The Premier League Sack Race
Is it in bad taste to have a punt on the so-called Premier League Sack Race – the next manager to leave his post?
The 2013/14 season saw 13 managerial changes from Paolo DiCanio’s Sunderland sacking in September through to Pepe Mel and Tim Sherwood leaving West Brom and Spurs respectively after barely 5 months in their jobs.
So who is likely to get their P45 next this season?
It’s interesting to note that the outside bet is that no more managers will leave this season, Paddy Power offering 66/1 on this being the case. To be honest, we can’t see it – since the Premier League’s inception in 1992/1993 there have been at least 3 managerial changes in any given season. There have been 181 managerial changes in Premier League history – an average of more than 8 per season. The 1994/1995 season saw 15 managerial changes. Of course some of these weren’t sackings, some were poached by other clubs, there have been resignations for health reasons and so on.
So what about this season?
Amazingly Tony Pulis and Crystal Palace parted company with just 2 days to go to the start of the season, he was as long as 40/1 to be the first to leave. Of the 19 managers still in post, we look
It looks bleak for Big Sam at West Ham. The fans are not happy with the style of football they see at Upton Park. The big money signing of Andy Carrol has been a flop so far because of the striker’s injury problems and the board and Sam aren’t seeing eye to eye over the future of Ravel Morrison. According to the bookies he’s nailed on to be shown the door and as such there’s very little value here, 7/4 with both Skybet and Paddy Power
Paul Lambert at Aston Villa might make more sense. Randy Lerner wants out and is looking for a buyer. A new buyer might mean a change of manager and Villa have been disappointing in the past couple of seasons. The budget is limited and Lambert has been dealing with freebies like Joe Cole and Phillipe Senderos (a signing that doesn’t inspire too much confidence). Benteke is still out injured too. There seems to be an air of resignation about Villa and a relegation scrap looms. A bad start, their first three fixtures are Stoke (a), Newcastle (h), Hull (h) and there could be trouble. These are games where they should pick up points. Lambert is best priced 7/1 with Paddy Power (where he has been as short as 7/2 within the last month). Also they have employed Roy Keane who would be ready to fill any void let by a departing Lambert.
Of the promoted clubs, the bookies think Harry Redknapp is likeliest to leave his club. He hasn’t spent massively as yet and Ferdinand and Caulker look to be solid signings. QPR will be more resilient than last time they were in the premier league and with his experience they should be safe. We can’t see him being the first manager to leave – PaddyPower are offering 12/1.
Sean Dyche looks safe at Burnley unless he gets poached for a bigger club. He is widely regarded as a huge managerial talent who is going places and Burnley will be keen to keep him at the helm. They are operating on a relative shoestring – they have only spent just over £2 million so far and 2nd in last years Championship was a huge achievement. SkyBet’s 28/1 looks about right.
Nigel Pearson at Leicester is slightly shorter priced to get the elbow. Leicester are something of a yo-yo club and will be looking to establish themselves back in the top flight. Only Derby scored more and only Burnley lost less games in the Championship and they were promoted as champions, Pearson will be hoping to ride the goodwill that comes with winning. Patience from the board and fans is key. Fixtures against Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal are hardly an ideal start but any points picked up here will be seen as a bonus and something on which to build. 25/1 at William Hill represents decent value.
Any others? Garry Monk at Swansea is inexperienced and the club disappointed last season finishing 12th after being 9th the season before. Michu suffered second season syndrome and is now out on loan at Napoli. A lot will depend on whether they can keep Wilfried Bony. Sigurdsson looks a decent signing as does Gomis. Monk is a club man however and popular as a player at the Liberty where he has been for a decade or so. 12/1 is the best you can get about him – with Skybet, PaddyPower and William Hill.
West Brom have just appointed Alan Irvine and despite him being 9/1 with SkyBet you’d imagine he would be given some time, he has surely got to be better than Pepe Mel! Ronald Koeman (14/1 William Hill) should be given some leeway given the turbulent summer Southampton have endured and the rebuilding job that needs to be done there and Mauricio Pochettino should last long enough at Spurs to not worry this market – he’s 33/1 with Paddy Power if you disagree.
Alan Pardew is a tough one to call. He is on a long term deal at Newcastle but has been throwing the money around a bit. A net spend of over £25 million this summer is a significant amount. Janmaat is a good buy, however Remy Cabella at £12 million is a huge risk. The outlay on transfers is getting on for £40 million. This shows a lot of faith in Pardew from owner Mike Ashley but results will be expected, Newcastle finished 10th last season losing half of their games. This season sees them start at Home to the Champions and then they have a run of fixtures that they will expect to see a good return from. A solid start is essential, PaddyPower have him as 12/1 5th favourite for the sack.
How about an outsider? A tough one. Steve Bruce has spent a lot but seems to have recruited wisely at Hull (40/1 with William Hill). Mark Hughes at Stoke has only paid for one player so far (Bojan) but has made some shrewd free signings 33/1 (Hills and Betfair).
Will any of the big boys blink if they start poorly? Pellegrini is surely safe after winning the league, there’s a lot of love for Rodgers at Liverpool , Wenger is an institution at Arsenal and has just signed a new deal and Van Gaal is making a great impression at Old Trafford. Mourinho to throw his toys out of the pram if Chelsea get off to a bad start? Abramovich and he have a strange, volatile relationship, it’s a long shot but 40/1 at PaddyPower and William Hill may be interesting.