The sack race has halted – for now
It’s 22nd September and, incredibly, all 92 clubs in the Premier and Football Leagues still have the same manager they had when the season kicked off.
Hull are still officially without a manager but that’s not changed since the opening day of the Premier League season with Micky Phelan still in temporary charge and most people with an interest in the club, be they players, coaches or supporters, waiting for the day his appointment as full time boss is concerned.
Managerial changes were few and far between when I first started watching football, but in recent years it has been rare to see us reach this time of the season without a single sacking in the top four leagues, leaving National League clubs Eastleigh and Tranmere currently the highest placed clubs to have made a change.
I could say the time of the first departure is getting closer but that’s stating the obvious, but I do suspect we might not be too far away. Where will it be though? I suppose the best place is to look towards the bottom positions in each league.
In League Two that would leave Shaun Derry at Cambridge as the most vulnerable. They are still to win and are already three points adrift. One league up and there are a number of candidates but you would have to say Rochdale’s Keith Hill and Tony Mowbray at Coventry could be the most nervous going into work right now.
They’ve bigger fish to fry at Coventry right now. So bad is the situation that the local paper, the Coventry Telegraph, have launched a petition calling for owners Sisu to leave and already 11,036 have signed it. They’ve been in charge of the club for nine years and it has been on a downward slide ever since. But football club owners are a law unto themselves and quite often they will sack someone to deflect the criticism away from them, so watch out Tony Mowbray.
The Championship is an interesting one. Leeds are now up to 15th but with Massimo Cellino now owning the entire club you have to think anything can happen. A couple of poor results could see Garry Monk under real pressure.
Cardiff are bottom now but Paul Trollope has only just taken charge. That club is far removed from the one that won promotion to the Premier League just over three years ago. The idiot owner, yes another one, that is Vincent Tan is much quieter these days, he’s even allowed them to play in blue again, but this is no longer a club challenging near the top of the Championship.
They are behind Wigan and Blackburn. Wigan aren’t likely to sack Gary Caldwell after they’ve just won promotion and given Venky’s were daft enough to appoint Owen Coyle, you have to assume they are daft enough to stick with him.
Derby and Preston aren’t so far above them. Disrespectful Nigel should be OK if promotion is not a priority again this season for Derby, but I suspect Simon Grayson could find himself under pressure if they suffer a few more poor results.
Keep your eye on Loftus Road too. Reports have emerged that they have been turned down by Steve McClaren after an approach and there was speculation last weekend that they could make a move for Tony Pulis. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is clearly under pressure there.
That takes us to the Premier League. Sean Dyche is the third longest serving manager of the twenty and I don’t see him moving up that ladder any time soon given that the two above him are Arsène Wenger (top picture), who has been at Arsenal for twenty years) and Eddie Howe, as safe as any Premier League manager.
I often take a look at the betting to see who has the shortest odds to be the next one to go. Alan Pardew has been there this season before Tony Pulis took root. He was replaced at the beginning of this week by Mark Hughes who has twice had the dreaded vote of confidence from owner Peter Coates.
David Moyes should be safe for now, Sunderland usually leave it until October or November before they panic, so could it be the current favourite Francesco Guidolin (bottom picture) at Swansea? He’s under real pressure and in both of their last two games there has clearly been a show of dissent from substituted players. Neil Taylor was far from happy when he was withdrawn before half time in the home draw against Chelsea before Ki Sung-yueng followed suit at Southampton.
One report emerging from South Wales refers to him as a dead man walking as speculation increases that they are ready to approach rookie manager Ryan Giggs. Wales Online refer to known concerns in the boardroom.
Only forty have been in the job for over a year so, certainly, one way or another, it won’t be long before the axe falls on one of the 92 (or 91 if we don’t include Phelan).Share this page :