>Premier League sack race in full swing

>With only ten games of the Premier League season gone it seems ridiculous that a quarter of the league’s managers have already found themselves subjected to pressure and speculation surrounding the safety of their jobs.

Roberto ManciniImage via Wikipedia

For various reasons, Avram Grant, Roy Hodgson, Chris Hughton, Roberto Martinez and now Roberto Mancini have all been cast under a shadow of uncertainty regarding their jobs. With not even a third of the season gone, such a situation seems to highlight the fragile and delicate nature of football.

Admittedly, West Ham have had a poor start to the campaign, sitting bottom of the table with six points from ten games. With a squad containing English talent such as Carlton Cole, Scott Parker and Mark Noble, not to mention Matthew Upson and Robert Green, they should be doing better. However, surely a manager’s style of play and tactics take a transition period in order to gain success. It seems this allowance is becoming ever smaller.

Similarly, Wigan’s Roberto Martinez has found his name banded around newspapers as being the next one to go. Wigan’s rise to the Premier League has been monumental, and with relatively low attendance compared to the majority of the league they will always struggle to compete financially. However, Martinez has managed to keep star player N’Zogbia at the DW Stadium for the time being, and sometimes does not receive the praise he deserves. A win against Tottenham and a place in the Carling Cup quarter finals seems to be masked underneath the fact they lie just above the relegation zone. However, the team below them, Blackburn, have yet to receive the criticism Wigan have endured.

Moving onto Liverpool, Roy Hodgson inherited a side with three world class players in Torres, Gerrard and Reina. The rest of the squad, although seemingly good on paper, were yet to prove their worth even under former manger Benitez. Liverpool celebrated their win over Bolton in a jubilant fashion, but the Liverpool of old would surely have taken the result for granted. Times have certainly changed but Hodgson has a great reputation and experience, and given the correct funds in January should be able to take Liverpool to the higher reaches of the table. However, it remains to be seen whether Hodgson will be given that chance with names such as Klinnsman and Deschamps circulating.

Someone who has been given the chance to spend is Roberto Mancini. In the summer he bought twenty million pound plus players in Milner, Yaya Toure, Balotelli and David Silva. Although they managed to beat Chelsea and are in the top four, defeats to Sunderland, Arsenal and Wolves topped with the fans unrest at the negative style of play has caused Mancini to become a man under pressure. Daily reports in the papers give an impression of unrest, unhappiness and discontent in the squad. How much these are blown out of proportion is unknown, but it certainly seems that both City and Mancini need to learn how to handle the pressure that goes with the funds they have spent. A winning mentality needs to be developed but whether Mancini will be the man to see that through seems doubtful.

Image via DailyPrem

Perhaps the most ludicrous of all the manager’s facing the sack is Chris Hughton at Newcastle. A man who took over a club who had its reputation destroyed by its owner and brought it straight back into the Premier League, and comfortably so. Hughton has guided Newcastle to seventh in the league, but prior to this weekend’s huge derby win had faced mounting speculation that he was about to lose his job. Considering they have not been able to sign anyone and are playing with the majority of the players who were playing in The Championship, Hughton has to be applauded for his efforts as well as the integrity he has shown when under such scrutiny.

It is only a matter of time before one of them is sacked, maybe it will be someone else who has not been mentioned so far. For example Blackburn would like to be sitting higher than 18th right now, and how long will Houillier be given? His team have struggled to score since he took over. Whoever goes, loyalty needs to force its way back into football. Players are constantly depicted as having no loyalty, but the directors who run the club also need to take a look at themselves before they consider sacking the next manger.

By Oliver Holmes

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