The former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan thinks that Tony Pulis would be a safe if uninspiring appointment for Sheffield Wednesday.
Wednesday are close to hiring Pulis – who managed Palace after Jordan’s time there – on a two-and-a-half-year deal, according to the well-connected Alan Biggs.
It follows the sacking of Garry Monk on Monday, with the Championship side sat second-from-bottom.
Remarkably, Pulis – who also succeeded Monk at Middlesbrough – has yet to be relegated as either a player or manager.
But while Jordan does not expect the Owls to go down under the Welshman, he fears it will not be all plain sailing for their chairman Dejphon Chansiri.
Discussing the Pulis to Wednesday rumours alongside Jim White earlier, the 53-year-old told Talksport: “I don’t think he pulled up trees at Middlesbrough but I do think that some of the work that he did at Stoke and Palace was of the highest quality.
“It’s not an inspiring decision but it’s a decision based upon perhaps where Sheffield Wednesday are at this moment in time, which is they’re struggling at the bottom of the league because of the points docking.
“I don’t know what Tony Pulis would have said to the owner that would have convinced him that he’s a better solution than Garry Monk. I’m not a huge admirer of Garry Monk’s either. But I look at Tony Pulis and think, OK, you know what you’re going to get. He’s relatively safe. I don’t think you’re going to get an easy ride with him as an owner.
“I think you’re going to get Sheffield Wednesday not having any challenges in that division, in terms of finding themselves in a division lower next year. Of course, that is helped by the reduction of the points, from 12 to six.
“It’s an interesting appointment because it does steer towards the narrative that you’re advancing, which is (that Pulis is one of) the old guard. Sometimes in situations where you’ve got it on your toes, you cannot go to an ambitious appointment that’s expansive because you’ve got a crisis on your hands. You’re sitting at the bottom of the league, or near to it. You’ve got a points deduction, you’re just getting into the positive territory, you’re chasing the rest of the season. There’s less of an appetite for a risky or more expansive appointment.
“But I also think, on the flip side of it, Pulis is an operator. In football there are managers that operate in a certain way and I don’t think his chairman is going to have an easy ride with him, because I think Tony operates in a certain way and if you talk to certain owners that have worked with Tony, they’ll give you a viewpoint on him. Paul Scally certainly will, back in the day. It’s a different story. And so will Steve Parish at Crystal Palace.
“I suppose to some extent he does (fit the bill), yeah. Not because there’s any ambition in that appointment and not because it’s going to get Sheffield Wednesday out of this division. What it will do is avert an immediate crisis. And for Sheffield Wednesday fans, do you want a more aspirational environment or do you want an environment that’s constantly treading water?”
Pulis, who has been out of work since leaving Boro in May of last year, will reportedly bring in his long-term sidekick David Kemp as assistant manager at Wednesday.
Kemp worked with the 62-year-old at Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough.
The Londoner, who is five years’ Pulis’s senior, has retired twice in that time and moved to California in the summer of 2018.
But it appears the chance to reunite with Pulis at Wednesday will lure him back once more.
We at SheffieldWednesday.News listed Kemp among several other potential staff appointments – including two ex-Owls – in the hyperlinked piece on Wednesday.