THE Sack Race is always an intriguing market, but who does Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) think will be first to leave their post this season.
WLB 2015/16 Preview | Premier League Sack Race
Some call it immoral and vile. And perhaps they have a point, betting on who’s next to be unemployed seems a bit wrong when you put it like that. But hey it’s great fun, so let’s proceed.
Last season’s contest was rather odd. The market was settled before a ball had even been kicked when Tony Pulis’ clashes with Steve Parish became too much to bear and he exited stage left at Crystal Palace. We then had to wait till the day after Boxing Day for the next exit as Neil Warnock left the same club to make way for Alan Pardew.
If we look at the last five seasons the dates when the first manager was sacked during the season were as follows: Dec 27 (2014/15), Sep 22 (2013/14), Nov 21 (2012/13), Nov 30 (2011/12), Dec 6 (2010/11). These managers were Neil Warnock, Paulo Di Canio, Roberto Di Matteo Steve Bruce, Chris Hughton.
Di Matteo and Hughton are the exception to the rule here. Both had delivered success to their clubs the season before but of course Chelsea and Newcastle have a habit of not playing by the common sense rules. The other three had either just kept their clubs up the previous season or had been a controversial appointment earlier in the campaign.
Brendan Rodgers for me is a soft favourite. Last season was disappointing but the owners clearly have faith in him as evinced by the transfer funds they’ve bequeathed him again this season. Surely they’ll wait to the last possible moment to send him packing?
Watford’s Quique Flores is naturally high in the betting. The Hornet’s owners weren’t backwards in coming forwards last season when pulling the trigger. Four different men took charge during the season and worryingly for Flores the policy worked as promotion was achieved. After poor spells in charge at his last three clubs he simply has to be in the notebook.
I’m already sweet on West Ham going down and as we know this is a massive season for them. Next year they move into the Olympic Stadium and they simply have to be in the top-flight for that.
They’ve recruited a manager with a questionable (recent) CV and no Premier League managerial experience, Slaven Bilic had a disastrous season at Lokomotiv Moscow in 2012/13 and then two spent two years at Besiktas where they finished third both seasons. An improvement on Sam Allardyce? Not in my view.
If things get off to a bad start then there’s no doubt the board will get panicky like never before. Relegation is just not an option and at double figure odds Bilic has to be backed.
Premier League – Quique Flores to be next manger to leave post (13/2 Bet365)
Premier League – Slaven Bilic to be next manger to leave post (14/1 Bet365)
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