The sack race: Charting the fortunes of Premier League managers
We assess the Next Manager to Leave market, featuring a rapid rise to No.1, and a new entry.
1) Ronald Koeman – Up 13
Ronald Koeman’s desperate injury-time appeal for a handball in Sunday’s latest defeat was, well, desperate.
That Matthew Lowton’s shoulder blocking an unthreatening Ashley Williams header was Everton’s best chance says plenty for how Koeman’s side are faring.
Hamstrung, perhaps, by his employer’s inability to sign a suitable striker over the summer, the product of the Dutchman’s 15 months at Everton so far is this: a slow, boring outfit, for whom only Oumar Niasse has scored a league goal since the middle of August.
A failure to get life out of a team featuring several No.10s and not many centre-forwards is hardly a promising sign, considering the nature of that Barcelona job he craves.
At least the La Liga leaders won’t have to pay compensation for the Dutchman if he finds himself out of a job, as a price of suggests is imminent.
3) Roy Hodgson – New entry
You won’t hear us moralising about the woes of modern football, but Hodgson is right to want a run of games that aren’t against the three title favourites before being judged in his new job.
Instead, he has hardly had time to breathe before charting as third-favourite to go next.
Admittedly, a run of three games without a goal, against any opposition, is dismal, but the 70-year-old walked into a despondent dressing room already at an all-time low.
And as hurried as Steve Parish is in turning over his managers, he has run out of immediate alternatives for now.
Wait for a goalless October before placing your faith in another change at Palace.
5) Mauricio Pellegrino – Up 6
While we’re on the subject of uninspiring teams…
Only four sides have scored fewer goals than Southampton this season, with Pellegrino’s issues revolving around an inability to find a potent attacking solution.
To the Spaniard’s credit, his side have completed the sixth-highest number of passes and fired off the sixth-highest number of shots in the Premier League.
The Saints had 71 per cent of possession at Stoke on Saturday.
Yet that Shane Long has started up front ahead of Manolo Gabbiadini in the last three matches and himself failed to score is telling of Pellegrino’s biggest issue.
Where does he go next?
It would be harsh should the Spaniard pay with his job quite yet, but his long-term future at St Mary’s hinges on an improved conversion rate.
7) Rafael Benitez – Down 5
Newcastle United: the club that just can’t make their mind up.
No sooner had the Magpies lost their first two games of the season to nil, exuding calamity in the process, than they string together three straight victories and record a point against Liverpool.
Not that Benitez was ever the issue.
It was the Newcastle board’s failure to live up to the Spaniard’s expectations that threatened to derail their season.
And they are not short of time to self-implode again this season.
It may be worth getting on this price before the pendulum swings once more.
10) Arsene Wenger – Down 6
Looking at their fixtures, Arsenal should extend their decent run of form through October, before collapsing to oblivion early the following month.
Wins at Watford and Everton heading into November, requiring a form of resilience, would be real morale-boosters. Qualification into the Europa League knockout stages a disaster averted.
And so their hopes going up in smoke at the Etihad on Guy Fawkes Day will be as equally impactful as August’s no-show at Liverpool. And after that? The North London derby.
Not that that even defeat there would cost Wenger his job. Nor would, as is perfectly achievable, going down at Vicarage Road and Goodison Park beforehand.
Even so, don’t expect the Frenchman to hang onto his price for long.
*Odds subject to change.