Alan Pardew remains favourite for the chop ahead of new Premier League seasonby Jack Kitson / 16 August 2013, 15:42Tweet
Alan Pardew remains the hot favourite for the sack ahead of the new 2013/14 Premier League season. The Newcastle boss was installed as the frontunner for the axe earlier this summer following the controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear as Director of Football, with Sky Bet currently pricing the 52-year-old at 3/1.
The Toon massively underachieved last season, slumping to a bitterly disappointing 16th finish, just five points above the relegation zone. Only one year earlier they had been battling it out with the big guns for a Champions League spot, before eventually finishing 5th.
Pardew, who is one year into a staggering seven-year contract, will now be expected to get his troops back up into the top-half of the table but the immense pressure, along with the presence of Kinnear, may see him pushed to his very limits.
At 7/1 Martin Jol is another manager to look out for in the Premier League Sack Race. Fulham endured a poor finish to the 2012/13 season, although Jol eventually steered the London club to a respectable 12th place finish. The Cottages have undergone huge changes off the pitch, with Mohamed Al Fayed selling the club after a whopping 16 years.
The new owner is flashy billionaire Shahid Khan who will expect a big improvement this term. Jol has added duo Darren Bent and Adel Taarabt (both on loan) to an already strong strike force, meaning there is cause for optimism at Fulham. However, should they struggle out of the blocks then it would come as no surprise to see Khan step in and make his first major decision as owner.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, who opted to stay at the Liberty Stadium despite interest from other clubs, can be found at the slightly shorter price of 6/1. Meanwhile Sunderland's Paolo Di Canio is worth a look at 11/1, especially considering his passion for controversy. An outside bet is Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger who, at the time of writing, has only added the untested striker Yaya Sanogo to his squad.