Just like buses, you wait all season for a sacking and then two come along at once. Di Matteo’s wasn’t expected but doesn’t surprise given Abramovich’s track record and for Mark Hughes the inevitable has happened. Only two days after refusing the offer to resign Sparky’s gone with Arry on the horizon ready to save QPR’s over paid ‘stars’ from the drop.
At the end of the season I’m sure we’ll all be reminded of the fact QPR were bottom with 4 points from 12 games, that’s two more than when he took over from Juande Ramos at Spurs.
Anyway here’s a look at other Premier League managers edging closer to the sack and a potential payout that would allow them the life of leisure till the end of their days, enjoy:
- Nigel Adkins: Odds: 2/1
An incredibly likeable man that answers reporters questions with extracts of poetry but even though his team deservedly won the battle of the bottom last weekend, the bookies still have him as odds on to be the next man out the door of a Premier League club. Right now Southampton would be fools to sack Adkins, the man has gotten them back to back promotions from League 1 and although considering the amount of money he had the first promotion was almost a formality, his achievements last season should be enough to give him at least till Christmas.
That along with the fact that there is no one to replace him at the moment. Mumblings of getting in Redknapp will evaporate now that he seems destined to be heading to Loftus Road and apart from the usual suspects such as Alan Curbishley, Sven Goran Erikson and Alan Shearer, it’s safe to say any sane Southampton fan would gladly stick it out with Adkins a little longer.
The problem is that if his team continue to defend they way they have been relegation is almost inevitable. It’s all good playing with a swashbuckling attitude that wins you friends but it doesn’t tend to win you games, just ask Ian Holloway. With this in mind it may take an abysmal run of results for the people at the top of the pile at Southampton to pull the trigger and that could only be around the corner.
- Roberto Mancini: Odds: 6/1
He must be delighted that his chairmen isn’t like Abramovich as if he was he’d of been given the sack during the open top bus parade of the title last summer. The Italian is much loved by the City fans for delivering the FA Cup and Premier League title in previous seasons but guess what, it’s the money grabbing suits that make all the decisions. The only thing that will be doing Mancini no good in the Sheikh’s eyes is his poor record in Europe with and without Man City. So far over a billion has been invested and this season they haven’t even managed a win in the Champions League. If not for Joe Hart they would have been humiliated by a team that has blown away the European elite by investing in youth, take that money!
Mancini has tried to justify each exit by blaming the group, the lack of experience and that he needs more time to get his team used to challenging for the domestic title and Europe. Unfortunately for Mancini Napoli did qualify from the same group last year on their debut season and their team has monumental experience in the Champions League with previous winners like Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.
If Man City have a poor run of results in the League it wouldn’t be surprising to hear Pep Guardiola brought in considering that his mentor from Barcelona Txiki Begiristain is now sporting director at Man City. Watch out Roberto, you could be next.
- Martin O’Neil: Odds: 14/1
Remember when he came back to management last season? Sunderland couldn’t stop winning or scoring, he was like a miracle worker with the ability to leap like a frog in a tracksuit. This season however things haven’t gone quite as smoothly. Although it seems that Martin O’Neil deserves more time the stats don’t lie; Sunderland’s top scorer in October was Demba Ba, they have had the least amount of shoots on goal out of anyone in the Premiership and scored the least amount of goals.
With all that in mind the away win at Fulham couldn’t have come at a better time. It had everything they needed, some luck, Sessegnon to actually show up for a game (and boy did he) and Steven Fletcher to score. You can argue that with Hangeland seeing red so soon and Bryan Ruiz getting injured Sunderland had it easy against a Fulham side that have looked spellbinding at times with Berbatov leading the line. This weekends game against West Brom will show whether or not they have really turned the corner, if not O’Neil may be on borrowed time.
- Brian McDermott: Odds: 20/1
Another man to have benefited from a victory last weekend was the man in charge of the Royals, Brian McDermott. Their comeback against impressive looking Everton was down to some poor finishing from the Toffee’s as well as a double strike from a man plying his trade at Don Valley Stadium a year a go, Adam Le Fondre. Either way Reading probably have the weakest squad in the division but they have a manager able to motivate them, for now.
Until the victory last weekend the Russian owner, Anton Zingarevich, had apparently lined up Dick Advocaat as a replacement for McDermott but decided to give him more time after watching the impressive win. The owner is ambitious and wants his club to become a steady Premier League team so although he is happy for now one sign of trouble and McDermott will be gone.
Due to his excellent achievement of winning the Championship last year he should be given till Christmas and the January transfer window to make his stamp on the club but football is a fickle game and it could only take a few bad results with McDermott’s side to make the owner show him the door.
- Alan Pardew: Odds: 50/1
It would have been sacrilegious of me to even suggest to a geordie last year that by November Pardew may be looking over his shoulder and hoping that Mike Ashley honours his 8 year contract. Finishing fifth last year was down to some astute signings and being highly dependant upon the prolific Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba. This year however injuries and a lack of confidence have taken there tole on a team that looks to play well but are being outclassed in games that they would bully their way to victory in last season.
A 3-0 drubbing by Manchester United at home was a stark contrast to the 3-0 drubbing Newcastle gave them the previous year and a victory almost looked likely against a transitional Liverpool until Luis Suarez stepped up and showed us what he can do to make his like him if only for a second.
With home defeats to Swansea and West Ham in the last two games this weekends match against Southampton is a must win to keep the demons off Alan Pardew’s back and the fact they haven’t won away yet isn’t a good omen. After this the next 8 games throw up some difficult fixtures including a trip to Stoke, Manchester United and Arsenal plus home games against Everton, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic.
Injuries to Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Cabaye, Perch, Ryan Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Obertan and the impressive looking Vuckic give Pardew an excuse but not for long. This weekend could be pivotal in Newcastle’s season.