Seven games into the Premier League season, teams are already struggling. Chelsea have shown none of their title winning resilience of last season; Stoke may be falling victim to ‘buying too many too soon’; Bournemouth are struggling to prove they can survive and Newcastle and Sunderland seem to be on a bet to see who can get relegated first.
There seems to be a recent Premier League trend that clubs are hesitant to sack their manager at this point of the season, possibly to avoid being known as the first club to sack and replace their man. However, given the current state of certain Premier League clubs and how some chairmen might be pondering the idea of sacking their manager, here’s a list of mangers involved in the managerial sack race.
Assessing The Managerial Sack Race
Same problems, different manager. Yet again Sunderland have hired a manager who rescues the Black Cats from relegation — including a win over Newcastle — but fail to continue the spirit, fight and performances into the following Premier League season. The first two games were typical Sunderland defensive relapses that neutrals are used to, but two points from seven games leave Sunderland bottom of the league. Yet again will The General be sacked after Christmas, replaced with another manager tasked to do the impossible? Probably.
After last season’s disappointment of failing to attempt another title challenge, some may feel Brendan Rodgers was lucky to receive the backing of FSG this summer. Two 1-0 wins against Stoke and Bournemouth showed that Liverpool were easing themselves into the league campaign but shocking losses against West Ham and Manchester United, along with disappointing draws in their first two Europa League games has piled the pressure on Rodgers.
The prospect of playing Everton, Tottenham, Southampton and Chelsea in October means that Liverpool need to win some key games to raise fan morale and save Rodgers’ job.
It just isn’t working for the North East’s football teams lately, is it? Off the back of a promising Derby managerial stint that ended in disaster, McClaren hasn’t yet found the same groove he had at fellow North East club Middlesbrough. His Newcastle side are suffering an identity crisis with a lack of creativity and goals.
Given the terrifying ride John Carver took Newcastle fans on, their fans will be demanding that something changes quickly with a Tyneside derby coming up in October. A rallying performance against Chelsea suggests that his players do somewhat care about the club but with 31 games to go, it is unlikely that such performances will occur on a regular basis.
The managerial opposite of Paul Lambert has boosted character, charm, “banter” and injected his club’s fanbase with optimism. Coming off the back of a 2014-15 campaign which saw Aston Villa escape from relegation and a disappointing FA Cup Final performance, things could only only go up for Tactics Tim’s men.
Unfortunately for him, his tactics have come undone on various occasions. Players are still settling into the squad and have lost five of their first seven Premier League games. Is Tim Sherwood going to be revealed to be all talk, no action? With games against Chelsea and Southampton coming up, he needs to figure out a template to turn losses into draws and ride out tricky encounters.
First man to go?
Possibly Brendan Rodgers. Judging from Liverpool’s difficult fixtures in October, fan perception of him is declining. Due to his inability to find a formation to settle on and players failing to perform for him, he’s most likely to be given the boot first, especially if he loses the Merseyside derby this weekend. Otherwise, Dick Advocaat is a close second favourite to leave if he fails to get at least a win out of upcoming fixtures against West Brom and Newcastle United and refusing to clarify his job’s future.