After masterminding Leyton Orient’s meteoric surge from mid-table nowheresville to within one match of League One promotion, Russell Slade has become the latest name associated with filling the West Brom managerial vacancy.
Punters feeling that noise can back the O’s boss to take the Hawthorns reins at a massive 33/1, a long way behind 3/1 favourite Chris Hughton.
Placing such huge faith in a manager never to have manned the rudder at the highest domestic level seems a bit of a risk, but the Baggies proved they’re up for dabbling with danger in handing Spaniard Pepe Mel his first job in English football.
Rolling the dice once more may prove profitable if Slade can emulate the achievements of these three former Football League gaffers who flourished after stepping up to the top flight.
Arguably the best example of a manager to scale from the base of the ladder to the very summit, Moyes’ success at Preston earned him a move to Everton.
He oversaw the Toffees’ evolution from relegation battlers to top-four contenders and held the fort for a staggering 11 years before Manchester United came calling.
It may not have gone according to plan at Old Trafford, but the fact that his stock had grown to such an extent that a soccersphere behemoth regarded him as the best successor to Sir Alex Ferguson is testament to how well he’d done since arriving in the Premier League.
After transforming Swansea’s style of play in the second tier, the much-loved Spanish supremo moved to Wigan, where he ensured survival for three of his four seasons at the helm, as well as winning the FA Cup in one of the greatest underdog victories of the competition’s esteemed history.
When Moyes moved to Manchester, Martinez was the man Everton opted for and were rewarded with a near miss in the race to qualify for the Champions League and a 55.3 win percentage in 2013/14.
Current Crawley Town boss Gregory may not have enjoyed the unbridled success of his pagemates, but he deserves a mention after guiding Aston Villa to the top of the Premier League having managed Wycombe Wanderers two terms earlier.
The Villans fell out of title contention once the year turned, but given their recent plight, surely their fans yearn for the heady days at the top of the pile Gregory brought to the west Midlands.