Tony Pulis is in ‘advanced talks’ to succeed Garry Monk for a second time, this one at Sheffield Wednesday, according to The Telegraph’s John Percy.
It is claimed that Pulis, who replaced Monk at Middlesbrough three years ago next month, could be appointed by the Owls ahead of this weekend.
The latter was sacked by Wednesday at the start of the week, and left with his newly-appointed coaching team of James Beattie, Andrew Hughes, Darryl Flahavan and Ryan Needs.
But who could Pulis bring in to replace them?
The Boro Boys
Assistant Sam Ellis (the former Sheffield Wednesday defender and right-hand man to Kevin Blackwell at Sheffield United), goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould, athletic performance coach Tim Exeter and head of performance analysis Carl Blakemore were each relieved of their duties at the same time as Pulis and – unlike first-team coach Curtis Fleming, who is now managing Punjab FC in India – neither are currently employed by professional clubs, although Ellis is now 74. Another assistant, Jonathan Woodgate, succeeded Pulis – his former Stoke manager – as Middlesbrough boss, but was sacked earlier this year.
A Returning Owl?
It was the former Wednesday midfielder and manager Gary Megson whose father, Don – another one formerly of this parish – gave Pulis his professional debut at Bristol Rovers, and the pair have been close friends ever since. They worked together at Stoke and, more recently, West Bromwich Albion, with Megson acting as coach and assistant the Welshman. “We have got very similar ideals,” said the former. “I am not saying we play and see everything the same, but we believe in fitness, organisation and honest players, and trying to get the best of the players we have got.”
Pulis added Gerry Francis, the former Queens Park Rangers and England midfielder, to his coaching teams at both Stoke and Crystal Palace. Famed for his business-at-the-front-party-at-the-back hairstyle, Francis remains without a club at 68.
The 62-year-old’s son, Anthony, was on the books of both Portsmouth and Stoke while his dad was boss, but is currently employed as one of four assistants at David Beckham’s Inter Miami. The younger Pulis previously managed Saint Louis FC, but may be open to a return to the country of his birth.
The Unlikely Lads
Pulis’s long-time former assistant, Dave Kemp, has finally retired to California, having been dragged back into the game after his associate’s appointment by Boro, while his respective Palace and West Brom coaches Keith Millen (Sweden’s Orgryte IS) and Ben Garner (Bristol Rovers) are both in management themselves.