There have been at least six Premier League managers fired every calendar year since 2012. In two of the last three years (2017 and 2019), the number rose to nine. COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on football, as it has on all walks of life, but managers have at least benefited from greater service life.
After Nigel Pearson left Watford with two games left last season, Sam Allardyce had to wait until December 16 to replace Slaven Bilic in West Brom, one of only two leading changes in top flight in 2020. The economic consequences of COVID 19 entails the cost of dismissing a manager in sharper focus. Likewise, the lack of training time due to a condensed inventory list evokes more sympathy for the fighters trying to arrest a fall.
But patience can not last forever, not least as the price of relegation or missing out on Champions League qualification will feel even higher after a season almost completely free of match revenue with fans banned from stadiums. So who could be the next in line for the chop?
In the hottest seat
Wilder is the second favorite to be fired by most bookmakers, but the threat of relegation is very real: two points from their 14 opening matches is the worst start in English top-flight history. They are already 10 points in safety, but would loathe firing the man who brought his club back to the Premier League. Arteta won the FA Cup last season and was promoted from head coach to manager in September. His odds therefore look a bit short considering the internal recognition of the size of the task, but lose to Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom during the festive period, and Arsenal could be in the bottom three.
Threatened with several poor results
Steve Bruce saw his death as Newcastle United manager predicted in the summer when it looked like a Saudi takeover would continue. Guiding them to the 12th feels like a success given that context, but the Magpies’ football is pretty awful and the fans do not remain convinced. Graham Potter was accused of being responsible for implementing a better style Brighton & Hove Albion but they have only won two league games all season.
Manchester United continue to lurk from majesty to misfortune under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. He has already survived several turbulent spells in two years, but Mauricio Pochettino will not be available forever and United’s form is so capricious that the club appears in a cycle that the Norwegian is struggling to break.
Sure … so far
Scott Parker looked doomed at the start of the season, however Fulham‘s late summer transfer activity has helped them endlessly: six of XI’s pulled with Liverpool earlier this month was signed after September 1st. Fulham, however, remain in the bottom three, and having backed the market, he must now deliver.
Burnley have also launched their own mini-revival with three wins from their last six games, easing the pressure on Sean Dyche. Chelsea gave Frank Lampard new players worth $ 220 million this summer and should have a top-four as a minimum. Lampard’s legendary status as a player will buy him more time than most Chelsea managers, but owner Roman Abramovich’s ruthlessness knows no bounds.
David Moyes began the season under considerable pressure, but after retaining the central midfielder Declan ris – constantly linked to Chelsea – he has ruled West ham into the top half with results including a win at Leicester and a draw against Tottenham and Manchester By.
Sam Allardyce has never been relegated, but faces a real challenge West Brom five points run in 19th place after 14 matches. He earns a reported bonus of £ 2 million if he keeps the Baggies up and he definitely gets every chance to do so. Aston Villa survived the final day of last season but looks due to a more comfortable season, having climbed to ninth place so far with Dean Smith also managed to convince Jack Grealish to link his future to the club with a new contract.
Wolves is stuck in the midfield, but it is a measure of the job Nuno Espirito Santo has done that it feels like a mild disappointment. They are two points and two places above Crystal Palace, where Roy Hodgson continues to keep his team out of trouble with a comfortable pillow.
Leeds United would be top of the table if his greetings match points, but Marcelo Bielsa’s expansive style continues to enjoy full buy-in from his team and supporters. Things can always clear up very quickly when it comes to Jose Mourinho, however Tottenham led the way until a point from nine against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Leicester. His renaissance is far from over.
In no danger
Jurgen Klopp is definitely leaving Liverpool on his own terms, though their grip on the Premier League has not been secured so far so far this period. The same goes for Pep Guardiola, who has only just signed a new contract extension at Manchester By with an eye on a return to the summit.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has overseen a remarkable transformation by Southampton to see them emerge as this season surprising contenders for a top-six spot along with Everton, where Carlo Ancelotti has steered Merseysiders to fourth after a summer of clever acquisitions.
Brendan Rodgers has pulled up Leicester Citylate breakdowns – and subsequent failure to secure a Champions League place – last season to get them started again.