With Paul Lambert, Sam Allardyce and Mauricio Pochettino heading my list thus far, and I should clarify that these are in no particular order, it’s time to explore the remainder of a list shrouded in probable ignominy.
Newcastle managed a 10th place finish last season, and while there’s no great shame in that, Geordie fans will be loathe to recall the second half of their season. An abysmal record of fourteen humiliating defeats and only five victories from their last twenty matches saw Newcastle United fans growing increasingly frustrated with manager Alan Pardew.
Worse still, in January Pardew verbally abused Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini before being dismissed to the stands in March for a head butt on Hull’s David Meyler. So, a bad temper coupled to an inability to lift his charges out of a slump when required, renders Pardew a place on my list.
Newcastle have at least signed a few new players, though they may yet count the cost of selling Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal.
I like Garry Monk, he was a solid enough defender in his playing career, and has a no-nonsense attitude in interviews and toward his players. Unfortunately talking a good game does not a good manager make.
Swansea sacked Michael Laudrup last season as the club battled against relegation, but Monk’s record since taking over has hardly made for better reading. The Swans staved off relegation by nine points and finished in 12th place, but I seriously doubt he’ll do enough to keep them afloat for a second season running.
I see a case of second-season syndrome coming here.
Sorry, who? Alan Irvine was appointed manager of West Brom in June following a stint as Everton Youth Coach between 2011 and June 2014. His managerial career thus far has also seen him take charge of Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, and while neither of those make for standout reading on a CV, West Brom may just have unearthed a managerial genius.
Then again I feel the Baggies board have set him up for failure, after all what chance does a first-time premier league manager have these days? Especially when taking charge of a small team with managers such as Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce, Gus Poyet and Mark Hughes to compete with in a bid to steer clear of relegation.
See Alan Irvine above, but simply replace his name with Sean Dyche and substitute West Brom for Burnley, well for the most part anyway.
Sean Dyche sees out my roster of probable managerial casualties for the coming season as his lack of top tier experience is likely to leave him hamstrung in the company mentioned above.
This is hardly a foregone conclusion however as Dyche guided Burnley to the runners-up place in The Championship last season and thus secure promotion to the Premier League. And it should be borne in mind that one Brendan Rodgers, in his tenure at Swansea, was something of an unknown quantity and has since flourished in the league.
On the other hand, Clubs that win promotion to the top tier tend not to hang onto the manager that brought them there for too long should results not go their way. This is chiefly as a result of clubs demanding lengthy tenures in the topflight, and that means little room for sentiment.
In closing then, and in some semblance of a pecking order, I see the following managers not seeing out the season:
– Paul Lambert (Aston Villa)
– Alan Irvine (West Bromwich Albion)
– Sam Allardyce (West Ham United)
– Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)
– Garry Monk (Swansea)
– Sean Dyche (Burnley)
– Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)
And just in case you missed the first half of this column: http://ruffgrain.com/2014/08/06/the-managers-sack-race/