With the 2018-19 Premier League campaign underway, sooner or later there’ll be a managerial casualty. It’s become one of those certainties like death and taxes. The transient life of a football manager or head coach means departures from top-flight clubs are inevitable, but who is looking prominent in the so-called sack race?
If you thinking of having a bet on this market with bookmakers, remember the boss doesn’t have to be sacked to count. They can resign or leave by mutual consent – what some might say is just a polite way of being fired. Here are our leading contenders to be first out of a job in the Premier League this season.
Leicester City’s Asian owners have already demonstrated considerable ruthlessness before in removing title-winning boss Claudio Ranieri a matter of months after his against-all-odds achievements at the Foxes.
Former Southampton manager Puel is currently in the King Power Stadium hotseat, but has seen the East Midlands outfit finally sell Riyad Mahrez – one of the star turns of their victorious Premier League campaign of 2015-16.
In Leicester’s defence, they have at least staggered the departures of their title winners and held firm over strong interest in England centre-back Harry Maguire from the likes of Manchester United following his World Cup exploits.
Trying to be competitive without N’Golo Kante and Mahrez, two key components of their championship-winning vintage, is tough, and tabloid reports are already circulating that Puel only has a few games to save his job.
The Premier League oddsfor Puel to be first manager on his way at Betfair thus have him as the 7/2 favourite. Another couple of defeats following their opening night loss to United at Old Trafford and that price should shorten considerably.
Newcastle United may have punched above their weight when making a top-ten finish on their Premier League return under Spanish boss Benitez last term, but their summer recruitment came late and leaves a lot to be desired.
While controversial club owner Mike Ashley buys up another retail outlet in House of Fraser, the Toon Army have seen just £22,500,000 spent on permanent transfers. They raised about that just from selling Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Fulham alone.
Although Benitez signed a statement defending the Magpies’ summer recruitment, another crisis never seems far from materialising out of the fog on the Tyne. The players Newcastle have brought in are solid rather than spectacular and some must prove themselves in the Premier League.
Ashley is gambling on the squad at St James’ Park overachieving and Benitez may feel the owner has broken promises over funds to him. That is why he’s a 6/1 shot to be first Premier League boss to go.
Wily veteran manager Warnock has worked one of his Championship miracles in getting Cardiff City back into the Premier League. At second-tier level, there’s nobody better at putting together a side that is organised and can be competitive.
The trouble is his Bluebirds are very short on top-flight experience and odds-on favourites with the bookmakers to go straight back down. Warnock has been a victim of his own success in the Championship before – see his spells with hometown team Sheffield United and QPR for evidence of that.
Having put all that hard work in to get clubs up to the Premier League, it has ended in the sack. The chances of it being third time lucky for Warnock are slim and at present, he looks overpriced at 15/2 to be the first manager to leave.