With another Premier League season on the horizon, one question that inevitably rears its head is which Premier League manager will be for the chop first?
Arguably Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is only still at the club due to Randy Lerner putting the club up for sale. All the talk at the start of the year of a new contract for Lambert has long evaporated and after two lacklustre seasons, that have each recorded a record number of home defeats in the club’s history, Lambert has the worst Premier League record of any Villa manager.
Technically, if the club is sold Lambert could go as soon as, if the new owner has a new manager in mind. Also, Villa’s tough September fixture list could have the temperature turned up on the Villa boss early doors, if results go against him. Interestingly though, Lambert isn’t the favourite for the axe to drop first.
Premier League Sack Race
Currently, Lambert lies joint-third with Harry Rednapp to be the first manager to lose their job this season.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is clear favourite mainly due to his lack of rapport with the Hammer’s fans. West Ham have always advocated playing football the right way and Big Sam’s functional direct game has the fans booing him even if his team ends 90 minutes with points in the bag. The West Ham board though will have his back as long as the results come in, so I don’t think there’s much value to be had at those odds.
West Brom’s new manager Alan Irvine for me should have the shortest odds. The Baggies were a tad shaky last season and nothing cries ‘easy to sack’ than a 12-month rolling contract that Irvine finds himself on. The former Everton’s academy manager is celebrated for being a decent coach and for his knowledge of the game from the grassroots up, but those qualities are suited for the long-term. It remains to be seen if he can do enough to convince the Albion fans and get them on side. The sacking of Steve Clarke increasingly looks a mistake.
With the Southampton team needing to start from scratch, I don’t see Ronald Koeman as safe as 18/1. The Saints will be approaching the season pretty much as a newly-promoted team with a need to add quality pronto after being asset stripped by Liverpool another big teams.
Alan Pardew has made some decent enough purchases in the close season to make Newcastle competitive. The MOMS favourite at decent odds to be the first manager to get the boot is Swansea’s Gary Monk at 14/1. Swansea seemed a team on the slide last season. Yes, the Europa League bogged them down, but this season will be a serious test for 35-year-old Monk, as his managerial credentials are tested across a whole season for the first time.