Will there be another Premier League sacking this season?by Jack Kitson / 31 January 2017, 16:41Tweet
There have been four Premier League managerial casualties so far this season - Francesco Guidolin, Alan Pardew, Bob Bradley and Mike Phelan - but will there be another dismissal between now and the end of the 2016/17 campaign?
A week ago Sky Bet had “No Premier League Manager To Leave” at a gargantuan 50/1, but that price has since shrunk to just 9/1 with the same bookmaker, while it’s an even shorter price with Paddy Power (17/2).
Below we analyse data from each of the previous 24 Premier League seasons (February-to-May) to see how many gaffers were shown the exit door in this particular period, and whether any of the current 20 top-flight managers have anything to fear from now until the end of the season.
What does history tell us...?
…A resounding yes to there being another dugout departure from February 2017 until the final whistle blows on on the last day of the season (Sunday 21st May).
In 24 seasons since the Premier League’s inauguration in 1992/93 there have been a total of 51 managerial departures from the dawn of February through to the last game of that particular campaign.
The most active campaigns in this four-month window were the 1997/98, 2002/03, and 2013/2014 seasons, which witnessed four managerial departures apiece.
Meanwhile, there have only been two occasions when there’s been zero departures from February to May.
The first time this occurred was over 20 years ago in 1995/96, which in fact only saw one in-season departure, and that is a push at best: Bolton were managed by both Roy McFarland and Colin Todd, but come the festive period the club gave McFarland the boot, with Todd taking full control of the first team.
This didn’t occur again until the 2007/08 season. This term saw a whopping eight top-flight casualties up until January, but then none until after the season had come to a close.
In the eight seasons since there has yet to be a repeat of this abnormality.
February, March, April or May?
(Ranked highest to lowest)
The month of March has (just) proved to be the most popular in this period with a total of 18 dismissals.
Arguably the most high-profile sacking in the month of March was Chelsea’s decision to axe Andre Villas Boas (2011/12) after just nine months at the helm. AVB was, of course, replaced by the club's former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo who miraculously went on to lead the Blues to a stunning Champions League and FA Cup double.
Other notable gaffers to melt away in March include George Graham (Tottenham), Walter Smith (Everton), Kevin Keegan (Man City), and Steve McClaren who lost his job with Newcastle last season.
The Chelsea trio of Ian Porterfield (1992/93), Ruud Gullit (Feb 1997/98), and Luiz Felipe Scolari (2008/09) all lost their jobs in February, which is the second most popular month with a total of 17 departures.
In fact, Porterfield was the first ever Premier League manager to be ejected from his hot-seat, while Gullit was axed because chairman Ken Bates thought he was arrogant, whereas Scolari famously failed to live up to big expectations.
The current 20 top-flight gaffers will be on red-alert heading into February considering that this month has result in a quadruple of manager moves in the last three seasons.
Next up is April, hitting double figures with a tally of 10.
However, this month has only contained two departures in the last nine years, and they both came in the same season (2013/14), with David Moyes (Man Utd) and Chris Hughton (Norwich) each sent to the guillotine. Norwich were subsequently relegated, while United went on to suffer their worst ever Premier League finish (7th)
If a team has already succumbed to the doom of relegation, then a manager may either throw in the towel, or be sacked. For example, Avram Grant (West Ham, 2010/11) was axed after the club’s relegation was confirmed.
Meanwhile, clubs dispensed of gaffers for failing to meet season targets, as was the case for Roberto Mancini (Man City) and Roberto Martinez (Everton) in recent seasons.
A major reason for May only accounting for just six departures is its proximity to the end of the season. The top-flight campaign comes to a close in May, and many clubs opt to wait until the summer before making a switch, while it’s worth noting that the majority of manager contracts expire in May/June/July.
Which managers are in trouble?
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is a man on a mission…to be sacked. In the space of a week the under-fire Spaniard has publicly slated both the club’s fans and the board, leaving his future at the Riverside in severe doubt.
Walter Mazzarri (3/1) has been in the headlines after a run of seven games without a win, during which the Hornets have picked up just three points, although at the time of writing there is an eight point cushion between the club and the relegation zone.
Sunderland have sent four managers packing between February and May - Howard Wilkinson, Mick McCarthy, Martin O’Neill and Gus Poyet - with all four occurring in the previous 14 seasons, while two have been axed in the last four campaigns…so watch out David Moyes (6/1)!
Hull boss Marco Silva may only have just arrived at the club, but on Monday he’s odds were suddenly slashed down to 10/1, although it would come as a huge surprise if the talented Portuguese coach left the club.
Southampton have twice seen managers depart in crucial period of February/March - Glenn Hoddle (2000/01) and Gordon Strachan (2003/04) - with both bosses leaving by their own accord.
Current Saints incumbent Claude Puel (20/1) recently came under-fire following four straight league defeats, but he has since led the club through to their first Wembley cup final since 1979, meaning he appears safe…for now.