Sack Race: Monk and McClaren in a league of their own

Date published: Tuesday 1st December 2015 10:27

Steve McClaren: Feeling the heat

Swansea boss Garry Monk remains the man the bookies see getting the chop first, but Steve McClaren is running him close.

Between them they’ve lost 14 games and collected just 24 points this term and both of their attempts to turn things around, at the moment, seem futile

Newcastle boss McClaren is becoming loved in the North East – but it’s Wearside where he is being revered after another humiliating defeat over the weekend.

And it’s pretty much as you were in the race for the sack with the only two live contenders running away it and maintaining their positions at the head of the market.

1. Garry Monk (NM)

What comes after the last-chance saloon and before the sack? Whatever it is, that’s where Monk is at the moment.

The Swansea boss remains in pole position to get the chop after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool, but the odds have eased from last week’s 1/3 quotes – but that’s probably more to do with the ‘wally with the brolly’ at Newcastle. In truth though it was almost a bonus game for Swansea at Anfield because everyone expected a home win and that proved to be the case.

The 36-year-old boss has taken the responsibility for a run which has seen the Swans win once it 10 games – and that was against Tim Sherwood’s hopeless Villa side. But he has denied that his players have stopped playing for him and laughed off the prospect of a relegation battle.

“There’s never any danger of that team being in a relegation fight,” said Monk, who claimed we will soon see his men flying again.

Whether that is the right stance to take on their current predicament looks doubtful, because the stats suggest they will be embroiled in a battle. If you consider that 37 points would have ensured safety in the last three seasons and to avoid a dogfight we can assume another 10 points would be required, then Monk would need to get almost 1.4 points per game in their remaining 24 fixtures to avoid a relegation fight.

That is not beyond reach, but would take a dramatic improvement on their current tally of one point per game, and with that in mind I believe Monk needs to change tact.


2. Steve McClaren (NM)

Sky Sports claim “McClaren’s position as Newcastle manager is not under threat” despite their eighth defeat in 12 games at the weekend.

Just how long that lasts only owner Mike Ashley knows, but a win percentage of under 19% is poor in anyone’s book and if Newcastle are still struggling when the transfer window opens in January then Ashley’s finger will surely be hovering over the Toon panic button.

The Magpies sit next to bottom with only Villa below them in the table, but don’t worry because McClaren has said: “I think it is key, that there’s no panic.” 

Well, he would of course preach that rhetoric after Newcastle were hammered 5-1 at Crystal Palace, but he remains convinced his side are on the right track and doing the right things. That’s certainly the viewpoint on Wearside, where the ‘wally with the brolly’ remains hugely popular among Sunderland fans.

3. Jose Mourinho (NM)

Mourinho remains in third spot, but he steadied the ship even more at White Hart Lane with a gutsy goalless draw on Sunday and Roman Abramovich has backed his man to continue to turn things around.

4. Alex Neil (NM)

= Eddie Howe (NM)

= Remi Garde (↑2)

On the move up the ladder after a damaging home defeat to Watford. “Merde, merde, merde!”

= No Manager to Leave (↑3)

8. Quique Flores (↓2)

9. Ronald Koeman (↓1)

10. Tony Pulis (NM)

11. Sam Allardyce (↓5)

= Mauricio Pochettino (↓1)

= Louis van Gaal (↑5)

= Mark Hughes (↑5)

= Slaven Bilic  (↑3)

= Alan Pardew (↑3)

17. Arsene Wenger (NM)

= Manuel Pellegrini (↓7)

= Roberto Martinez (↓1)

20. Claudio Ranieri (NM)

= Jurgen Klopp (NM)

Matthew Briggs

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