Who’ll be the first Premiership boss to go in 2010?

by Gavin Caney

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Over 50 bosses have lost their jobs in 2009. From Jimmy Mullen of Walsall on January 10th to Gary Megson’s two days ago it’s been another manic year on the managerial merry-go-round. It would hardly surprise me if someone got itchy fingers over Christmas and sacked someone before the New Year such is the current madness of boards around the country.

Clubs seem to forget it takes time to get success. Everybody knows full well how different things could have been at Old Trafford had Fergie been sacked after his poor early record. Martin O’Neill, one of those surely safe, admitted: “It is crazy. In any other industry you’d be given time to do the job.”

Time doesn’t stretch longer than the last 90 minutes in football. Managers are in and out of the door before you even know it. With results and success instantly wanted, whose head is next on the chopping block?

Alex Ferguson, Martin O’Neill, Harry Redknapp, Alex McCleish and Roy Hodgson can surely walk around with their heads held high. Even though madness is rife, these five must feel safer than Britain’s roads. Carson Yeung wouldn’t be stupid enough to sack his Scottish boss with Birmingham unbeaten in nine games. Hodgson has steered Fulham into the last 32 of the Europa Cup and has done wonders at Craven Cottage. Redknapp and O’Neill are pushing to break into the top four and Sir Alex is……well, Sir Alex.

A few managers should feel reasonably comfortable. Ancelotti’s Chelsea are top, although Abramovich has shown his ruthless streak before. If he cracks Europe there’s no way he’ll go. Pulis is turning Stoke into a hard side to beat. McCarthy has probably done enough – even if those above him are said to be upset with his rotation policy. Avram Grant might even crack a smile if Portsmouth continue to improve under him.

Arsene Wenger has had serious questions asked of him, but his side can go second if they win their game in hand. He’s turned Arsenal into one of the most pleasing sides in Europe, and although he has no Plan B, Plan A should see him through especially if he signs a striker and or midfielder in January. It’s fair to say they’re still well and truly part of the title race.

Managers like Owen Coyle, Sam Allardyce and Roberto Martinez have to make sure they don’t slip up before they fall into the category of managers who are hoping for a much better new year.

David Moyes has been fantastic at Everton, but this season for many reasons has been dreadful. If their form doesn’t improve dramatically – Bill Kenwright might decide for a fresh approach after years of progress. Maybe Moyes has hit a wall? You would expect them to improve in 2010 – but will it still be enough?

Phil Brown looked certain to be sacked before a Jimmy Bullard inspired Hull rallied to move out of the bottom three. Without him they look a different side. Adam Pearson might still not fancy his perma-tanned manager if Hull continue to slip into the Brown stuff.

 Zola, despite being universally liked, seems to have hit the curse of countless Hammers’ bosses. Good first season, dreadful second. Both will nervously be looking over their shoulder, as will Steve Bruce whose Sunderland side have really hit a wall. Quinn’s football experience might make Bruce safer than Zola.

Roberto Mancini walks into the most pressurised job in the Premier League knowing he will be gone if his side don’t reach the top four. He will probably spend millions in January, heaping even more pressure on a club that is turning into football’s biggest circus.

Yet the star of any Premier League circus is its biggest clown. Christmas 2009’s lead act is – Rafa “I guarantee we’ll finish fourth” Benitez. Liverpool are out of the Champions League, out of the title race and out of ideas. An average side with little money to seemingly spend. They face an almighty task to reach the Champions League next season. If they don’t, surely Benitez’ time is up. While the Anfield faithful continue to sing his name he might survive by the skin of his teeth. Yet when they turn on him, Benitez will surely be enjoying an unhappy New Year on the managerial scrapheap.

Who do you think will be the first top-flight manager to go in 2010?

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  • JJ

    my money is on the Chelsea boss, he’s basically another Big Phil…

  • Mike Somerville

    I would say Zola but once his first teamers come back they will improve. Frustrating time for the little Italian, but if they can hang on to Carlton Cole and Scot Parker things will get better.

    Phil Brown should not be sacked this season, to take Hull from the bottom half of the Championship to the Premeir LEague is amazing. If Bullard stays fit they’ll be ok

  • William

    Wigan are so inconsistent under Martinez. He might not make it through the season if Wigan slip any closer to the relegation zone. They were appalling at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

    I agree about Jimmy Bullard. Hull would have beaten United last Sunday if Bullard had been playing. But can he stay fit? That “if” is enormous!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    on their day they can beat anyone, Chelsea & Villa for example, then they go and lose 9-0 and 5-0 to United and the Spuds.

    Zola won’t get the sack, no way. If it’s going to be anyone then it’s Rafa, but they looked to have turned things around a bit with that win at Villa

  • dexylongshot

    Does anyone know where i can get a good price on my beloved Zola.
    I’ve heard a rumour if Gold & Sullivan takes over, Zola will be gone and Curbs will be back.

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