Next Tranmere Manager Odds & Predictions: Five Main Candidates For The Post Micky Mellon

After Tranmere Rovers decided to sack club legend Micky Mellon as manager last Sunday, EFL expert Gram Dodd has looked at five men that are in the running for the Prenton Park hot seat and has also provided his predictions, hoping to take advantage of the current odds!


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Next Tranmere Rovers Manager Odds

Karl Robinson

Karl Robinson has been the one who has emerged as the first favourite with betting sites. He is a rather young manager at 42 but has already accumulated 13 years of experience as he was the former Liverpool youth coach. Looking at his career, we can see that he won automatic promotion from League One with MK Dons and has developed players like Dele Alli.

He didn’t have much luck at Charlton but did well when he took over Oxford at the end of the 2017-18 season and managed to keep them in a solid midtable position in the following season. He ended that year in 12th place, and that was the best he could do with a team that had issues going forward. After that, he recorded back-to-back Play-Off finishes with his best players, which were Cameron Brannagan, Simon Eastwood, and Matty Taylor. The Yellows finished the following season with 76 points, two more than the previous season when they finished sixth, but lost eight due to increased competition in the Play-Offs.

If we look at Roberton’s five seasons as Oxford manager, we can say that four of them have been positive, and he will see Tranmere as a decent opportunity for him at this stage of his career. His favorite style has been a 4-2-3-1, but in the last few seasons we’ve seen him use a lot of 4-3-3 formations.This could fit well with Tranmere’s squad, which has the likes of O’Connor and Hendry, who could play similar roles to Gorrin and Brannagan, with Kieron Morris in a creative position similar to Henry.

Playing with only one striker is probably the best Tranmere can do at the moment, as that position is not particularly strong, and having an extra midfielder as a support should help increase goal opportunities, as we haven’t seen many this term so far.

Under Robinson, it is likely we are going to see a different flow of the ball with more precision-engineered chances as opposed to the crosses from full-backs across the box that could be seen under Micky Mellon. A potential downside of employing Robinson is that we have seen his squads to be passive at times, which is something to consider, especially if the board wants the new manager to build up a team that better represents the people of Birkenhead.

Danny Cowley

Similar to Robinson, Danny Cowley wouldn’t be considering the Tranmere job if the opportunity had arrived when he was at his peak. On his CV, we can see that he has won three consecutive promotions with Concord Rangers and also achieved this twice in three years when managing Lincoln City. After Lincoln, though, the Cowleys brothers haven’t really delivered at bigger clubs, although it has to be said that they managed to keep Huddersfield up when they were about to implode in the same way as Sunderland did in 2019-20.

They went close to getting Portsmouth into the Play-Offs last season but couldn’t make it for the reasons we explained before about Oxford. They did so even if the club was more focused on investing in infrastructure than on players.

The Cowleys eventually left the Pompey when they were in 11th place, which is not too bad considering the situation, despite the feeling that more could have been done given the club’s size. The brothers, who were born in Havering, are very passionate and practical, and they like to change their team to match how the other team plays. They like their teams to be aggressive with the ball, positive, and proactive. After having a couple of months to rest, they will be ready to go again, maybe with Tranmere?

Next Tranmere Rovers Manager Prediction: 5/1 David Artell To Be Next Tranmere Manager

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change

David Artell

With Tranmere having made nine permanent signings under 22 this summer, it is clear that the club has the ambition to develop new talents. Some will see the departure of Micky Mellow as a continuation of this project, with the concern that the crossing-heavy style of football used by the former manager will not help nurture talents moving forward.

If this is the main goal, Rovers will have a hard time finding anyone else in League Two who has the potential to grow other than David Artell.The Yorkshireman has won promotion from this level before when managing Crewe in 2019-20, and has done so with six of his most typical starting XI being homegrown players, taught by him in the academy. Not many have been able to do something similar in modern football.

Artell plays a 4-3-3 system, and if he gets the job, we would probably see Hendry operating as a pivot and O’Connor, who should mirror what Paul Green was doing at Crewe.

From what I can gauge, there is an appetite in the fanbase for something easier on the eye, as long as tenacity and intensity are not dropped. With Artell, we should expect smooth, passing football that should really do well for youth development, which is the basis of his play. Changing so dramatically, though, might be difficult with people not appreciating the sideways passes and the higher press that we have seen from Artell’s sides previously.

The 42-year-old would have to adapt his style and understand that, probably, the path to success at Prenton Park would be a bit different from the one he experienced at Gresty Road. If he will be able to implement his methods step by step and get a team that fights for the shirt and presses the opposition high with a good dynamic passing game and youth development, than there could be only success for him here. He is our main pick for the job at Tranmere and can be backed with BetVictor below.

Leam Richardson

Leam Richardson has been mostly an assistant to Paul Cook, helping him win titles at Chesterfield, Portsmouth, and Wigan. The 43-year-old remained with the Latics in 2020-21 and managed to keep them up despite the points deduction and the financial crisis. Following the arrival of Talal Al Hammad, Richardson get them to top spot in the 2021–22 season, completing a sensational two years in charge. The step up to the Championship was difficult tough, and mostly due to the inability to improve the team significantly in the summer. So Wigan ended up with a squad that wasn’t fit for the league and even if Richardson was far from blameless, he still left the team two points off safety, while now the gap is eight with relegation rivals that do have also game sin hand. 

The main strength of the 43-year-old is his ability to create team spirit and get the aggressive performances that fans love. He has promotion-winning experience, having achieved that four times, always as a title winner. Richardson will probably only move to Tranmere if there is a clear plan from the board for a strong top-three challenge next season. Where Richardson is likely to struggle is to develop saleable assets, as he has always done his job with more experienced squads built for the top.

Next Tranmere Rovers Manager Outsider Prediction: 5/1 Pete Wild To Be Next Tranmere Manager

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change

Pete Wild

An alternative you might want to consider is Pete Wild. If Tranmere aren’t prepared to pay big compensation for their next manager, they might look for a young, up-and-coming type who has great potential, like Pete Wild.

The 38-year-old was able to bring Halifax to two Play-Off finishes in three seasons despite working with a minimal budget. His great work has gone under somewhat due to being outside of the EFL, but Wild has great management qualities, and under him the Bluebirds are playing with an intense, high-pressing 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 that would be a breath of fresh air for the Super White Army.

Wild has also been able to develop several players like Callum Land and Tom Hamer, Jack Earing, Devante Rodney, Tom Bradbury, and several others. If Wild is able to have one or more great seasons at Barrow, he might be too late for Tranmere, as his next move would probably be to a team of the level of Barnsley or similar. Currently, Tranmere would still have a chance to attract him to Prenton Park, so if paying compensation is an option for the board, surely he needs to be considered and looks valuable in the betting market too as a possible outsider.

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Gram Dodd
15-year veteran in the sports writing industry who has written betting previews for NFL, golf, football, racing, and tennis. Sports event of all time: the Miracle of Istanbul.