Coronation Street: Carla V Alya – who’s the best factory boss?

The claws are out and the battle is on - but which one is up to the job?

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Coronation Street’s grieving Connor clan had to swiftly wipe away their tears on the day of Aidan’s funeral as Alya Nazir staked her claim on the family business and battle lines were drawn over who’ll run Underworld.

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Tragic Aidan took his own life and his will revealed he’d left the factory to colleague Alya instead of keeping the firm in the family. Big sister Carla led the Connor women in a coven of deceit to conceal the truth to protect their livelihood, but now Ms Nazir is in the know and she wants what is rightfully hers.

A sensational showdown tonight, Wednesday 13 June, ended with Alya declaring she’d see Carla in court after rejecting her measly offer of an 18% share. On paper this fight is a no-brainer – nice-as-pie girl next door Alya is surely no match for ballbreaking Carla – or is she? Let’s assess which woman is best equipped to whip the Weatherfield knicker-stitching empire into shape…

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Who’s got the most experience?
Unquestionably Carla. She’s ruled that place with a rod of iron for a decade and was playing hard ball with McNee’s and Matthew Singh when Alya was still cutting out patterns for her Malibu Barbie. No one knows the ins and outs of the Weatherfield textile trade like our Carla.

Who’s the toughest?
Before tonight we would’ve said Carla, but Alya’s explosive rant at the Connor girls saw her bare some impressive talons. Branding them all hypocrites for how they treated Aidan while he was alive and pointing out she was the only one who stood by him left the ladies speechless. And refusing to back down from threats of being “flattened” by the terrifying Carla takes guts. Alya’s obviously been paying attention to her arch-enemy while knocking up spreadsheets and making the coffee all these years.

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Who’s got the biggest ruthless streak?
Again, Alya’s antics this evening put her surprisingly out in front. Using a funeral as an opportunity to change the locks while everyone was crying their heart out at Johnny’s speech about his late son was downright cold – she’s obviously clocked there’s no sentimentality in business. Wonder who she learnt that from? Even Carla wouldn’t be that cruel. Although she was prepared to trash her brother’s will by implying he wasn’t of sound mind when he left the factory to Alya because of his suicide, which is also pretty low.

Who’s got the best people skills?
You don’t demand respect, you earn it – Carla can be a slave driver but always has her employees’ best interests at heart and shows compassion in a crisis. Yes she can be blunt (managing performance with a cry of: “Less bitching, more stitching ladies!” may raise the eyebrow of the Underworld HR department. If there was one.) but you know where you are with her. A preview of Friday 15 June’s episode shows Alya laying into Fiz for being late, and being horrible for frankly no reason. That’s not going to win her any friends. But then neither is Carla calling her new boss “a conniving little cow…”

Who’s the most resilient?
Both are no strangers to tragedy. Alya is becoming the angel of death having lost both parents, boyfriend Luke and now BFF Aidan, while most of Carla’s numerous dramas have occurred within the factory walls. This makes you question why she’s so keen to keep hold of the reins, but if she can bounce back from being held hostage, raped, almost blown up, battling booze and surviving marriage to Peter Barlow and still deliver a killer quip with not a hair out of place, Alya has a long way to go before she can hold a candle to the cobbles queen of fronting it out.

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Who’ll be taken more seriously?
Even after tonight’s unexpected flash of steel, it’ll take a while for Alya to convincingly inhabit the stilettos of her predecessor. Expect her initial Karren Brady act to crumble and for Beth and the girls to send her out for tartan paint and stitch her hair to one of the sewing machines for a laugh as they knock off early and head to the Rovers – without inviting her…

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