The recent sacking of Tottenham Hotspurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino and his sensational replacement by Jose Mourinho was the main talking point in the football world last week.
The English Premier League, thought by many to be the best in the world, is probably not done with sackings. The question on most people’s minds is: whose head will roll next in the managerial sack race?
The bookie’s favourite right now is Marco Silva, the current manager of Everton. Everton have got it tough. Their biggest rivals are Liverpool, and the Reds look set to run away with the Premiership title, plus any other honours (FA Cup, Carabao Cup, and Champion Leagues crown) that they set their minds too.
Everton, on the other hand, are in dire straights. They have lost their four last games played against newly-promoted teams. With more than £200 million to spend in the transfer market since Sam Allardyce was in charge and the Toffees were 8th in the Premiership, they have managed to slip down to 5th from the bottom.
Overall, since Silva picked up the reigns, Everton have lost over half of their games. Silva’s appointment was something of a shock at the time. His previous managerial stints at Hull and Watford didn’t thrill supporters, and now, most people think it is only a matter of time before he is sacked. His position is so precarious that it could even happen as we write.
While Silva is the hot favourite at odds of 1 to 6, the next in line surely has to be West Ham’s manager, Manual Pellegrini. Unfortunately for him, last Saturday his East London side were pitched against Tottenham – a team with much to prove to their new manager Jose Mourinho, in charge for the first time.
West Ham, after their home defeat by Spurs, fell to fourth from the bottom in the Premiership. The East Londoners have been beaten in five out of their last seven Premier League fixtures. They have drawn twice and were unceremoniously dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League One Oxford United. It’s not a comfortable position and as a result, Pellegrini is joint second bookie’s favourite for the chop at 12 to 1.
The other manager sharing joint-second favourite in the sacking stakes is Arsenal’s, Unai Emery. In terms of the team’s position in the table, the Gunners aren’t doing too bad in the 8th position. But the mood amongst supporters is one of gloom. In fact, their poor display at the Emirates last weekend when they struggled to get a draw with one off the bottom-placed Southampton drew a chorus of boos from disappointed Gooners.
It was always going to be a hard act replacing Arsène Wenger, even though towards the end of his time in charge supporters wanted the Frenchman out. But with fans unhappy with Emery’s selections, tactics and his seeming inability to stimulate the players, the 48-year-old Spaniard is under pressure, hence being 12-1 in the bookie’s rankings for the next big sacking.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also a manager at risk. After his fairy-tale start in charge of Manchester United, this season got off to a very rocky start. The Red Devils have done better of late. They sit in 9th position in the Premiership and talk of a sacking receded slightly with him now on odds of 20 to 1 for being the next candidate to go.
But when the knives were out for the 46-year-old Norwegian, the name being touted as his replacement was that of Mauricio Pochettino. At the time he was firmly in place at Tottenham, but now the Argentinian is without an employer – who knows? It could signal Solskjaer’s demise earlier than expected.