League Insider - Speed
Rob Parrish looks at how Gary Speed's expected new job with Wales will impact on the Championship.
Last Updated: 20/12/10 1:17pm
With Gary Speed on course to be named as the new manager of Wales in the coming hours, the managerial merry-go-round in the Football League will fire up again.
Speed emerged as the Football Association of Wales' leading candidate to step into the void created by John Toshack's exit in September, with Sheffield United finally granting their boss permission to open talks on Monday morning.
The former Wales captain, who won 85 caps for his country during an impressive international career, is tipped to be unveiled at some stage on Tuesday, and it is no surprise to learn that the Blades have already been making enquiries over a replacement.
At first glance, the FAW's eagerness to bring in Speed seems somewhat flawed, with his less-than-glittering-or-extensive managerial CV showing just six victories from his 18 games in charge of the South Yorkshire outfit after replacing the axed Kevin Blackwell earlier this term.
The 41-year-old enjoyed a well-respected 20-year career during his playing days with Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United, on top of serving his country with distinction on so many occasions.
But there are likely to be concerns from some Wales supporters over his status as a rookie manager, although with Brian Flynn, Chris Coleman, John Hartson and Dean Saunders his home-grown rivals, they hardly have a host of trophies to offer to back up their own claims.
There are also reports that Speed will be taking a significant pay cut if he leaves the Steel City for the Wales job, which makes it all-too apparent that the FAW do not enjoy the deep pockets of their English neighbours who continue to pay a king's ransom to current incumbent Fabio Capello.
Should Speed take up the offer to lead his country, his first competitive challenge with be the meeting with Capello's Three Lions at the Millennium Stadium in late March, with the principality needing to regroup following defeats in all of their opening Group G encounters.
And his anticipated exit from Bramall Lane would also free up an intriguing Championship vacancy, with the recently-redundant Chris Hughton one name tipped for the role, while Brighton boss Gus Poyet has also been mentioned in dispatches.
Elsewhere in the second tier, questions continue to be asked over Roy Keane's tenure at Ipswich as, despite booking a place in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, the Tractor Boys are in freefall, a situation their boss accepts is unacceptable.
There could also be a change in the air at the Walkers Stadium, with Sven Goran Eriksson wanted to take over as the new boss of Iran, a report the Swede has swiftly moved to distance himself from.
With Hughton inexplicably axed and Alan Pardew landing a five-and-a-half-year deal as the new manager of Newcastle last week, all managers, be they in or out of employment, will be aware that their fortunes can change in an instant.
Which makes Speed's desire to speak with Wales understandable as, on top of the opportunity he is due to accept, there will be more security on offer under an employer who is actively pursuing your services, as opposed to a Football League chairman whose trigger finger could just becoming ever-so slightly itchy.