According to an array of media accounts, Roberto Di Matteo is seemingly hours away from being announced as Aston Villa’s new manager.
The Italian’s pending appointment comes just a few weeks after a Chinese consortium bought the club from Randy Lerner and, given his CV, the move has to be lauded as a sizeable coup.
In addition to steering West Bromwich Albion to Premier League promotion in 2009/10, Di Matteo won the FA Cup and Champions League during a short stint at Chelsea that ended in 2012/13.
If, as is expected, he does decorate the dotted line on a Villa contract, he’ll be the second coach to have hoisted both trophies operating in the Championship next term, with Rafa Benitez last week committing to Newcastle United for the next three years.
To place just how remarkable this is into context, the Premier League at present boasts just two coaches to have won the Champions League. Meanwhile, new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is the sole dugout dweller to have claimed club football’s greatest prize as well as the FA Cup who’ll be earning their crust in English football’s top flight in 2016/17.
Logic dictates that stabling managers of Di Matteo and Benitez’s pedigree would lend their employers a huge advantage, but the track records of fellow silverware-snaffling coaches in the second tier suggests that despite the calibre of their coaches, Aston Villa and Newcastle are in for testing campaigns.
After swapping his Celtic kit for a tracksuit, Lennon won three Scottish Premiership titles and two further domestic cups, while he also masterminded a Champions League victory over Barcelona during his time at Parkhead.
These fortunes starkly contrast to his 18-month tenure at Bolton Wanderers, from whom he departed by mutual consent in March 2016 with the Trotters bottom of the Championship and on course for a relegation that was further embittered by the club recording their joint-lowest number of seasonal wins in their history.
A Capital One Cup winner with Middlesbrough and Eredivisie champion with FC Twente, McClaren was also, of course, England manager for a brief and disastrous spell.
He steered Derby County to the 2013/14 play-off final in his first season at the helm, where his troops fell to QPR, and lost his job 12 months later after the Rams capitulated from promotion frontrunners in 2014/15 to miss out on a top-six finish.
These returns were, however, much better than what was mustered during a 13-game tenure at Nottingham Forest. He was shown the door after losing seven of these matches.
The Norwegian was a serial Danish Superliga winner with FC Copenhagen (claiming Denmark’s richest footballing prize on no fewer than five occasions between 2005 and 2011), but lasted just six months with Wolverhampton Wanderers, winning ten of his 30 games in charge, before being sacked.
He once won the Europa League with IFK Goteborg’s team of part-timers and claimed league titles in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, but former England gaffer Eriksson saw his Leicester City contract terminated after he was deemed incapable of guiding the promotion hopefuls no higher than mid-table in 2011/12.
Of the four, only McClaren saw out a full season and even then he was sacked immediately after that concluded.