Five potential candidates to chew over for the Walsall job

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

With Walsall now hunting for a new boss after sacking Jon Whitney, Joe Masi pinpoints five men who could fill the role.

Who could be in the running?

Adi Viveash

Adi Viveash previously played for Walsall

An ideal candidate on paper, the former Saddlers captain is now a coach who enjoys a growing reputation within the game.

Viveash is currently assistant manager at Coventry, but it is his work at Chelsea that has made him the number one choice for a lot of Walsall fans.

The 48-year-old won two FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth Leagues in his time in London. He also developed players Chelsea went on to sell for millions.

An intelligent individual, Viveash is understood to do his best work on the training ground.

He is also popular, with players including Dominic Solanke praising him for his influence on his career.


Dean Keates

Dean Keates is another former player up for the job.

The tenacious ex-Walsall midfielder is currently in charge of Wrexham and doing an impressive job at The Racecourse.


Keates has turned The Dragons around since replacing the sacked Gary Mills in 2016.

And after stabilising the ship and achieving a mid-table finish last year, he now has the Welsh side sitting fourth in the National League and in the thick of a promotion race.

Originally from Beechdale, his appointment would be hugely popular with locals.

Keates though has two years left on his Wrexham deal with Walsall likely to have to pay compensation to lure him back to the Banks’s.

Lee Carsley

Lee Carsley (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

An intriguing candidate who is also available and lives locally after he recently left a coaching job at Blues.

Carsley famously took charge of Brentford on an interim basis before they appointed Dean Smith.

He won the October manager of the month award during that spell but didn’t think it was fair on the club to take the job full-time when he was still learning his trade.

He has since had coaching jobs with Manchester City and England as well as Blues and may now feel the time is right to step up and become a number one.

The 44-year-old will also have a vast contacts book he will be able to exploit.

Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell is keen to get into management.

One of the finest defenders of his generation, Campbell has made no secret of his desire to become a football manager.

But ever since hanging up his boots, he has gained a reputation for being outspoken.

After recently missing out on the Oxford job, the former Arsenal man described himself as one of the ‘greatest minds in football.’ He also says he is intelligent enough to be a success at any level in the Football League.

Appointing Campbell would certainly raise Walsall’s profile and generate more media coverage.

But they tried that with Paul Merson with disastrous consequences.

Brian McDermott

Brian McDermott

One man the Saddlers hierachy may view as a safe pair of hands is former Reading boss McDermott.

After replacing Alan Pardew at the Madejski Stadium, the former Arsenal midfielder guided the Royals into the play-offs before winning promotion the following season.

He was crowned League Managers’ Association Championship Manager of the Year following that success.

With Reading struggling in the Premier League he was relived of his duties before a bizarre spell at Leeds followed which coincided with Massimo Cellino’s takeover.

McDermott is currently out of work after a second stint at Reading.

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.


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