This Premier League campaign is unlike most others because thus far, no top flight manager has received the sack. However the Christmas period is the traditional time when managers get the boot and clubs seek new direction or a turn around in fortunes. Santa will be bringing children presents across the UK come 25 December but will he be bringing the P45 to a number of managers too? We take a look at who is under pressure:
The bookies favourites:
One good measure of judging how close a manager is to the sack is to look at the odds so using Skybet.com we can look at who the bookies think is most likely to go first.
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson leads the way with odds of 6/4 whilst West Brom’s Alan Irvine is behind him at 2/1. Harry Redknapp meanwhile is a manager who divides opinion and according to the bookmakers he is third favourite to leave his role at 13/2. Mauricio Pochettino and Manuel Pellegrini are also up there with odds of 16/1 each. The most safe managers are quite obviously Jose Mourinho and Ronald Koeman. Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew are perhaps two gaffers who will be enjoying their Christmas’ a lot safer after remarkable turn arounds in their fortunes that have catapulted them away from the danger area.
Well if I had to pick a top candidate for the sack I would immediately agree with the bookies, Nigel Pearson is seriously under pressure. Leicester City sit rock bottom of the Premier League with 10 points from 14 games. This is the team who destroyed the Championship during their promotion run but have seriously failed to kick on from that amazing 5-3 victory over Manchester United. To make matters worse for Pearson, he has now started a row with the supporters, swearing at one and telling him to “die” and then saying fans could stay at home if they weren’t going to support the team. Not good Nige, you may be having Christmas off, especially after refusing to apologise!
QPR are another relegation threatened club who could be looking for a new boss should Harry Redknapp be given the sack. Many think Redknapp is one of the best English born managers out there, others would cite his relegation with QPR last time as an indicator of his failure to keep teams in the top flight, despite massive amounts of money. Do you think the Londoners should sack him?
Alan Irvine I think would be a harsh sacking. He was appointed Baggies boss in June and has had a mixed time of it. Saido Berahino have done a good job at taking points for West Brom but the Midlanders are on a run of 4 defeats and perhaps if things don’t change soon they could be ready to change if the club fall into the relegation zone. Finally I think Steve Bruce will be starting to worry as Hull spent money and brought in bodies over the summer transfer window but his side sit in 17th with just 12 points from 14 fixtures.
Tony Pulis will of course be the fans favourite for any role that opens up. The Premier League manager of last season is currently clubless after he walked out on Crystal Palace on the eve of the new campaign. His pedigree of turning Stoke City into a mid-table Premier League side and then completely turning around Palace’s fortunes will make him a hot property.
Jurgen Klopp will be a name thrown into the ring should Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur move to sack their Head Coaches. The Borussia Dortmund boss is highly coveted by many club across Europe yet his side lie bottom of the Bundesliga and appear to be in turmoil. I don’t think that would detract from interest in him though if Spurs or City did move on.
Tim Sherwood will no doubt be a name mentioned over the Festive sack race as a potential replacement. The 45-year-old Englishman was given his first job as Head Coach of Tottenham Hotspur last season after Andre Villas-Boas got booted out. He won 50% of his 28 matches in charge at White Hart Lane and was expected by some to get the role permanently. However, the club chose Mauricio Pochettino instead. This means any team doing some sacking may be tempted to give Sherwood another go.
Who do you think deserves the sack if anyone? Does this festive period of sacking excite you or infuriate you?