Odds cut on Kjetil Knutsen becoming the next Burnley manager
Burnley’s next Premier League clash at home to Southampton is rapidly approaching and still there’s no sign of a new manager entering the building.
Caretaker Mike Jackson has been tasked with overseeing the first team since Sean Dyche’s unexpected sacking last Friday, claiming a creditable point at West Ham 48 hours later.
There have been reports that Burnley want to bring in an interim appointment until the end of the season, then secure a long-term successor to Dyche in the summer.
Either way, having no one lined up makes the decision to sack Dyche even more perplexing.
U23s boss Jackson looks set to remain at the helm against the Saints on Thursday, after which Burnley will then only have six more games in the fight to avoid relegation.
We’ve seen plenty of managers linked so far, although there's been nothing concrete of note.
Given the timing, it’s difficult to see employed managers such as Wayne Rooney (Derby) or Chris Wilder (Middlesbrough) perform a job swap right now.
Despite Derby’s relegation down to League One, Rooney has refused to entertain reports that he could leave the club. In fact, he’s even spoken about building for the future.
However, while Rooney has been clear-as-daylight in his commitment to Derby, bookmakers’ favourite Wilder hasn’t exactly shut the door when questioned: you can watch for yourselves in the video below.
Even if Wilder is tempted by the opening at Turf Moor, would he really switch clubs right now?
Play-off chasing Middlesbrough may have suddenly come unstuck, picking up one point from their last four games, but with four games to go 9th-placed Boro are three points off 6th, plus they have a game in hand on the immediate three teams above them. In other words there’s all to play for.
Of the out-of-work managers, would former Wolves and Spurs boss Nuno Santo really fancy throwing himself into a relegation dogfight? Unlikely. The same goes for Rafa Benitez. Sam Allardyce has been linked but you’d think given his availability a deal would have been struck by now. Meanwhile, 25/1 outsider Slaven Bilic could be worth considering.
One interesting name to contemplate is Kjetil Knutsen, who in the blink of an eye has been cut to 11/4 with the likes of Paddy Power and Betfair to become Burnley’s next permanent manager (10+ games) - he can still be backed at a best-priced 10/1 with BetVictor.
Knutsen’s name rocketed onto the wider scene back in October when his side Bodø/Glimt stunned Jose Mourinho’s Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference League; the heaviest defeat of Mourinho’s managerial career.
Knutsen then found himself in the mix for both the Rangers and Norwich jobs, but remained in Norway and has since led his troops through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals - defeating Celtic home and away - where he beat Mourinho again, before losing on aggregate.
The defeat in the second-leg is the only time Knutsen’s men have lost in their last 37 matches in all competitions, dating back to August.
Under Knutsen, Bodø/Glimt have won back-to-back Eliteserien league titles - the first two in their history - and have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new 2022 campaign.
The three-time Norwegian Coach of the Year hasn’t just caught widespread interest in terms of results, trophies, and his side’s memorable eye-catching European journey, but through his identity and style; a blend of high-intensity, attractive, and free-scoring football. He's completely changed the culture at the club, recruited effectively, and moulded together an exciting and talented young team.
It’s therefore no surprise that Knutsen is being highly sought-after, and is a name that will certainly get tongues wagging in Lancashire.