In recent days around 100 applications have been submitted for the vacant managerial role at Plymouth Argyle – So we’ve put our collective heads together to try and list 100 people who COULD be announced the successor of Steven Schumacher.

Our 5 part series sees us list those who’ve sprung up on the rumour mill, feature in the betting odds, those with experience, the outsiders and the Janners themselves. Including the obvious names, the unlikely lads and some names you may have never heard of.

We’ll aim to drop a new article every day until the new year, but without further ado, here’s 20 names who have popped up on the Rumour Mill:

Who’s missing? Let us know!


Our Latest Podcast


Leighton Baines

Current Club: Everton
Role: U18’s Manager

Aaron |  Baines at the reigns? We’ll see. Everton’s U18’s Manager fits the recruitment policy that saw the last two managers hired; Links to the city of Liverpool, tick. Fairly inexperienced, tick. First real chance in management, tick. (Apologies, Bury). His set-piece prowess could be of use during sessions on Harpers – however, his Everton youth side currently sit bottom of the league – I’m not overly sure that warrants the step up straight into a Championship hot seat yet.



Brian Barry-Murphy

Current Club: Manchester City
Role: Elite Development Squad

Frazer  |  Having spent 18 months heading up Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, there are rumours that Brian Barry-Murphy wants to get back into management with a first team squad. He previously managed at Rochdale between 2019 and 2021. Given the inexperience, Barry-Murphy is likely to be in Argyle’s price range, and will be considered highly talented given his role with Man City. The Manchester club don’t often stand in the way of coaches moving into management, so whilst he may come with some risks, he could be an exciting option that is practical for Argyle.



Paul Cook

Current Club: Chesterfield
Role: Manager

Aaron  |  Someone’s agent is working overtime for the payday! Cook wouldn’t be the worst hire in the world, but I’m not sure we’d allow King Derek’s fiercest rival to come in and take the reigns. Experience across all divisions in the EFL aplenty and has done well at this level with a similar budget to ours during his time at Wigan, however I think he’s at home at the Spireites and wouldn’t quite tick all the boxes required to satisfy Mr Hallett, Dewsnip and Parkinson.



Chris Davies

Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Role: Assistant Manager

Aaron |  Allegedly spotted in the stands up in Cardiff for our Boxing Day draw, Chris Davies recently became a front runner for rivals Swansea City in their own search for a manager before turning down the opportunity – a decision Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was reportedly delighted with. Davies has a host of coaching experience in the Premier League at Liverpool, Leicester City and, as already mentioned, Tottenham Hotspur, working as an assistant to the aforementioned Postecoglou, Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rodgers, the last two would include include a stint alongside Andrew Parkinson too. Davies also manages to tick all the boxes the Argyle hierarchy want from the new manager and for what it’s worth, I’d be delighted.



Damien Duff

Current Club: Shelbourne
Role: Manager

Aaron |  Our last punt from the league of Ireland didn’t go as planned, but could Damien Duff be the man to leave Alfie Lewis as a distant memory? I can see this one more than others linked to the role; young, up and coming, good links within the game and has success in Ireland having guided Shelbourne into Europe. A punt, but might be one worth taking if Championship survival wasn’t imperative to our long-term aims.



Michael Duff

Previous Club: Swansea City

Sam  | There are perhaps some reasons to be sceptical about Duff’s potential appointment. At first glance he appears to be a manager who did well in League One but struggled making the step up to the Championship with Swansea. That said, there are mitigating factors that might explain this. Duff is associated with a style of football that involves energetic high pressing off the ball and direct football with the ball at feet. By no means was he a ‘hit and hope’ merchant but he was not a manager versed in the traditions of Swansea’s possession based style: Argyle perhaps fall somewhere in the middle. Our style under Schumacher was more possession based than Duff is used to playing but not quite as possession based as Swansea insist upon. Duff would be a transition for sure, but not an impossible one. It is perhaps a slight concern that he took a while to get going at Barnsley. If he were to take over mid season, this is not a luxury we can afford.



John Eustace

Last Club: Birmingham City

Frazer  | Unceremoniously sacked by Birmingham City to make way for Wayne Rooney, John Eustace was enjoying a promising start to the current season when he lost the job after 11 matches. Sitting in sixth place at the time, Eustace was getting a lot from a team not expected to do much in the Championship this season. With experience on the back-room staff at QPR and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the top job at Kidderminster Harriers between 2016 and 2018, Eustace enjoys a growing reputation in the Football League. It’s likely he’ll want to get back into management shortly, making this potentially a great match for both parties. Given his performance with Birmingham earlier in the season though, his stock is still high, which may create competition for his services.



