Only Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Tony Pulis are the only Premier League managers to have been at their clubs longer than McCarthy has at Wolves. But as McCarthy’s sixth season in charge begins, it remains to be seen how secure his job is. Wolves came perilously close to relegation last season, and were even in the bottom three on the final day of the season, although they ultimately finished 17th.
McCarthy has added three players to his squad from last season, spending £12million on Jamie O’Hara and Roger Johnson, as well as adding Dorus Di Vries on a free from Swansea. A poor start to the season could see pressure mount on McCarthy, and the financial boost being in the Premier League provides may force the Wolves board to replace him.
As often seems to be the case, since QPR were taken over by a wealthy consortium in 2007, there have been many managerial changes. Before Neil Warnock was appointed in March of 2010, nine different men had spent time as manager of the club. Despite guiding the club back to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years, Warnock cannot be certain his future is secure. With wealthy owners in charge, rumours swirled that QPR would be big summer spenders, but to date the club has only paid a fee for striker DJ Campbell.
Unlike the other two promoted clubs, QPR’s owners may feel that Premier League football is expected rather than hoped for, and if the club should find themselves at the wrong end of the table, Warnock may find himself out of a job.
Following the purchase of Blackburn Rovers by Venky’s last November, their fans were promised big things. Their apparently ambitious new owners talked of challenging for Champions League positions and of making big money, high profile signings such as Ronaldinho.
These failed to materialise, and it took Blackburn until the final day of the season to secure their Premier League status. Kean was a surprise choice as manager after the new owners fired Sam Allardyce, and the club won just 5 league games with Kean in charge. Blackburn have hardly splashed the cash this summer, and there have been persistent rumours about the future of Christopher Samba. Blackburn’s new owners seem hard to predict, but few would be surprised if Kean fails to last the whole season as manager.
A surprise appointment following the sacking of Chris Hughton, Alan Pardew still managed to guide Newcastle to a 12th place finish last season, despite the departure of Andy Carroll in January.
Mike Ashley is another owner known for having an itchy trigger finger when it comes to firing managers, and Pardew will know that his position will always be under intense scrutiny. Despite Ashley’s claims that Pardew would be able to spend the money the club received for Carroll, it’s been a difficult summer for Newcastle.
Captain Kevin Nolan surprisingly left for relegated West Ham, Joey Barton was told he could leave for nothing and Jose Enrique has been tipped to leave the club. Newcastle fans were underwhelmed by the appointment of Pardew, and he could find himself under pressure from fans and the board if things don’t go well early in the season.
It’s safe to say that Aston Villa’s appointment of Alex McLeish was a controversial one. That McLeish had just lead his previous club to relegation from the Premier League and that the club in question happened to be Birmingham City didn’t exactly fill Villa fans with joy.
In addition to this, the big money sales of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing as well as the departure of several other experienced players left Villa with a small, inexperienced squad. McLeish has however made two good signings, adding Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia for around a third of the money they received for Young and Downing.
But he could certainly do with a few more new faces, and owner Randy Lerner may find that fan power may force his hand and lead him to replace McLeish if results are not going in the club’s favour.
David Dougan writes regularly for FootballFanCast.com
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