Value to be had in Next Premier League Manager to leave bettingby / 20 January 2010, 14:17
The Premier League is as unforgiving they come! Just ask Paul Hart, Gary Megson or Mark Hughes, all of whom will testify as much after their experiences in recent weeks. However, with the merry-go-round slowing down with all managerial vacancies currently filled, attention is cast upon who will be the next top flight boss to feel the raft of his employers.
Gianfranco Zola shot to the top of bookmakers next Premier League manager to leave odds following the news that David Gold and David O'Sullivan had took over the ownership of West Ham United, fuelling rumours that they would relieve the Italian of his duties in favour of bringing in their own man. However, the former Birmingham City owners reacted to those rumours stating that they have no intention of parting company with Zola. Therefore, his position as favourite and odds of 5/4 makes little appeal, forcing would-be punters to look elsewhere for the the next victim in the Sack Race.
The odds on Rafa Benitez have continued to shorten in the betting as Liverpool's poor run of form shows no signs of letting up, with the Liverpool boss now as short 15/8 with Skybet. However, despite the gradual turning of the Anfield faithful against the man once considered the Messiah for bringing the European Cup back to Merseyside, Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has given the Spaniard his personal backing, stating "if you were to compile a list of the top five coaches and managers around the world, Benitez would definitely be on that list" before adding he thinks the current run of form is no more than "a blip" for the Reds. The question therefore remains how much longer has Rafa got but Gillett's comments would suggest that they are in no rush to begin looking for a new man for the Anfield hot-seat.
With Zola and Benitez seemingly safe for the immediate future, some of the Premier League's other managers come in to the reckoning as being contenders for next in line for the chop. Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown are both continually the subject of rumours concerning their futures at Blackburn and Hull respectively but both are experienced in relegation battles and whilst results may not be consistently good, they are not consistently bad, meaning both should be safe for at least the foreseeable future.
The one man who can't be considered safe and looks a big price at 25/1 (with Skybet) to be the next Premiership manager to leave is Mick McCarthy, whose Wolverhampton Wanderers side are precariously positioned just once place above the relegation zone but on the same number of points as Hull who sit one place below them. Wolves are without a league point or goal in three matches now and things don't look set to get any easier for the Black Country club with Liverpool next up at Molineux before three away games at Hull, West Ham and Birmingham. Failure to pick up at least one win from these four matches would really see the pressure mount on McCarthy who has already upset Wolves fans recently when fielding a weakened side for the team's recent trip to Man Utd. This is enough for the so-called 'betting experts' in the Sack Race office to think 25/1 is good value and have already had couple of quid on the former Republic of Ireland and Sunderland boss being the next Premier League manager to be out of work.