Last season we tried to predict five Premier League managers who might not last the season, with mixed results. Whilst Mauricio Pochettino and Marco Silva were indeed given their marching orders, Roy Hodgson, Chris Wilder and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer predictions proved to be wide of the mark. So we thought we’d have another go at guessing who might falter in the Premier League sack race ahead of the 2020/21 season.
In total seven managers lost their jobs last year, although in Javi Gracia, Quique Sanchez Flores and Nigel Pearson, Watford were responsible for three of them. The other four were Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery, Marco Silva and Manual Pellegrini. So who could be in trouble in this year’s Premier League sack race?
Premier League sack race – who won’t last the season?
He was our first pick last season and, although we were wrong, we’re going in again.
Hodgson was given a one year contract extension that will carry him through to the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season after guiding Crystal Palace to safety and an eighth consecutive season in the top flight, the longest such spell in their history.
However, Palace fans may regret the decision after growing increasingly weary of Hodgson’s tactics which, although effective, can be painful to watch. Additionally they endured a woeful run after Project Restart, earning just a point from their final eight matches and scoring a pitiful three goals.
Palace have the second oldest squad in the division and, with star player Wilfried Zaha looking set to leave this summer, they need a huge transfer window to revitalise a tired squad ahead of the new season.
With rumoured links to Sean Dyche and with Eddie Howe now on the market, Palace may have to swoop for longer term managerial candidates or risk losing them entirely. Even if those links don’t come to fruition, they cannot afford to start next season in the same manner in which they have finished this one or Hodgson could be moved aside.
Though Aston Villa will have been delighted to escape relegation on the final day of the season, one could argue that it remains an underperformance with the club among the heaviest spenders in the league last season, shelling out well over £100 million on transfers.
Were it not for the talismanic Jack Grealish though, they would surely have been buried by Christmas. The bad news is that Grealish is almost certain to depart this summer. Rumoured interest from Manchester United has tailed off but a move to a club like Arsenal or Spurs could make sense for the Englishman who will be desperate to force his way into England’s Euro 2020 squad next summer.
Although he will inevitably go for a hefty fee, Villa proved last season that there is no guarantee that they can be trusted to spend a bumper transfer war chest sensibly. If Grealish goes, Villa probably go down and Smith could be an early casualty in the Premier League sack race.
A man who has worked wonders for Burnley shouldn’t be in any Premier League sack race conversation. Yet the relationship between Sean Dyche and the Burnley board appeared to be strained in the closing weeks of the season, with the manager reportedly feeling as though he hasn’t received sufficient financial backing.
Quite why he would entertain a move to miserly Crystal Palace, if this is the case, is a mystery but that hasn’t stopped the press speculating about the move in recent weeks. Although it seems extremely unlikely that Dyche would be sacked, indeed he deserves a statue outside Turf Moor, he could walk if tensions continue to simmer.
If the board back Dyche during the coming weeks and give him the reassurances regarding ambition that he craves, then don’t expect him to go anywhere. However, if he feels as though his efforts aren’t being adequately rewarded then he could be on his way before the leaves begin to fall.
It’s West Ham and therefore you should continue to expect the absolutely batsh*t mental.
Moyes is in his second stint at the club after saving them from relegation in the 2017/18 season. On that occasion he lifted them from 18th to 13th and was pushed out the door to make way for Manuel Pellegrini. Having saved them for a second time this campaign, it’s surely just a matter of time until they lose the plot and get rid of him again.
West Ham are among a number of Premier League clubs whose lofted ambitions don’t match up to their current capabilities. They expect to be finishing in the top ten each season, if not pushing for Europe, as though it’s still their 90’s heyday. However, so do Everton, Newcastle, Leeds, Aston Villa and a number of other big clubs who also struggle to infiltrate the current big six.
High expectations usually result in disappointment and if West Ham spend a shedload again this summer, anything other than a fast start to the season could cost Moyes his job once again.
A controversial addition to close the list of contenders for the Premier League sack race but hear me out.
Lampard did extremely well to secure Chelsea Champions League football in his first season in charge, considering the transfer limitations that were in place. There were low points and poor runs of form throughout the season but, because of those restrictions and his status as a club legend, he was afforded a level of grace which has eluded previous Chelsea managers.
This season things will be different. With Roman Abramovich seemingly enthused by his status as owner once again, we’ve seen a return to the heavy spending Chelsea of old, who have already secured huge coups of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Kai Havertz is rumoured to follow soon with the club sure to acquire defensive reinforcements as well.
Such an outlay means that the pressure is now firmly on Lampard. Abramovich will expect a solid performance in the Premier League and Champions League next season with his shiny new toys on display. Should they fail to gel and Chelsea fall behind the likes of Liverpool and Man City early on then only expect sentiment to carry Lampard so far.
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