Will there be another Premier League sacking this season?by Jack Kitson / 01 February 2018, 12:22Tweet
The January transfer window has slammed shut meaning the 20 Premier League managers must now make do with what they’ve got until the end of the season. A number of gaffers will be content with their dealings, while others will have been left exasperated at 11pm last night.
There are now just over three months and 13 matches remaining until the campaign comes to a close in mid-May. We’ve already witnessed a whopping eight sackings this term - a joint-record at this stage of the season - but will any other bosses be gobbled up by the 2017/18 Premier League Sack Race from now until Sunday 13th May?
We take a look below...
A flick through the history books informs us that only two of the previous 25 Premier League seasons have experienced a managerial-departure drought from February through to the final game of the campaign: 1995/96 and 2007/08. This means that a whopping 23 campaigns have witnessed exits during this timeframe.
So which of the current lot are in trouble...?
Mauricio Pellegrino (Southampton)
Relegation-threatened Southampton are enduring the worst winless run in the top-4 leagues, having failed to register a victory in 12 Premier League matches dating back to November.
The Saints are led by an overly cautious manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, who employs negative and unimaginative football. His tactics have been slammed, his substitutions have been slated and his lack of fire-in-the-belly has really frustrated fans.
In the aftermath of Wednesday’s dismal draw at home to fellow south coast strugglers Brighton social media was awash with furious Saints supporters, many of whom tweeted the hashtag #PellegrinoOut.
But still the club backs the Argentine, who was trusted in the transfer market, although in the end he missed out on a number of targets, with record signing Guido Carrillo the only addition.
Should the struggling Saints lose at rock-bottom West Brom this weekend - a result which could see them drop to 20th - surely Pellegrino will be axed. But then again we’ve been saying this for some time and yet still he clings onto his job.
How long has Mauricio Pellegrino got left at Southampton...?— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) February 1, 2018
- #saintsfc are 18th & without a win in 12.
- It's the club's worst Premier league winless run since 1994/95.
- All of the other 91 teams in the top-4 leagues have tasted victory since Saints last won. pic.twitter.com/UNiflnTTDQ
Antonio Conte (Chelsea)
In January alone Luis Enrique, Maurizio Sarri, Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti have been linked with a managerial move to Chelsea. As the days roll by Antonio Conte’s future at Stamford Bridge appears increasingly cloudy. Wednesday’s shock 3-0 hammering at the hands of Bournemouth certainly didn’t help clear the storm, with the Italian now the joint 2/1 favourite for the sack.
Admittedly an in-season exit does seem unlikely - while a summer departure looks inevitable - however should Chelsea falter in the cups and lose ground in the race for a top-4 finish, then owner Roman Abramovich won’t hesitate to make a change in the dugout.
Rafa Benitez (Newcastle)
Another manager whose future has constantly been up in the air is Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard’s troubles with Mike Ashley are nothing new, but while there were rumours of a January walkout, he now looks to be staying on until the end of the season as he bids to save the Toon from the dreaded drop.
Benitez desperately wanted to boost his squad in the January transfer window, and in the end brought in three loan signings in defender Kenedy, forward Islam Slimani and keeper Martin Dubravka. Time will tell whether these thrio of additions will be enough to keep the Magpies from nose diving back into the Championship.
Admittedly, attempting to envision a scenario of zero sackings from now until the end of the season is laughable. Sackings can either come after a prolonged period of pressure and poor results, or completely out of the blue. Meanwhile, one or more of the 20 top-flight gaffers could decide they’ve had enough and throw in the towel.
But you never know, owners and chairman may decide to wait until the summer before they pull the trigger. If you do fancy this option then bookmakers have priced it up at 9/1 to occur for only the third time in Premier League history.
In only 2 of the previous 25 Premier League seasons have there been no managerial exits from the start of February through to the end of the season.— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) February 1, 2018
Meanwhile, the 2002/03 & 1997/98 seasons witnessed 4 exits during this timeframe. pic.twitter.com/cOMQ5FPSVd