It may only be September, and autumn may only be just arriving but, as usual, speculation is mounting as to which managers won’t survive the long, dark winter months ahead. So who is going to be the first managerial casualty?
With seven new managers with new clubs in the Premier League this season, it rarely has been tougher to predict who will lose their job first. Nevertheless, here we look at five possible candidates in the sack race..
- Nigel Adkins.
Two promotions in successive seasons, yet Adkins is sensationally the bookmakers favourite to be the first Premier League manager to get the sack. Admittedly, three defeats in the first three games has seen Southampton’s season get off to an underwhelming start but considering that two of those games were against the two Manchester clubs, then it always was a daunting opening month for Adkins’ side. With Southampton spending a fair amount in the transfer window, this inevitably sees the pressure to keep Southampton in the Premier League intensified and if the Saints do start to get cut adrift then a swift decision may have to be made by the clubs board. In my opinion, Adkins has worked wonders to get Southampton back to the Premier League after a seven year exile, and needs to be given a fair opportunity to manage in the top flight, irrespective of the clubs start to the season.
- Andre Villas Boas.
It certainly hasn’t been the start Villas Boas will have envisaged upon his arrival at White Hart Lane. An opening day defeat at Newcastle has been backed up by two unconvincing home draws against West Brom and Norwich, so the heat is inevitably on AVB. He has struggled to win over the Tottenham faithful so far, despite a victory yesterday at Reading, he’ll need to do more or the strained the relationship between the fans and manager will return.
His reputation has hardly been helped by his unsuccessful tenure at Chelsea, and he will be forever compared to Harry Redknapp, who oversaw Tottenham’s best spell in a generation. Tottenham do have a good squad, boosted by the additions of the former Fulham pair of Dempsey and Dembele, so you would presume it is only a matter of time before they start winning games and the pressure is lifted.
- Mark Hughes
After last season’s dramatic final day survival, there has been little to suggest that QPR will have an easier ride in the Premier League this time around, despite an influx of new arrivals. An opening day battering at the hands of Swansea instantly put the pressure on Hughes. QPR have a virtually new team compared to last season so will need to be given time to gel as a squad, and with experience aplenty, there is enough quality in this side to survive once more.
But owner Tony Fernandes has already shown his ruthlessness by sacking Neil Warnock last January despite a decent start to Premier League life for the then new boys. With big investment in the playing squad over the summer, the ambitious Fernandes will be demanding an improvement on last season. If QPR don’t start picking up points soon then there is every chance they will once again be searching for yet another new manager in the not too distant future.
- Brendan Rodgers
After such success at Swansea, Rodgers took the huge step of becoming Liverpool manager over the summer. The added levels of expectation is something Rodgers knows he will have to deal with. It is fair to say it hasn’t been an easy start for Rodgers, who has had to deal with a breakdown in communication surrounding the departure of Andy Carroll, as well as a lack of results on the pitch. Now desperately short of attacking options, Liverpool’s squad doesn’t look to have the depth to see the club challenging for Champions League qualification this season.
But Rodgers has long term visions for the club, probably the reason he persuaded owner John Henry to appoint him as manager. Therefore, Rodgers needs to be given time to transform the clubs philosophy and this won’t be done overnight. I would expect Rodgers to be given this time and eventually get Liverpool back on track.
- Sam Allardyce
Despite achieving an immediate return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and a decent start to this campaign, Allardyce remains one of the bookies favourites to be shown the door. His footballing style contrasts with West Ham’s traditional fluid style, but his tactics usually produce results on a consistent enough basis to keep teams up in the Premier League, a minimal target for West Ham.
Whilst many West Ham fans may not be overly happy with the football on display, the longer the results keep coming, the less likely Allardyce is to lose his job. After his disgraceful sacking by Blackburn, it would be cruel if Allardyce was again to lose his job in unnecessary circumstances. I think there are managers under far greater threat right now.