At least six Premier League managers have been laid off every calendar year since 2012. In two of the last three years (2017 and 2019) that number rose to nine. As in all walks of life, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on football, but managers have at least benefited from longer tenure.
After Nigel Pearson left Watford with two games left last season, Sam Allardyce had to wait until December 16 to replace Slaven Bilic at West Brom, one of only two top leadership changes of 2020. The Financial Impact of COVID- 19 bring the cost of firing a manager into focus. Likewise, the lack of training time resulting from a shortened schedule list arouses more sympathy for the fighters trying to stop a decline.
But patience can’t last forever, not least because the price of relegation or failure to qualify for the Champions League feels even higher after a season in which fans have almost no game days and fans are banned from the stadiums . So who could be next in line?
In the hottest place
Neither Sheffield United Still arsenal I want to fire managers who exceeded last season’s expectations, but Chris Wilder and Mikel Arteta can’t go on in their respective ruts for much longer.
Wilder is the second favorite to be sacked by most bookmakers, but the risk of relegation is very real: two points from the first 14 games is the worst start in top English history. They are already 10 points behind security but would refuse to fire the man who brought his club back to the Premier League. Arteta won the FA Cup last season and was promoted from head coach to manager in September. His chances therefore look a bit short given the internal recognition of the scale of the task but lose to Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom over the Christmas season and Arsenal could be in the bottom three.
Under threat with worse results
Steve Bruce saw his death as Newcastle United Manager predicted in the summer when it looked like a Saudi Arabia-backed takeover was about to take place. In that regard, taking them to 12th place is a success, but Magpies’ football is mostly terrible and fans remain unconvinced. Graham Potter was hired to implement a better style at Brighton & Hove Albion But they only won two league games all season.
Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, stumble from majesty to misfortune. He has already weathered several tumultuous periods in two years but Mauricio Pochettino won’t be available forever and United’s form is so capricious that the club appears on a cycle the Norwegian is hard to break.
Sure … for now
Scott Parker looked doomed at the start of the season, however FulhamLate summer transfer activity didn’t put an end to them: six of the XI’s drawn against Liverpool earlier this month were signed after September 1st. However, Fulham remains in the bottom three positions and now needs to be supported in the market to deliver.
Burnley have also started their own mini-resuscitation with three wins from the last six games, easing the pressure on Sean Dyche. Chelsea gave Frank Lampard £ 220m worth of new players this summer and must have at least a top 4 result. Lampard’s legendary status as a player will buy him more time than most Chelsea managers, but owner Roman Abramovich’s ruthlessness knows no bounds.
David Moyes started the season under considerable pressure, but has steered after keeping key midfielder Declan Rice – who is always linked to Chelsea West Ham into the top half, with results like a win at Leicester and a draw against Tottenham and Manchester City.
Sam Allardyce has never been relegated, but faces a real challenge West Brom After 14 games, five points are in 19th place. He will earn a reported £ 2 million bonus for holding up the Baggies and he will surely get every chance to do so. Aston Villa survived on the last day of last season but looked prepared for a more comfortable season after climbing to ninth place so far and Dean Smith also managing to convince Jack Grealish to see his future with a new contract with the club tie.
Wolves are stuck in midfield but it’s a measure of the work Nuno Espirito Santo has done that it feels like a slight disappointment. They are two points and two places above Crystal palacewhere Roy Hodgson continues to keep his team out of trouble with a comfortable pillow.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN + (US only)
– ESPN + viewer guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
Leeds United would be at the top of the table if praise equated to points, but Marcelo Bielsa’s expansive style continues to enjoy full buy-in from his squad and supporters. With Jose Mourinho things can always go very quickly, but Tottenham led the way to a point of nine against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Leicester. Its renaissance is far from over.
In no danger
Jürgen Klopp will be safe Liverpool on his own terms, though her influence on the Premier League has not been so certain so far this term. The same applies to Pep Guardiola, who has just signed a new contract extension at Manchester City looking to return to the summit.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has overseen a remarkable transformation at Southampton to see them emerge as this season’s surprise challengers for a top six spot along with Evertonwhere Carlo Ancelotti drove the Merseysiders to fourth place after a summer of smart acquisitions.
Brendan Rodgers shrugged Leicester CityThe late breakdown – and subsequent failure to secure a spot in the Champions League – last season to get them back into the race.