The sack race: Which Premier League manager will leave next?
Marco Silva will probably lose his job if Everton lose on Saturday, but he is not necessarily the best bet in the Next Manager To Leave market.
Marco Silva (Everton)
Silva will probably lose his job as Everton manager if they lose to West Ham on Saturday.
Managers in Silva’s position rarely find a way back. The players know that the hierarchy are doubting him, and several supporters have made their minds up already.
With a run of Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal to come in December, it would be a surprise if he is in charge by the New Year.
But compared to odds of available for the Hammers to win at Goodison Park, Silva’s price to leave next is less attractive.
If he can claim a crucial victory on Saturday lunchtime, then hoping that he can delay the inevitable for a few more weeks and backing a longer-priced outsider is the way to go.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
“Manchester United’s manager is safe from the sack for the immediate future, with it being business as usual. He is coming under increasing pressure, because of United’s poor season, yet he is to remain in place."
These words appeared in The Guardian – not about Solskjaer, but Jose Mourinho last December. Mourinho was sacked the next day.
So the United hierarchy should not be fooling anybody when they promote the story that Solskjaer’s position is safe for months and years to come.
The numbers are stark.
Since rushing into handing the job to the Norwegian full-time last March, United have won four of their 16 league matches, and failed to win any of their 10 away games in all competitions.
Defeat to Liverpool on Sunday – which saw off Mourinho last season – could sharpen the sword, but the four consecutive away games that follow should see it come crashing down.
Whether Solskjaer beats his rivals to the sack isn’t certain, but these odds look good.
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
It feels like Pochettino is likelier to walk away than Tottenham are to sack him, and this bet is worth avoiding while that remains the case.
Spurs’ rut has gone on too long.
They have won six of their last 21 league games, while last season’s historic run to the Champions League final – which warrants huge credit – masked the fact that their last two league campaigns have each been worse than the one before.
But Daniel Levy is unlikely to fire a manager who has four years remaining on his contract, remains almost universally popular, and has the skill to lead the required rebuild.
Crucially, Pochettino’s other options are limited. Real Madrid have improved enough that Zinedine Zidane remains safe, while Solskjaer would have to leave first to open up the United job.
Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)
Hasenhuttl is usually emotional on the touchline, cajoling his players and failing to hide his frustration when they don’t obey instructions.
Yet during Southampton’s 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea last time out, the German’s demeanour was bewilderment. He seems baffled as to how to turn around a team that has taken seven points and conceded 15 goals in its last eight games.
That isn’t encouraging for a club that invested £50m on three attacking players over the summer, particularly considering that Wolves, Leicester, Man City (twice), Everton and Arsenal are their next six opponents.
This still feels like a long shot, though.
One or two surprise results against that opposition could give the Saints the shot in the arm that they need, but the pressure on a manager who comfortably guided them clear of relegation last season is unlikely to ramp up for a while regardless.
Quique Sanchez Flores (Watford)
Watford’s hierarchy will make no apologies about ignoring conventional wisdom to revive a team that will be relegated if it doesn’t quickly improve.
If that means moving onto Head Coach No. 3 before the clocks turn back, then so be it.
Flores’ conservative – OK, boring – approach to the 0-0 home draw with Sheffield United a fortnight ago at least suggested that a style was being implemented.
But parking 11 men behind the ball and relying on mistakes to get within 30 yards of goal must be the basis of something better, rather than the extent of what Flores can do with his team.
An attack featuring international stars like Gerard Deulofeu, Danny Welbeck, Ismaila Sarr and Roberto Pereyra is without a goal in three straight league matches.
If that continues for long, the board will be getting twitchy again.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be the next Premier League manager to leave
Quique Sanchez Flores to be the next Premier League manager to leave
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