Today’s odds have tumbled for former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores to become the next Blues manager.
Flores has emerged a surprise candidate for the hotseat, which was vacated by Harry Redknapp the other week.
The Spaniard, who is currently in charge at Espanyol, is 12-1 with the bookies for the job, behind Steve McLaren, Steve Cotterill, Aitor Karanka, Lee Carsley, Nigel Adkins and Alan Pardew, but for me, he stands out from that list. Here’s why:
Flores has always been surrounded by artists all his life and it’s showed. The son of Real Madrid star Isidro turned Watford into a workmanlike success. Now, many Watford fans will look back at his reign and hold him in high regard, as he kept them in the Premier League for the first time ever.
By maintaining short distances between defence and attack, they looked compact and it served Watford well. Remarkably, the Hornets were only one point off the Champions League places at Christmas.
Bearing in mind, this is a coach who won both the Europa League and the European Super Cup with Althletico Madrid in 2010. It’s also worth noting he had a strong relationship with his former players Sergio Aguero and David Silva. He’s someone who David Villa describes as “one of the most helpful in the development of my career”. David de Gea even gave him a pocket watch following his departure from Atletico.
Also, he was a keen admirer of Troy Deeney, and was very much a strong part in making the unstoppable striking partnership of the Bluenose and Inghalo, which Jamie Carragher described as a ‘proper front two’.
“Flores has come into the league and what he’s done has been fantastic,” said Carragher. “He’s got those two up front, and they play like a proper front two. There are only two other players at Watford who have actually scored, so Flores knows the strength of the team is to get the ball into those two.” said Carragher in 2015 on Sky Sports.
They were a force to be reckoned with, scoring 23 goals in that season between them. Who knows, maybe he could bring Troy home?
The former Valencia, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Getafe boss led the Hornets to a comfortable mid-table finish, plus the FA Cup semi-finals, but was let go at the end of the season.
The next month he was back in work at Espanyol, leading them to a eighth place La Liga finish last campaign. They are sitting in 12th this term, but a return to England may be an attractive move for him. With the prospect of returning to the top flight, he may feel he has unfinished business in England.
Currently, Lee Carsley is caretaker at St Andrews, but the former defensive midfielder believes the club needs manager with a proven track record:
“A club of this size, with the expectation, I think it needs a manager that has been there and done it with a proven track record.” Carsley told Sky Sports News.
Although Flores has little experience in the Championship, he sure knows how to galvanise a side he’s just walked in to. That is exactly what Blues need, a long-term manager that can get the best out of the players. Blues are a proper working man’s club and this is a proper working man and I believe he would flourish at Blues as Redknapp’s successor.
What do you think, is Flores the right man for the job? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Words by @AdamDee96