A boy can dream. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
With Gerard Houllier's departure from the club expected some time this week, attention has predictably turned to potential replacements. I'm not about to indulge in any speculation; it's far too early in the going for that type of thing and in any case Gerard Houllier's appointment came so far out of left field that it would be a bit silly to think that I could make any sort of reasonable assumption as to what the club are looking to do. There will loads of information coming out in the days and weeks ahead; some of it will be good, most of it will be worthless and none of it will serve as proof until the club gives confirmation.
That doesn't mean I don't have my favorites and not-so-favorites. Lots of names will be mentioned in conjunction with the Aston Villa managerial opening and it's human nature to react in a visceral sense to each and every rumor, no matter how far-fetched it may be. With that in mind, here is a rundown of names that have already been mentioned in connection to the Villa job and the reaction I would expect from myself should they be handed the reigns.
Mark Hughes - Sigh of resignation followed by several hours of watching YouTube clips of mid-1990s Ajax.
David Moyes - Smug and self-satisfied grin. Unconsciously condescending "chin-up" Twitter posts directed at my Everton loving friends that will likely make them hate me fo at least three months.
Bob Bradley - Steal Gareth's identity so I can bash the appointment constantly without being called an American apologist.
Carlo Ancelotti - Public approval of the club's ability to reel in a "big-name" manager, private frustration that said manager is not really exciting in any way.
Rafa Benitez - Set out to determine whether or not "Rafa Benitez" is Spanish for "Gerard Houllier".
Owen Coyle - Buy 27 pairs of "solidarity shorts".
Sam Allardyce - Put the Aurora Bridge suicide prevention fence to the test.
Alan Curbishley - Charter airplane, impale self on Aurora Bridge suicide prevention fence.
Gary McAllister - Take up interest in rugby.
Gianfranco Zola - Giggle uncontrollably.
Roberto di Matteo - Google "Champions League winning teams managed by extraterrestrials".
Roberto Martinez - Sell all personal belongings, fly to Cleveland, go to Randy Lerner's house, willingly sign myself over to his indentured servitude.