The English Premier League is well underway now, and that means that the sack race in the online sportsbook markets is heating up. Clubs will be assessing the situation regarding their manager every week, and those that started the season under pressure will be nervously looking to avoid the axe.
However, which managers should be the most anxious as the pressure begins to mount on their shoulders?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Manchester United manager started his tenure at the club in excellent form by going unbeaten in his first 12 league matches, and this form was followed up with a magnificent victory in France against Paris Saint Germain.
However, since that game, the form of the Red Devils has nosedived, and they have only won once in their last nine Premier League outings, and only three times in their previous 16 fixtures in all competitions. That kind of form isn’t what fans have become accustomed to regarding United.
There has been a clear change in approach by the Red Devils over the summer with the club signing young English players, and Solskjaer keen to implement youth players into his team. Regardless, the club will be expected to finish in the top four this season, and the results on the pitch are what the Norwegian really needs.
Following the international break United host Leicester City and Arsenal and travel to West Ham United and Newcastle United; if the club fails to win any of these games, then the pressure on Solskjaer may finally reach the breaking point.
Watford had a brilliant season last campaign by reaching the FA Cup final. However, their league form has quickly diminished. They are yet to win a game this season, and there 3-0 humbling at Vicarage Road by Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening day meant that the pressure was already on Gracia to turn the fortunes around.
The club have long had a sacking culture after having 12 managers in the space of ten years. Gracia currently holds the second-longest reign of these 12 managers and has the second-best win percentage in charge. However, as they sit bottom of the Premier League, the pressure will continue to mount until they pick up their first win of the new season.
It doesn’t get much easier over the coming weeks as they play Arsenal, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Should they lose all three games, it would seem impossible that Gracia’s position will be safe.
The Tottenham Hotspur manager has completed revitalised a club that for so long had been tainted as having a weak mentality. Nowadays, that is far from the case, and Pochettino has successfully sustained their position as a Champions League club.
During his time at the club, they have also finished above Arsenal and reached the final of the League Cup. Last season, he also guided the club to their first-ever Champions League final, but that allusive trophy remains an issue.
Pochettino has cut an increasingly frustrated figure throughout the summer as he demanded reinforcements to his squad. He did manage to get players in, but Pochettino’s outburst in the summer that claimed he was a head coach and not a manager means that he is still among the favourites to be the first manager to leave his post.
There were also reports that he was set to leave the club following the North London derby but that never materialised. The other interesting element to Pochettino is the futures of the managers at Manchester United and Real Madrid. Should either Solskjaer or Zinedine Zidane leave the club, then Pochettino would immediately be a front runner for both jobs and could leave his post at Spurs to take up either position.