Recent Premier League history suggests Liverpool need not worry if they make Brendan Rodgers the first managerial casualty of the season.
Rodgers, Dick Advocaat and Steve McClaren appear to be in a three-man race to win this season’s sack race, but it took until December 27 last season for the first Premier League sacking when Neil Warnock was given the boot at Crystal Palace.
That worked out well for Palace, who had looked doomed, as their former midfielder Alan Pardew arrived and propelled the south Londoners to an amazing 10th-placed finish. And in recent Premier League history the team that has parted company with their boss first has gone on to enjoy a fair amount of success.
Sunderland appointed Gus Poyet on September 22 in 2013-14, and the Uruguayan came in and managed to patch up a struggling Paolo Di Canio team and reach the League Cup final before avoiding relegation in a season which saw six bosses given the boot before the turn of the year.
Chelsea also wielded the axe in November in 2012-13 when Rafael Benitez replaced Roberto Di Matteo, with Benitez guiding Chelsea to third place and a Europa League win.
The first sackings in the Premier League in the last seven seasons and how the changes worked out:
2014/15: Neil Warnock, Crystal Palace – DECEMBER 27
Warnock had been a surprise choice to replace Tony Pulis, who resigned on the eve of the season. A second spell at Selhurst Park for Warnock was cut short a day after the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton, when supporters turned on the 66-year-old.
RESULT: Alan Pardew came in and worked wonders, hoisting Palace away from danger and to a 10th-placed finish.
2013/14: Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland – SEPTEMBER 22
A colourful six-month spell ended when Italian Di Canio was ousted, the day after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom left Sunderland rooted to the foot of the Premier League.
RESULT: Gus Poyet revived Sunderland’s season, steering the Black Cats to safety and to the League Cup final, where they lost to Manchester City.
2012/13: Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea – NOVEMBER 21
He won the Champions League as caretaker boss with Chelsea, but a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the same competition six months later saw Di Matteo stripped of the job he had taken on full-time over the summer. Di Matteo was sacked at around 4am, after Chelsea arrived back from Turin.
RESULT: In came Rafael Benitez, helping Chelsea finish third in the Premier League and win the Europa League.
2011/12: Steve Bruce, Sunderland – NOVEMBER 30
After just two wins in 15 home league games, Sunderland chairman Ellis Short described results as “simply not good enough” and sent Bruce on his way.
RESULT: Martin O’Neill was a popular replacement and Sunderland finished the season in 13th place.
2010/11: Chris Hughton, Newcastle – DECEMBER 6
Hughton guided Newcastle to promotion, but with the team 11th in the Premier League in their first season back he was sacked.
RESULT: Alan Pardew came in, to local scepticism, but in trying circumstances lasted four years before jumping ship to Crystal Palace.
2009/10: Paul Hart, Portsmouth – NOVEMBER 24
A relegation season began with Hart at the helm and with seven straight league defeats. After only the slightest improvement thereafter, he was toast.
RESULT: Hart was replaced by Avram Grant, but Portsmouth were doomed and finished with just 19 points.
2008/09: Juande Ramos, Tottenham – OCTOBER 25
He delivered silverware with victory over Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final, but two points from eight games at the start of the next season dictated Ramos would go.
RESULT: Successor Harry Redknapp was an instant hit, with safety swiftly assured. Tottenham lost to Manchester United in the same season’s League Cup final.