Gaute Helstrup

Current Club: Tromø IL – Norway

Aaron  | A name that sounds more like a Football Manager regen, Gaute Helstrup is another being touted on social media despite his name coming up on the managerial odds more recently than others. The Norwegian former-midfielder has Tromsø competitive against the likes of Bodo/Glimt at the top end of the league and despite a lack of silverware is well regarded in Scandinavian circles. At only 47 he ticks the up and coming box and has clearly shown loyalty to remain in post for three years – an overall win percentage of 49.5 also catches my eye (1.73 PPG at Tromsø). It would seem a 3-5-2 is preferred by Helstrup, however a current lack of strikers for Argyle could see a continuation of familiar tactics we’ve become accustomed to under our Scouse overlords. Could Gaute be tempted to switch to England? Well, there’s regular flights to-and-from Exeter for mid-week breaks he wants back home.



Dean Holden

Previous Club: Charlton Athletic

Dan  | Another manager who embarked on their managerial journey by trying to steer Oldham clear of relegation, Holden succeeded, but it would be another 5 years before dipping his toes back into managerial waters. His jobs at Bristol City and Charlton could easily give him the tag of “Mr Mid-table”, which would suit us just fine in the Championship – albeit, a slow start with the Addicks this season cost him his job, and therefore Argyle would be quite a promotion for him.



Nathan Jones

Previous Club: Southampton

Frazer  |  Having missed out on the Argyle job to Derek Adams, Nathan Jones guided Luton Town from League Two to 2nd in League One before leaving for Stoke City in the Championship. He returned to Luton 18 months later to keep them in the Championship on the final day before guiding them to the Play Offs two seasons later, winning Manager of the Season in the process. Whilst his tenure at Southampton wasn’t as successful, he’s experienced in the Championship, and has exceeded expectations on a small budget at this level before. He should be considered a leading candidate.



Per Mertesacker

Current Club: Arsenal
Role: Academy Manager

Frazer  | Arguably the most surprising name to see on the bookmaker lists of potential new managers – Per Mertesacker. The former Arsenal centre back, represented Germany over 100 times on the international stage and is now the manager of Arsenal’s Academy. The BFG (Big ******* German) doesn’t strike you as a natural candidate with extremely limited experience and seemingly no connection to Argyle. This would appear to be exceedingly unlikely, and an even bigger gamble for Argyle, but young managers have to start somewhere and he’d bring an abundance of playing experience. Would be a fun and exciting option, albeit risky. Player Manager anyone?



John Mousinho

Current Club: Portsmouth
Role: Manager

Fin  | A replacement as close to the Schumacher mould as you’re gonna get right now. After coming in to steady a pretty old and battered ship last season, Mousinho lifted spirits leading Pompey to a steady 8th placed finish, admittedly without pulling up any trees. This season he has changed the rearguard of his side, seeing them storm to top of League One for Christmas, currently sitting 7 points clear. He has got a far bigger budget than Schumacher had to work with in the 3rd tier, although he also had far greater expectations to deal with and is currently delivering. Can’t really see him moving, but if we could tempt him – yes please.



Scott Parker

Last Club: Club Brugge KV – Belgium

Aaron  | Could we see the famous four-striped grey sweater on the touchline at Fortress Home Park? I’d be surprised. Scott Parker seems to have divided fanbases everywhere he’s been, except his recent stint in Belgium where they all agreed he was out of his depth. Talking Championship alone, Scott Parker has a brilliant record at this level, leading both Fulham and AFC Bournemouth to promotion, but that aforementioned divide us unavoidable. Parker was gifted some incredibly strong squads and, by accounts of both clubs’ supporters, only managed to scrape promotion both times – the managers who went on to replace him would have undoubtably won the league with the resources at hand. Finances could be a huge issue in securing his signature too, with budgetary constraints sited as the reason he swapped Craven Cottage with the Vitality. I can’t see us chasing after him but if he’s applied it could be worth hearing him out.



Nigel Pearson

Previous Club: Bristol City

Aaron  | While Plymouth Hoe would provide the perfect inspiration for Pearson’s love of oil painting, Home Park would prove a better setting for his latest work. It’s not often a manager could only choose Exeter as a suitor closer to home and there’s little chance of him upping sticks to our League Two bound rivals. The man who oversaw Leicester City’s rise to the Premier League while building foundations that saw them win it under his successor would actually be a sensational hire for Argyle – and tick so many of the boxes that the club deem necessary, except age. His track record with youth is exceptional too – Alex Scott, Tommy Conway and Sam Bell spring to mind during his recent stint with Bristol City to name but a few. He’s not a name I instantly wanted, but given the opportunity I’d grasp it with both hands.



