The turnstiles are ever-open when it comes to the comings and goings of top managers in England in recent seasons, and it looks like this year will be no different. Who’d want to be a football manager..?
The sacking of Frank de Boer from Crystal Palace just 77 days after accepting the job is still fresh in the minds of Premier League fans across the globe. But while the abruptness of the dismissal did come as a shock to many, the early season casualty is hardly going to be an anomaly. In truth, it’d be more interesting to see the current 20 managers still in a job come the end of October.
While there’s probably a list of about six who can consider themselves safe until the end of the season, most will fancy their chances of still being active managers by the start of 2018. For three or four, though, even three months may be looking a little too far ahead. So who is most likely to receive the chop? Let’s take a look at the four most likely names:
Had his Hammers side not made such a valiant effort to get themselves back into the games against Spurs, Slaven Bilic may already be out of a job. As it is, the Hammers boss still has time to save his job, but the next few games could be vital.
West Ham’s fixtures are fairly kind, however. Even if Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini are injured, winning some of those games could be enough to claw the club towards mid-table. This should go a long way to securing (within the realms of football management at least) Bilic’s job in the process.
Should the East Londoners continue to drop points, however, Bilic will almost be certain for the chop.
Everton were crowned winners of the transfer window by many pundits and fans. A return of seven points from six games would suggest otherwise however, and only tells a small portion of a story that leaves Ronald Koeman potentially holding onto his job by a thread.
The Toffees sold Romelu Lukaku early, and had plenty of time to replace his goals. While Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen are all good players, they won’t replicate the firepower of the Belgian.
Dutch betting site onlinewedden.com have suggested that allowing Klaassen to attend Ajax’s match on Sunday is further proof that Koeman is losing control. Given the backing he has been given over the past 18 months from the owners, expectations are naturally sky high. If things don’t improve soon, things will start to look very precarious indeed.
Managers aren’t always forced out of their posts by owners, or at least not technically. Coaches deciding to seek new opportunities during the middle of a campaign isn’t overly common. However, relations with chairman can reach breaking point from time to time, and Rafa Benitez is one manager showing signs that this could be happening.
The Newcastle manager’s growing animosity has been well documented since the end of last season while many have suggested that missed matches were also partly due to this factor. Either way, the lack of summer recruitment is a major source of disappointment, regardless of how well the Magpies have started life back in the big league. As per talksport.com, Graeme Souness thought he’d leave in August. Many others still feel he will in October.
While it seems that he might be out soon, though, there’s a good chance that he’d wait until a job becomes available before walking away from St James’ Park. The West Ham hot seat is one that has been commonly touted. If this is to be the case, Benitez could be just behind Bilic.
Under the circumstances, most people will agree that Paul Clement is doing a decent job in Wales. However, the Swansea owners were trigger happy this time last year and were eventually rewarded for taking that approach. Should the Swans drop into the bottom three, they could well strike again.
Clement lost arguably his two best players of 2016-17 over the summer, but has had a chance to recruit well. Renato Sanches, Tammy Abraham, and Wilfried Bony all have the quality to produce the goods while Tom Carroll is another who quietly goes about is business. If the manager can get them firing on all cylinders, especially at the Liberty Stadium, his job should be fairly safe.
However, in the world of Premier League football, you’re only ever a few bad results away from the chop. Given that the next three games are all winnable, this could be a vital spell in their season.
After seeing similar speculation this time last year, it seems the ice is wearing thin for Bilic. Do not be surprised if the Brady bunch are in search for a new manager within weeks.