Five managers to keep an eye on in the 2014/15 Premier League Sack Raceby Jack Kitson / 21 July 2014, 10:08Tweet
The kick-off to the new 2014/15 Premier League season is rapidly approaching, with less than a month to go until Man Utd and Swansea get proceedings under way on Saturday 16th August (12.45pm). Pre-season training is now in full flow, as is the transfer market, with top-flight managers meticulously planning for the upcoming crusade, which promises to be an absolute belter. However, while the excitement is there, so is the pressure, which is an ever-present thorn in the side of each and every one of the league’s 20 managers.
Below we take a look at five managers who are worth keeping an eye on in the Premier League Sack Race.
Alan Irvine @ 4/1
Alan Irvine has been installed as the 4/1 favourite to be the first top-flight boss to suffer the sack. West Brom’s decision to appoint Irvine back in June came as a huge surprise, with many supporters unconvinced at the former Everton academy managers’ record in the dugout. The 55-year-old has never worked in the Premier League, while he was sacked by previous employers Preston and Sheffield Wednesday, and even got the latter relegated.
The Baggies dismissed Steve Clarke half-way through the previous campaign, while his successor Pepe Mel departed at the end of the season. The fact that Irvine has only been handed a 12-month rolling contract shows that the club aren’t totally convinced either, and if the Scot struggles to get out of the blocks then he is unlikely to be in a job come Christmas.
Alan Pardew @ 7/1
Geordie fans have becoming increasingly frustrated with their side’s plague of inconsistency, which has seen them yo-yo up and down the table in recent years. Alan Pardew once again came under an avalanche of pressure during the 2013/14 Premier League Sack Race, but in the end managed to cling onto his job, with owner Mike Ashley deciding to stick with the beleaguered boss.
Pardew, who is the top-flight’s second longest-serving manager, is no doubt on his last legs and it comes as no surprise to see the 53-year-old situated towards the summit of the Sack Race market. A scroll through the fixture list reveals a dreaded month of December for the Toon, who face big dogs Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd and Everton, plus the small matter of a crunch clash with Sunderland sandwiched in between.
Sam Allardyce @ 8/1
If media stories are to be believed then West Ham boss Sam Allardyce reportedly came close to losing his job on more than one occasion last season. The relegation-threatened Hammers suffered a poor run around Christmas and the New Year but managed to turn things around, before recording a 13th place finish, despite losing five of their last six matches.
It is no secret that a number of supporters crave a change in the dugout. However, the owners backed Big Sam in the summer, but on the condition that he alters the club's style of play by employing a more attacking and attractive philosophy, which fits the “West Ham way”. But, a failure to do this, combined with poor results, could result in the sack for the Premier League's third longest-serving manager.
Mauricio Pochettino @ 20/1
Daniel Levy has developed an unwanted reputation as a ruthless chairman who isn’t afraid to pull the trigger if he feels that results aren’t up to scratch. The 52-year-old has remarkably axed nine Tottenham Hotspur managers in 13 years, including Tim Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood last season, despite the duo recording the first and second highest Premier League win percentage in the club’s history…brutal.
Longevity and patience are two words evidently missing from Levy’s dictionary, and his eagerness to swing the managerial axe will no doubt be of huge concern to the new Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who was poached away from Southampton following an excellent campaign on the south coast. The highly rated Argentinian signed a whopping five-year deal at White Hart Lane, and will be tasked with molding to together a team who can challenge for the a top-4 finish. However, a poor start to his reign in the Spurs dugout could prove costly, making 20/1 a decent price.
Nigel Pearson @ 22/1
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson may have masterminded a stunning return to the top-flight after breaking the 100 point barrier last season, but that success will be quickly forgotten if the Foxes get off to a poor start to life back in the top-flight. The Midland’s club have been handed a horrific start, with Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd on the cards in their opening five matches.
This baptism of fire could hurl the pressure on Pearson as a torrid run of results may leave Leicester rooted to the bottom of the table. Club’s Thai owners demand success and, if the above does happen, they may push the panic button and sack the 50-year-old, who catches the eye at 22/1 to be the first manager to be booted out the exit door.
2014/15 Premier League Sack Race Odds
Odds courtesy of Sky Bet
4/1 Alan Irvine
5/1 Paul Lambert
6/1 Harry Redknapp
7/1 Alan Pardew
8/1 Sam Allardyce
10/1 Garry Monk
12/1 Steve Bruce
18/1 Ronald Koeman
20/1 Mauricio Pochettino
22/1 Nigel Pearson
25/1 Mark Hughes
25/1 Gus Poyet
25/1 Sean Dyche
28/1 Tony Pulis
33/1 Manuel Pellegrini
33/1 José Mourinho
33/1 Louis van Gaal
50/1 Arsene Wenger
50/1 Roberto Martinez
50/1 Brendan Rogers