Gus Poyet

Current Club: Greece National Team

Fin  | Weird one this, Gus popped up in the betting following rumours he had been seen in Plymouth. Do I actually want this to happen? For entertainment value? Yes. For football reasons? Less sure. Poyet has had success in the past, most notably with Brighton, Sunderland and recently with the Greek national team but where it has gone wrong, there’s been fireworks and I could see his personality clashing with members of the board. Is there an upside if all goes well? Absolutely. Is the potential fall out worth it? I don’t think so.



Dick Schreuder

Current Club: CD Castellon – Spain

Sam  | In truth, unlike many of the names on this list, Schreuder appears to be somewhat there by default. He was one of the many names linked to the Stoke job which lead him to then appear on the Argyle odds list almost by default. In a way, he seems viable. Basic research done by fans on Twitter/Youtube reveals he is an attacking manager who likes to coach counter pressing. His stats look good, having done well leading PEC Zwolle to the Dutch Eredivisie. That said, there are question marks. He’s 54. Whilst perhaps young at heart, it doesn’t really fit the bill of a young manager looking to build a career with us. Also, he perhaps has questionable judgement on career moves. He left Zwolle to manage Castellon in the Spanish third tier. Not to be ruled out but not, I think, a leading candidate.



Jimmy Thelin

Current Club: IF Elfsborg – Sweden

Aaron  | Yeah, you’ve got me! Thelin hasn’t been at all mentioned on any social media – but he’s 25/1 in the betting odds so I had to have a look. As a player Thelin was a centre-back who plyed his trade in the fifth and sixth levels of Swedish football before rising through the ranks of Jönköpings Södra IF taking charge of their U17s, then U19’s, U21s before being named First-Team Manager where he would go on to lift the 2015 Superettan, Sweden’s second tier, ahead of one Graham Potter. Thelin also managed to get the best out of his brother, Tommy, as he finished the season the season joint third in the race for the golden boot. Thelin lead JS IF to safety in the top flight only to be relegated the following season, however IF Elfsborg secured his signature and while no silverware has been lifted yet, the 2023 Allsvenskan season saw them pipped to the top-flight title solely on goal difference by Malmo. Detailed tactical analysis of his 4-2-3-1 also shows incredible promise with attacking, exciting football appearing to be his philosophy that would suit our current squad well. If Thelin’s keen, book him in for an interview! He’s going places.



Richie Wellens

Current Club: Leyton Orient

Dan  | Granted, a job history of Oldham > Swindon > Salford > Doncaster > Leyton Orient doesn’t look nearly as glamorous as some of the other candidates in the frame. Nor does Wellens’ frankly honking record at the Keepmoat Stadium that saw him sacked after a mere 199 days. However, after a perhaps not unexpected relegation for Oldham in 2018, he has since seen two promotions out of League Two. Most notably, his current job must be regarded as very successful, taking over the O’s when they were near-bottom of the 92, taking them up, and now having them safely up in mid-table in their first season back in the third tier. Wellens’ philosophy of playing out from the back would also suit our current squad; no seriously overhaul would be required and he could pick up from where Schumacher left quite easily.



Luke Williams

Current Club: Notts County

Sam  | At a cursory glance, Luke Williams appears to fit the criteria that Neil Dewsnip outlined for a new manager in the recent press confernece. He’s young, ambitious and plays a style of football that is both attacking and data-lead. His Notts team got promoted from the National League Via the play-offs last season and only failed to do so automatically due to a Hollywood backed Wrexham side who were surely the best non-league team of all time. Williams made a fine start to this year’s League Two season, renewing the rivalry with Wrexham and leading them to top spot by October. That said, there are question marks about his ability to address negative momentum. Notts went on an alarming run of losses through late November and December which they only managed to reverse with a Boxing Day win over Doncaster. The same is true of his previous job with Swindon. He took over following the sudden departure of Martin Ling and made a flying start before dropping like a stone and suffering relegation. A promotion to the second tier feels rather too much too soon.


Anyone we missed? Let us know:

Twitter: @ArgyleLife1886 | facebook: ArgyleLife | TikTok: @ArgyleLife1886