We’re now five matches into this Premier League season and the talk of who will be the first manager to lose their job this season is already heightening. It seems as each week goes by the pressure heaps on the men in charge of some of England’s biggest football clubs.
It only takes a run of three or four games without a win and all of a sudden your head is on the chopping block, some may feel it’s far too early to be talking about managers getting the sack but in boardrooms across the country you will already see Chairman getting nervy as they decide whether or not to stick or twist with the current man in charge.
A change of manager in around the next few weeks gives time for a new incumbent to come in and turn a clubs fortunes around. You only have to look at Sam Allardyce at Sunderland last season as a perfect example, how The Black Cats could do with him now.
With the dust now settling on another weekends Premier League action, let’s have a look at three men who may win the race they don’t particularly want to enter
Without doubt the pressure is currently on Mark Hughes at Stoke, his club sit at the bottom of the league table and are shipping left right and centre. They have conceded 14 in their first 5 matches, that’s an average of 2.8 per game and nowhere near good enough for a side who have been comfortably sitting in the top half over the last few seasons.
They are obviously missing out on Jack Butland with Shay Given seemingly looking more out of his depth as each week goes but it would be unfair to portion all of the blame on Stoke’s defensive woes on former Ireland international Given.
The departure of Philipp Wollscheid was somewhat of a head scratcher and one that hasn’t been adequately replaced while Ryan Shawcross is falling far short of a captain’s example. Add that to summer signings who haven’t lived up to early expectations and you can begin to see the kind of picture that is being painted at Stoke.
Hughes has taken time to evolve Stoke’s style as they now have a softer approach but they have almost now come too far removed from what made them such a feared side. If this form continues then are luxury players like Marko Arnautovic and Xhedran Shaqiri really the ones to get you out of trouble. More importantly will Hughes be the man to dig them out of the mess they are in?
The impressive 4-2 win over West Ham was the first time that West Brom have scored 4 times under Tony Pulis and Baggies fans will no doubt say that is has been a long time coming. The football at The Hawthorns has never been the most easy on the eye and that at times is being generous.
That win will have bought Pulis some breathing space but with Chinese Owners completing their takeover that in itself will bring new pressures to the former Stoke manager. Under previous Chairman Jeremy Peace the remit was always just to stay in the Premier League but will that be enough of a return on this new Chinese investment.
Pulis made headlines after the transfer window closed as he had a reported falling out with new chairman John Williams due to a lack of transfer targets making their way to the West Midlands and many felt that had West Brom not beaten West Ham then the writing could have very much been on the wall.
7 points from 5 matches isn’t all that bad of a return but again the main issue is the kind of football being played at West Brom. Safety first may be pragmatic but it’s not all that entertaining, then again if Pulis was to end up leaving and a new man came in with a different style there’s no guarantee that it would be a success. Certainly food for thought for the new owners.
The 60 year old Italian arrived at The Liberty Stadium at the tail end of last season and it’s fair to say he worked wonders as he pulled Swansea away from the drop zone with them subsequently staying up with weeks to spare but is Guidolin going through his own ‘Second Season Syndrome’
It’s well documented that life after Ashley Williams hasn’t been all that plain sailing since the former captain’s departure to Everton during the Summer but what is more worrying for Guidolin is the lack of goals from his forward line so far.
The two big signings in that department, Fernando Llorente who hasn’t anything had remotely near a chance while record signature Borja Baston only made his debut as a substitute against Southampton. The fact that Leroy Fer is the club’s top scorer almost says it all.
When Guidolin came in at the end of last year he managed to give the club a lift and energise a team that still had quality throughout. Now the quality of the squad has regressed and the new manager effect has all but worn off you wonder if Guidolin can pull it off for a second season in a row. The former captain leaves and the new strikers are yet to score, it doesn’t bode all that well. Is this the season when Swansea end their Premier League stint?