We might find ourselves in the middle of an international break but the Premier League season is in full swing and there are at least a handful of clubs who are, at best, underperforming and, at worst, in complete disarray.
We know, with the title of the article that the first manager to be sacked was already Javi Gracia in Watford. He was replaced with Quique Flores. However, we are now looking at the future and to three specific managers leading the odds in the sack race.
Of course, you’ll hear the managers, players, and pundits talking about the need for a time but, in the modern game of soccer, rarely will that time be afforded.
So with several managers already looking over their shoulders who will ride out the storm and who will find themselves on the managerial scrapheap in the coming months?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford to replace Jose Mourinho it’s fair to say that most fans and ex-players got caught up in the form that saw United go a series of games unbeaten.
However, following the award of Solskjaer’s permanent deal it’s been a downward spiral to the lowest ever point in the club’s Premier League table history.
So far this campaign, the Red Devils have collected just nine points from 24 and sit a measly two points above the relegation zone.
Early on in his tenure, United was playing ‘off the leash’. Given how tame and toothless their performances have been this season it’s hard not to accuse the former super-sub of making a big mistake in letting both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave the club.
A lot of people will now point to Solskjaer’s managerial inexperience with two stints in Norway – with Molde – and a failed spell with Cardiff City his only positions to date.
The biggest plus points for the season are probably the summer arrivals – Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire are most definitely positive signings. Also, Daniel James has arguably been United’s player of the season so far. So what happens next?
The board has already gone down the route of an experienced hand in Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal but that doesn’t necessarily mean Solskjaer is on a free ride. If he can get United back in the race for the top six then Ed Woodward and co will give him at least another summer transfer window to build.
But, if the gap between United and the big boys gets wider and wider then don’t be surprised to see his head roll.
When Mourinho vacated his office at Old Trafford Pochettino was the bookies favourite to replace him until Solskjaer’s impressive audition landed him the job – much to the relief of most Spurs fans.
Fast forward a few months though and a large proportion of that supporter base are now wishing they’d received a compensation package. Ole is now a man who they believe has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Pochettino is perhaps being judged by his own high standards as his side is now a regular in the top four and last season reached the Champions League final. Still, a run of 10 league away games without a win combined with a disastrous trio of defeat.
A league cup penalty shootout humiliation against fourth-tier Colchester United, a 7-2 drubbing from Bayern Munich and an abject display against Brighton in the league, has seen enormous doubts about his longevity arise.
He hasn’t been able to strengthen his squad as much as he would have liked over the last 18 months and has continuously poured fuel on the fire that all is not well with Daniel Levy. He quotes that he is the ‘head coach’ and not the ‘manager’; now those murmurings are making their way on to the field and something at the club is not right.
Whilst Spurs should still make the top four, a combination of an expensive stadium and high profile players – such as Christian Eriksen – running their contracts down, next year could be a damn bit tougher. You have to assume Levy is too shrewd – or perhaps tight is a better word – to wield the ax. But, don’t be surprised to see Poch walk whilst his stock is still sky-high.
If things line up, he could even jump into Solskjaer’s grave.
Here is the most likely candidate to get the shove next, Marco Silva. When Everton found themselves in a lowly position back in 2017 Ronald Koeman – a man supposedly brought in to bring back positive winning football – was sacked and replaced with David Unsworth.
Unsworth struggled to turn the ship and Sam Allardyce arrived and despite guiding the Toffees out of a sticky situation to 8th place he was chased out of town and in came ‘the savior’ Silva.
When Silva checked in he was going to spearhead Everton’s climb back to the glory days with ‘attractive, attacking football’ to boot. Yet, despite splashing around £200m on his own players they’re back where they were pre-Allardyce. This is in a relegation battle – third from bottom – and turning in some turgid displays.
They’ve only managed to win two games this season and have scored a pathetic six goals whilst seemingly shipping goals at every set piece they concede. Their 0-2 home defeat to Sheffield United was perhaps the low point of the campaign so far.
Still, they’ve failed to bounce back and if they fall to another defeat at Goodison Park against West Ham at the weekend then Silva could well be out of work. There are allegedly already talks of David Moyes returning to where he had the most successful period as a manager.
There you have it, three men who are clinging to their jobs. One has the board semi-convinced of a long term project, one has credit in the bank but looks a dejected figure. The other is clinging to his job by his fingernails.
Will one losing their job set off a chain reaction? Let’s wait and see. But, the Premier League schedule is back this weekend and their heads will be on the line.