Five Managers Swindon Town Could Look To Appoint – Opinion

With shock news that Jody Morris has been given the sack by Swindon Town after only eighteen games in charge, who could the Robins potentially target as their next managerial appointment to replace the outgoing 44-year-old? 

Swindon Town have had a fairly up and down campaign to date, failing to mount a serious playoff charge which leaves them in an underwhelming 10th spot with just a solitary game left to go in League Two.

Swindon’s 2-1 away defeat to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday proved to be the final straw for Morris in the dug-out, Joel Tabiner for the Railwaymen netting late on to give Crewe the narrow victory. That would be Morris’ 10th and final defeat as Robins boss, departing Swindon with a poor 22.22% win record overall. He would only manage four wins in charge of the Robins.

Many might well have thought Morris could ride this wave of poor results and be given the summer at the County Ground – but with Crawley up next – Morris will not be present in the dug-out. Morris’ first senior managerial role hasn’t ended the way he would have liked, a learning curve for the ex Chelsea Academy coach.

Citing the need for a ‘fresh approach’ in the club statement, it’ll be intriguing to see who the Swindon Town hierarchy opt for as their next managerial appointment.

With that being said, let’s look at five potential names Swindon Town could target to replace Jody Morris as manager…

David Artell – Unemployed 

The first name on this list is a man still not in a job, the man in question being ex Crewe boss David Artell. Out of a managerial position since April 2022, he may well view Swindon Town as an attractive option to get going again in the world of football management.

Although his time with Crewe ended negatively – the Railwaymen relegated back down to League Two – the 42-year-old is still very much a promising manager in his own right. Winning 100 matches in charge of Crewe over the span of nearly five years at the club, Artell secured two promotions up to League Two during his time in Cheshire in the hot-seat. The 2019-20 season even saw Artell win League Two Manager of the Season, clinching automatic promotion in the process.

Talent such as Perry Ng, Charlie Kirk and Ryan Wintle all blossomed under Artell too, earning big moves elsewhere subsequently. For me, with two promotions to League One on his CV and his reputation for playing attractive football, he will be in reckoning for the Swindon Town vacancy.

 

Darrell Clarke – Unemployed

The second option on this list is also a manager currently unemployed, Darrell Clarke however hasn’t had much of a breather since his exit from Port Vale.

His departure from Port Vale was a controversial one if you have connections to The Valiants, Clarke dismissed with Vale falling down League One at a rapid pace. However, after securing promotion to League One under Clarke with the ex Bristol Rovers boss bringing a feel-good factor back to Vale Park, some would have expected Clarke to be given longer to turn things around.

Darrell Clarke has succeeded at various clubs during his time as a football manager to date, loved and adored by Bristol Rovers supporters for back-to-back promotions when he was in charge down at the Memorial Stadium. The only blotch on his CV to date arguably was his time at Walsall – only winning 25 of his 76 matches in charge – but his expertise centre on getting teams promoted out of League Two.

Could he be the next manager at the County Ground? The dismissal from Vale Park might well mean he’s fired up once more…

Michael Appleton – Unemployed

The third potential managerial appointment Swindon Town could decide to make is bringing Michael Appleton into the building, the ex Oxford United manager fresh off being dismissed at Blackpool in the Championship.

His time at Blackpool didn’t go to plan – the Seasiders now confirmed as relegated from the division – but his hey-day in management to date came during his time managing lower down the English football pyramid.

He would begin to gain plaudits as a manager during his time at Oxford United, finishing as League Two runner-ups with the U’s back in the 2015-16 season. Therefore, he has the past knowledge on what it means to construct a successful team in the fourth tier. He would also manage Lincoln City to an unlikely League One playoff final appearance, an achievement that no doubt saw the Seasiders come calling.

Much like Darrell Clarke, he will have a fire in his belly to succeed elsewhere after exiting Blackpool with his ego bruised. Could the Robins hierarchy sway Michael Appleton to take over at Swindon?

Danny Cowley – Unemployed

Another manager with Championship experience on his resume could well be in the running, Danny Cowley always a wanted man when a managerial vacancy opens up.

It’s for good reason too, Danny Cowley’s unbelievable success at Lincoln – alongside his brother Nicky – saw the Imps stabilise themselves as an EFL club after the Cowley brothers made the team believe again after years in the wilderness.

Recent spells at Huddersfield Town and Portsmouth haven’t been all smooth sailing, but if Swindon were to appoint a manager in the ilk of Danny Cowley, it would be a coup considering Swindon’s mid-table spot in League Two at the time of writing.

With the Swindon fanbase expectant and dreaming of success away from their current predicament, Cowley could well be the morale-boosting appointment they need to break out of their current slump. Cowley, himself, might also see Swindon as a club he can put back on the footballing map.

Michael Flynn – Unemployed 

Lastly, and by no means least, Michael Flynn could well be fancied at Swindon as a replacement for Jody Morris. Although his time at Walsall came to a nasty end, it goes without saying that Flynn is a proven manager at League Two level.

He consistently allowed Newport County to punch above their weight in League Two, overseeing various playoff pushes during his four and a bit years as Exiles boss. This often led to an anxiety down in South Wales that he would get poached by a bigger club, but that never came into fruition.

Swindon Town may well look to Flynn as their next manager because of his Newport County achievements, irrespective of his troublesome spell in charge at the Bescot Stadium. It did all fall apart for Flynn at Walsall, but at one stage, the playoffs were a distant possibility. Flynn, like others on the list, you imagine will want to get stuck back in to prove his time at Walsall was a blip.

Is there anyone that I’ve potentially missed? If you’re a Swindon fan, what do you make of this list? 

 

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