It would be fair to say that the January transfer window is the last throw of the dice for some managers, who have that one month to try and recruit players that could subsequently save their job. Of course, it doesn’t always work like that and as we enter the final months of the season, there is bound to be a manager that will not be in his post in the Premiership by May.
The title of this post might seem a little bizarre, as most “top lists” focus on a standard number of points and some will have therefore been expecting the article to focus on the five managers who are in danger of losing their job. However, I am basing this piece on the odds that the bookmakers are providing and with one of these top five options being “no manager to leave before the end of the season”, I’ve decided to just talk about the other four options. Here goes…
Considering Aston Villa’s frail predicament, few will be surprised to see that Paul Lambert leads the odds for the next manager to leave. Most have him priced at 10/11 for this market, with this probably coming after a miserable campaign for Villa that has seen them slip into the bottom three.
It really is going to be touch and go on whether or not the Midlands outfit stay up, although one might be a little hasty in backing Lambert for the chop. He has been publically backed by his owner and sources close to the club seem to indicate that he will keep his position even if the club are relegated. Therefore, this is probably a bet you should avoid.
Considering the fact that Benitez was only recently installed as Chelsea manager, some would view this as utterly surprising. However, he’s never been a favourite of the Chelsea fans and with the Blues struggling in all competitions, a lot of bookies are handing out prices of 2/1 for him to be the next man to go.
This is one potential bet that could have some substance, as we all know what Chelsea are like when it comes to sacking managers. Benitez’s record so far would indicate that he has all but certainly ruled himself out for the permanent role next season, but whether or not Blues chiefs will act even more swiftly remains to be seen. With so little to play for this term, I’d have to question whether or not it is worth initiating more upheaval at Stamford Bridge when it would instead be easier to simply see the season out, and start from scratch next term. Of course, such logic isn’t necessarily going to occur at the Bridge.
Considering the fact that Fulham are in 12th position in the top flight, the news that Martin Jol is just 5/1 with some bookmakers to be next to leave is surprising. Admittedly, the Cottagers have enjoyed prolonged spells in the upper reaches of the division over the last few years, but this term is certainly not a disappointment considering all of the upheaval during the summer.
They find themselves eight points above the drop zone and with just two points separating them from 10th position, I would be quite alarmed if the Craven Cottage outfit decided to relieve the Dutchman of his duties.
One man that I’m not surprised to see in the top few favourites is Alan Pardew. With this being said, to class him as a “favourite” is a little over the top, with prices ranging from 12/1 to 25/1. He may have worked miracles at Newcastle last season, but the Magpies have been brought crashing down to reality this season and a relegation battle looks to be on the cards. There were massive sighs of relief when they beat Aston Villa in their last outing to move four points adrift of safety, but it is clear to see that the club are in all sorts of problems.
Pardew has opted to bring in several French players during the transfer window and it will be interesting to see whether they will help him turn things around, or will push him out of the club and out of his staggering eight-year contract. Considering some of the prices on offer and the way in which Newcastle dealt with previous boss Chris Hughton, I would be seriously tempted to take advantage of betting offers and bank on this. After all, while some may point to Pardew’s eight-year deal, others will realise that it contains a clause which means he will be due just the salary from one year if he is dismissed.