Bet on Poyet not Rafa Benitez for Stoke City

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The bookies have installed Rafa Benitez as favourite to take over at Stoke City.

The bookies have spoken - Rafa Benitez is their top tip to become Stoke City manager - This time: Don't listen to them.

There may have been talk about Tony Pulis needing to leave for Stoke to move forwards, but his departure clearly hit like a bolt from the blue yesterday.

For while fans were left digesting the news, surely the installation of Chelsea's 'interim one' as favourite indicates the bookies simply don't have a clue what is going to happen next at the Britannia.

Benitez can be found at just 2/1, the lowest price of any potential boss. A full list of candidates can be viewed here.

Other potential candidates suggested by the bookies include, Roberto di Matteo, Phil Neville, Gus Poyet, Roberto Martinez, Steve Bould, Neil Lennon and Martin O'Neill.

There are certainly some interesting names on that shortlist, so let's address the Benitez talk first.

Our instant dismissing of him is not due to any reputation Stoke have, more their league position last season and in previous ones.

While Benitez wants to remain in England, there are not many available jobs around, and the thought he would settle for Stoke rather than head abroad for Champions League qualifiers Napoli, or French champions PSG - who have both been enquiring after him, is simply crazy.

We are sure Stoke would love to have Benitez, - and has been reported by The Sun that the club may throw millions at him to try to convince him to take on the challenge - but expecting this season's Europa League winning manager to take over at the club is, in our opinion not going to happen. 

So who is more likely to take over from Pulis?

Of the names on the list, one man stands out - which is Brighton's Gus Poyet.

Poyet has been linked with several Premier League jobs in the past, but has not had the opportunity to manage in the division, recently seeing his Seagulls side beaten in the Championship play-off semi-finals by Crystal Palace.

After achieving promotion from League One and taking the club to the brink in the next tier up, Poyet recently expressed frustration at not being able to take them to the next level and hinted he was done with the Seagulls and after a new challenge.

He is currently under a suspension from the club for an alleged breach of contract, and it is expected he will not be at the club next season.

Poyet carved a reputation there for engineering his side to play attractive, passing football, the opposite of the stereotypical view of Stoke, even though Pulis did change this to a degree late on.

A real transformation could be seen in Stoke City if Poyet is appointed, which would really turn the footballing world as we know it upside down. 

Stoke City the neutral's favourite? It could just happen...

Who do you want, and expect, to be the next Stoke City manager?

image: © jad99

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