Premier League Sack Race: Who’s Next in Line for the Chop?

Premier League Sack Race: Who’s Next in Line for the Chop?
Simon Winter
Simon Winter
October 15, 2019
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Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.

The Premier League’s managerial merry-go-round has spinning at an unusually slow speed so far this season – in fact, it has barely been spinning at all.

Premier League chairmen have been surprisingly slow on the trigger in 2019/20 and at the time of writing, 19 of the 20 managers that started the new season in their respective hotseats are still keeping them warm now.

The notoriously impatient hierarchy at Watford sent Javi Gracia packing back in early September after just four matches of the new campaign, and the Spaniard remains the only Premier League managerial casualty of the season to date.

However, with the league table starting to take shape as we approach the end of the year, that second managerial dismissal feels close.

Let’s take a closer look at the most likely candidates for the chop.

Premier League Managers: Favourites to be sacked

Marco Silva (Everton) – Odds: 5/4

Everton Manager Marco Silva

After a meaty summer transfer outlay that pushed their total spending north of the £100m mark, optimism was high at Goodison Park ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The Toffees had closed out the previous campaign in impressive style, taking Premier League points from Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd and Tottenham inside their final ten fixtures, yet the form they showed at the back end of last season has completely abandoned them this term.

Having won two, drawn one and lost five of their first eight matches since August, Everton are currently languishing in the relegation zone, and only Watford and Newcastle have scored fewer goals than the toothless Blues.

In public at least, their Portuguese manager Marco Silva looks rinsed of enthusiasm and rumours are surfacing to suggest that the 46-year old is already on borrowed time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) – Odds 2/1

From top to bottom Manchester United are a club in turmoil, and though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot be held responsible for the institutional rot that infects the club, the Norwegian looks set to be the latest fall-guy.

After another summer transfer window filled with slow and strange movement, a threadbare United squad has lurched from one poor performance to the another this season.

Having amassed their lowest points total after nine matches since the late 80s, United sit in 12th spot ahead of a potentially pivotal game against traditional rivals and title favourites Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Some media outlets have already suggested that a heavy defeat against the Merseysiders could trigger Solskjaer’s sacking, and while those suggestions have been countered and even dismissed elsewhere, it’s clear that the United legend needs to turn results around quickly to save his job.

Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur) – Odds 5/1

Tottenham Hotspur Spurs Mauricio Pochettino

By all measurable and identifiable evidence, Mauricio Pochettino’s time as Tottenham Hotspur manager looks to be coming to an end.

Successive heavy defeats in Spurs’ most recent pair of fixtures against Bayern Munich (2-7) and Brighton (0-3) compounded what has been a miserable couple of months for the club, though in truth, the thread of underperformance at Tottenham can be followed all the way back to the beginning of the year.

Tottenham have been turned over an incredible 18 times in all competitions since January first – a sequence that includes eight defeats and two draws in their last 10 Premier League away games.

In his five years at the club, Pochettino transformed Tottenham from perennial also-rans into one of England’s heavyweights, however it looks as though the Argentine’s Spurs “project” climaxed in the Champions League Final in May.

Steve Bruce (Newcastle) – Odds 14/1

Only Watford’s new (old) manager Quique Sanches Flores has been in the job for a shorter time than Newcastle boss Steve Bruce in the Premier League, but already the journeyman coach is among the favourites to be axed.

Understandably, former Sunderland chief Bruce was a vastly unpopular choice among Magpies’ supporters when he was installed as Newcastle manager by the equally unpopular Mike Ashley, and after a string of abject performances from United in the early throes of the season, Bruce’s stock has fallen even further at St. James’ Park.

Yet, an excellent recent victory of Man Utd might just have offered Bruce a reprieve, though the 58-year old will have to find a way to deliver more positive results to keep the pressure from building.

In a set of circumstances that are far from ideal, you get the feeling that Bruce will only ever be one poor performance from the chopping block at Newcastle.

Keep up to date with our latest top flight match previews and betting tips on our Premier League predictions page.

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