football

The Sack Race: Will Any Other EPL Manager Lose Their Job Before the End of the Season?

March 24, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Typically, this stage of the season usually sees the sack race lose its momentum, as the vast majority of clubs look to consolidate and focus on relentlessly pursuing their objectives for the remainder of the season. This year feels as though it may offer an exception to this unwritten rule, however, particularly with a realistic total of six clubs still fighting to retain their Premier League status for next year.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was the latest to leave his role last week, after a winless run of 11 games left Boro five points from safety in 19th place. The club are also the lowest scorers in the league with just 20 goals in 28 outings, and the club’s decline was enough to see the Spanish boss become the seventh Premier League managerial casualty of the season (and the 44th across all divisions in England).

With so many teams struggling at the bottom of the table (and a few flailing at the top), there may well be one or two more casualties between now and the end of the season. So, let’s take a look at the unfortunate candidates and the odds of them facing the chop before May is out!

David Moyes at Sunderland (5/2)

Make no mistake; Sunderland look doomed to slip into the Championship after three consecutive seasons of narrowly beating the drop. Currently mired in 20th place and seven points from safety, the continue to struggle manfully and have won just one of the last 10 league games (and none of their last four).

Given this and with Boro acting so ruthlessly to sack Karanka with a total of 10 games to play, the Mackams may well look to follow suit and instil new blood in a bid to beat the drop. The bookies certainly seem to think that this is the case, as the odds of manager David Moyes being sacked have been slashed to 5/2 recently as the Scotsman has struggled to inspire his troops.

If you have free bets, this is certainly worth a punt, although Sunderland are running out of time if they are going to sack the erstwhile Moyes. This is certainly a space to watch, however, particularly with tough trips to Watford and fellow strugglers Leicester next up for the Mackams.

Paul Clement at Swansea (25/1)

Now, you will have to bear with us on this one, especially as the Swans have already sacked two managers this season. The passionate and trigger-happy nature of chairman Huw Jenkins means that he is not afraid to make a bold or controversial decision in the quest for survival, however, and Swansea’s most recent form may force him to take drastic action once again before the season is out.

After winning three out of four games at the turn of the year following the appointment of Clement, the Swans have slipped back into bad habits and remain just three points clear of the drop zone. They have also lost three of their last four outings, including damaging defeats against rivals Hull and Bournemouth last time out.

Suddenly, Clement’s position is under threat, and a further run of poor form could yet see him become the third casualty of the season at the Liberty Stadium. While this may be a slight long-shot at 25/1, it is one of the top free bets in the UK out there at present and well worth your consideration.

Walter Mazzarri at Watford (11/1)

On the topic of UK freebets, Watford coach Walter Mazzarri may yet be another to lose his job before the season is out. After all, it was around this time last year that the club partied ways with Quique Sánchez Flores, despite the fact that he had steered the Hornets to relative safety and guided them to an FA Cup semi-final.

The Italian Mazzarri has been no better this season, with the Hornets seven points from safety but with 10 games and matches against Spurs, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City to go. Watford must also face off against Sunderland, Swansea and Hull before the end of May, and with three defeats in their last four they face the prospect of being dragged into a relegation battle if their form does not improve.

This makes Mazzarri relatively good value at 11/1, particularly if you are a follower of recent trends  and history!

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