With the new season just around the corner, predictions on winners and relegation contenders are coming in thick and fast. These predictions won’t be realized until later in the season but one prediction that will be seen a lot sooner is the first casualty of war in the battle for the first manager to get fired.
As each season comes and goes, it seems more and more that chairmen are trigger happy about firing the man in the dugout. Even managers who led their sides into the EPL can get removed from the job very quickly if their club doesn’t think they are going to keep them up.
Last season we saw a six men get the chop including Mancini and Di Matteo from Manchester City and Chelsea respectively. Newly promoted Southampton and Reading also parted company with the managers who got them up, and Mark Hughes and Martin O’Neill also felt the axe fall to their roles.
The bookies seem to have already picked their favourite to go first. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew didn’t have the best season last year, but the coach would have been expecting to bounce back in a big way. What he didn’t see was owner Mike Ashley hiring Joe Kinnear to work above him. It also hasn’t helped his case that Newcastle haven’t been able to fill the major gaps in the squad. They also have several suitors looking to pick up Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye from the middle of the park. If both players move on, the team would be a shell of the side that looked so good 2 seasons ago.
Other highly tipped men to go early in the season include Fulham manager Martin Jol, and Sunderland’s hot headed Italian Paula Di Canio. In all fairness to Jol, he seems to be getting the rough end of the stick. He has done tremendous job, while spending little money.
Two men the bookies haven’t fancied to go early are the two outside bets that might actually be worth a flutter. Hull manager Steve Bruce is currently sitting at 33-1 to go first. Bruce did a great job getting Hull back into the big league but the club has an owner with big ideas. This is a club that has already talked about the name Hull City being boring, and that they should change the name to Hull Tigers. This is a team that wants to win, and if Hull fails to start the season well which is more than likely, then it could be a very early departure for Bruce.
Another 33-1 long shot for the chop is Liverpool man Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea manager failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, and is now faced with a huge PR battle with his best player. Telling a player who doesn’t want to play at the club that he must apologize to his team mates before he will get to play again just doesn’t make sense. It’s hardly going to be an apology if you are forcing him to do it.
The Suarez situation is key to Rodgers keeping his job, if he can move the troubled player and buy one or two quality players then perhaps he keeps his job. If Liverpool continue to misfire then it could well be another change on the cards at Anfield.
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