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Billy McKinlay the betting favorite to become the new Fulham manager

Billy McKinlay leaves Watford and somehow instantly becomes the betting favorite for the Fulham job.

Bryn Lennon

According to Skybet, Billy McKinlay is a 1/1 favorite, while Kit Symons has fallen to 5/2. Of course this causes all the usual suspects to start reporting that he truly is the favorite.

First, we must look at why McKinlay left Watford. He was hired as the first team coach to work under Oscar Garcia. However, Garcia was forced to step down after only 27 days when he was hospitalized with chest pains. However, Watford wanted a foreign coach and decided to bring in Slavisa Jokanovic. It appears rather than work under a new manager he doesn't know and might not want him, McKinlay decided to resign.

Next, we have to look at why McKinlay was instantly linked to Fulham. McKinlay played for Fulham briefly appearing twice in the 2004-05 season. However, he was then hired to be an academy coach. He took over as the caretaker for nine days when Chris Coleman was sacked. But he stayed with the club through the tenures of Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes, and Martin Jol. It was only when Jol was sacked that he left. So McKinlay does have Fulham ties, possibly even stronger than Kit Symons. There are still a lot of players around who remember him. It's a pretty easy connection to make.

Finally, does this make sense? If Symons had flopped I'd say yes. McKinlay is a promising young coach with Fulham ties. That's exactly the kind of thing I'd like to see. McKinlay with a Danny Murphy assistant would have been a great appointment that few fans would have been mad at. However, Kit Symons is also a promising young coach with Fulham ties. I don't believe either can really say they have more experience. Since Symons took over Fulham has been playing better football and getting results. It's possible McKinlay would be an improvement, however how much better could he really be? And the downside if he fails is very, very bad. If Fulham aren't going to give the job to Symons, I would much prefer a hire who has tons of experience and a good track record. Mckinlay just seems to be another version of what we already have. And I quite like what we have.