa sacked Alex McLeish after a miserable Premier League campaign which saw them narrowly avoid relegation, and online betting company Sky Bet have assessed who might be next in the Villa Park hotseat.
Lambert has rightly won many plaudits for guiding an unfashionable Norwich side to 12th place in their first season since promotion to the Premier League. He moved to a bigger club when he traded Colchester for the Canaries in 2009 and could be high on Randy Lerner's list.
Martinez declined Villa's advances last summer to stay with Wigan but after pulling off another exhilarating escape at the DW Stadium, he may feel he has done all he can at the club. But if that is the case, the Spaniard could see his next move as one higher up the food chain than Villa. A man in demand, Martinez is in the running for a number of jobs according to Sky Bet, and is current 5/2 favourite to replace Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool.
Benitez has been out of work since an ill-fated stint at Inter Milan in 2010/11 and has often linked to a move back to the Premier League. The former Liverpool boss brought Champions League glory back to Anfield in 2005 as well as winning the FA Cup the following year. Sky Bet currently have him as 2/1 favourite to be the next Real Madrid boss if Jose Mourinho decides to move on.
As an experienced manager with several years of Premier League experience and a short stint at Villa Park from his playing days, Curbishley represents the safest pair of hands. But he has been out of the game since leaving West Ham in 2008 and needs to return to management soon if he is not to be seen as yesterday's man.
Villa upset many fans when they picked up McLeish from neighbours Birmingham and although Hughton would be unlikely to draw the same level of opprobrium, it is hard to imagine them appointing from St Andrew's again. Hughton has credit in the bank from his time at Newcastle and did well under difficult financial circumstances to take Blues into the Championship play-offs, but he is a long shot.
An outside bet, former United States coach Bradley featured high on Villa's wishlist last season. He has also been linked with Fulham in the past and despite being sacked after five years in charge of his national side, he largely impressed in the international arena. He is currently in charge of Egypt, though a Premier League role would surely be enough to turn his head.