Aston Villa

Front runners in the Sack Race

It may seem a little sadistic to be making predictions about who the first manager to be sacked will be in the Premiership before the season has even got underway, but that’s the cutthroat nature of the business these days. So here goes!

Chris Hughton (bookies odds: 4/1)

Hughton did a fantastic job getting Newcastle back in the Premiership so swiftly considering he is much more used to having a supporting role in managing the team rather than being the main man. Therefore he understandably might be quite upset to find that he is the bookies favourite to get the axe, but he may find it’s a whole different ball game in the Premiership in terms of the challenges he will face. If Newcastle get off to a bad start and lose a few games at the beginning of the season the sheen he acquired winning the Championship may wear off fast and there could be calls for someone with more experience managing in the Premiership to take his place.

Roberto Mancini (bookies odds: 5/1)

Sheikh Mansour could give Roman Abramovich a run for his money (get it?) in terms of his desire for trophies and his itchy trigger finger when it comes to sacking under performing managers. Mancini has had a lot of faith and money entrusted upon him and if he fails to deliver then he can expect the same amount of sympathy former manager Mark Hughes  before him received from the Man City billionaire chairman. Mancini already has a dirty mark against his name after Man City missed out on securing Champions League football for the club last season albeit only by a small margin.

Martin O’Neil (bookies odds: 8/1)

After making a very promising start when he first joined the club Martin O’Neil’s Aston Villa side have finished 6th in the Premiership three seasons in a row. Whilst they have looked on a number of occasions as though they might have been the next team to break into the top four they have always finished up in the Europa League places come the end of the season. Disappointed with the apparent lack of progress and the Villa owners may start to lose patience and think about bringing in someone new in to try and take the to the next level, although I personally think that they would struggle to get someone of a better quality than their current manager.

Martinez, Di Matteo & Holloway (bookies odds: 6/1, 9/1 & 10/1 respectively)

Not so surprisingly there is some strong correlation between the teams who are favourites to go down and the teams whose managers are favourites to win the sack race. We could see a knee jerk reaction to some bad results where teams in the relegation dogfight sack their managers and bring in a new guy in the hope it will bring a new lease of life into the team. However as we saw when Hull sent Phil Brown on ‘gardening leave’ last season and replaced him with Ian Dowie this is usually wishful thinking. Come to think of it Ian Dowie was brought in with Shearer to try and save the Newcastle season before that. So if you’re a fan of Wigan, West Brom or Blackpool don’t be too surprised if Ian Dowie ends up being recruited to try and save your team from relegation at some point this season. If he does end up at your club, have fun in the Championship.

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