As the number of Premier League fixtures each team has played reaches double figures, a certain topic is beginning to rear its ugly head once again. With none of the 20 clubs yet to change their managerial personnel, one wonders if that status will soon change. Who will be the next Premier League manager sacked?
With a busy festive period not all that far away, some difficult decisions will have to be made and, with club chairmen usually developing an itchy trigger finger at this time of the year, a fateful bullet could be delivered in the run up to the New Year.
Hang on too late and the usual band of firefighters may no longer be available, while making the decision too early could prove to be a seismic error. This is the call that may soon have to be made by several struggling clubs and, with the table finally starting to deliver some form equilibrium, it is time to look at the runners and riders for the latest edition of the top flight sack race.
Four contenders to be the next Premier League manager sacked
Slaven Bilic (West Brom) and Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
In what can be described as a knockout match in the sack race, the first of our candidates to be the next Premier League manager sacked square off at the weekend. With both West Brom and Sheffield United still searching for their first win of the season, it could be a final eliminator in the battle to avoid the boot.
For the Baggies, it would be unfair to say that they have disgraced themselves in the first quarter of the campaign and earning three draws from their first nine matches, suggests that there is an element of solidity to them. However, they lack a real spark at the top end of the pitch and, with no apparent goal threat among their ranks, it does look like a relegation dogfight will be on the agenda for West Brom this season.
On current form the same can be said about Sheffield United. After picking up just a solitary point from the first 27 that have been on offer this season, questions are being asked regarding the managerial status of Chris Wilder.
Has the rot set in at Bramall Lane? One could argue with some confidence that it has and whereas last season they were in a perfect state of attacking and defensive equilibrium, now they have regressed in both departments.
Scoring less and conceding more is not a good recipe for football success and, although it might be too early to proclaim Saturday as a ‘six-pointer’, it is certainly a must-win encounter and if one team is on the losing side, it might just be the final act from their manager.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
If we are to look at the Solskjaer boom and bust cycle in its current state, its fair to say that the Norwegian’s managerial stock has increased over the past couple of weeks, as back to back Premier League wins have removed his head from the chopping block.
However, there is always a sense that shares in the former United forward could plummet in an instant and if we were to fast forward a month down the line, talk of the sack may once again materialise. Indeed, it feels as though the Norwegian has been a contender to be the next Premier League manager sacked pretty much since he accepted the job.
It is the inconsistency which is frustrating for fans and the one thing that stops the Old Trafford hierarchy from making such an important decision, as although nobody can deny his likeability, the 47-year-old’s managerial acumen is still a point for debate.
The fact that United have moved to the top of their Champions League group, will have undoubtedly given Solskjaer a little more time and therefore, any departure this side of Christmas seems unlikely. Then again, it will only take a couple of poor results for the vultures to circle once more.
Scott Parker (Fulham)
With the way that Fulham have performed this season, you can only feel sorry for Scott Parker, as the former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder cuts a more forlorn figure with every week that passes.
It’s been a torrid start to proceedings for the Cottagers and, although Parker will ultimately be in the firing line, it would be unfair to portion all or to be honest any blame on the negative outcomes that his players are delivering.
While when it comes to penalties, it seems that Fulham don’t just have bad luck but they have no luck at all and with three missed efforts from 12 yards, there is a sense that things could be a whole lot different in West London.
However, this is a results business and that’s something that Fulham are not trading in right now. Which means the Khan family will have to decide, if just being a part of the Premier League is enough for the season or if they want to try and make a honest fist of surviving at the end of it.
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