Who will be the third victim of the Premier League Sack Race?

by Jack Kitson / 23 October 2017, 12:27

We've already seen two managers fall victim to the dreaded metaphorical axe, but now another pair of gaffers - Ronald Koeman and Slaven Bilic - are in severe danger of joining the already disposed-of duo Frank de Boer and Craig Shakespeare on the managerial scrapheap.

Koeman and Bilic headed into the latest wave of Premier League fixtures in desperate search of a win, but both ended the weekend pointless, as Bilic's West Ham were blown away by Brighton (0-3), while Koeman's Everton were annihilated by Arsenal (2-5).

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In the aftermath of West Ham's hammering at home to the Seagulls (Friday) Bilic was propelled up to the summit of the Sack Race as the 1/4 favourite, however less than 48 hours later Koeman had regained his place at the top of the market after the Toffees slumped to their fifth defeat in seven league matches.

Below we take a look at the chances of each gaffer surviving the sack.

Will Koeman Be KO'd?

Koeman ditched Southampton in order to join Everton in the summer of 2016. The Dutchman went on to enjoy a decent debut season, finishing 7th in the table, although the club did flop in both domestic cup competitions.

A summer of transformation saw star man Romelu Lukaku leave for Man Utd, but cash was splashed on the likes of Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, and Jordan Pickford who voyaged over in the other direction.

Therefore hopes were high that the Toffees could unleash an assault on the top-6, however after nine games the struggling club find themselves down in 18th in the table with just two wins to their name.

Koeman was hammered on social media following Sunday's showing against Arsenal. But while this is nothing new - every manager across the land gets slated online after a loss - it’s obvious now that the 54-year-old is now in grave danger of losing his job at Goodison Park, with former boss David Moyes waiting in the wings...

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Fortunately for Koeman he’s at a club that are famed for showing loyalty to their managers, but he knows that a League Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea on Wednesday, followed by a disappointing performance against Leicester (Sunday) could well see Koeman KO'd out of the exit door.

Will Bilic Be Given The Boot?

Like Everton, West Ham are not known as a sacking club, which explains why boss Bilic is still in a job. If this was say trigger-happy Leicester or Crystal Palace, the under-fire Croatian would have been axed last season.

In the build-up to Friday's match at home to Brighton, co-owner David Sullivan revealed that the club were fully behind Bilic:

"If you change a manager it can give you two or three more points over a season statistically. I believe in morality and what's right.

"If you sign a contract you desperately want to honour that contract unless things are desperate.

"I think the manager has a three-year contract and is entitled to these three years. After the season we will sit down and see if he wants to stay on and if we want him to stay on. That's a long way off.

"He is entitled to three years. He didn't sign a two-year contract or a one-year contract."

West Ham's much criticised owners should therefore be given a rare slice of credit for keeping faith in Bilic, who also came under pressure at numerous points during the previous campaign.

But, the Irons were then battered by Brighton, with the supporters leaving the London Stadium early, meaning if results fail to improve David x2 will find it increasingly difficult to remain loyal to a manager that has overseen just two league wins so far this term.

Bilic will now reportedly (BBC Sport) be given two games to save his skin - a cup clash with rivals Tottenham at Wembley (Wednesday), then a crunch clash against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace (Saturday): A loss in the latter is likely to result in the sack.

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