Sack Race: Mourinho immune, Monk in last-chance saloon?

Date published: Tuesday 24th November 2015 9:49

Jose Mourinho: Still in charge at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho: Still in charge at Chelsea

Garry Monk and Steve McClaren appear to be falling over themselves to get the boot, while Jose Mourinho must be made of Teflon.

With Mourinho immune to the sack, he handed the managerial reins to Eden Hazard on Saturday and it worked as Chelsea won for the first time in four league games.

Only Swansea boss Monk and his Newcastle counterpart McClaren are ahead of Mourinho in the betting and both look to be hanging by a thread as their teams struggled again at the weekend.

Monk picked a second-string side and Swansea were booed off as they drew with lowly Bournemouth and Newcastle were abysmal as they suffered a “setback” against Leicester.

With a third of the season gone, the sack race is as competitive as ever.

1. Garry Monk (NM)

Monk’s team selection on Saturday had the look of XI from a manager drinking in the last-chance saloon. The under-pressure boss dropped regulars Bafetimbi Gomis, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero and Federico Fernandez as he looked to add to the one win they have picked up since August.

What was the result? The Swans were 2-0 down to lowly Bournemouth within 26 minutes and Monk was staring down the barrel. But to their credit they dug in to earn a 2-2 draw and Monk claimed afterwards: “You can see clearly the spirit within them and how much they want to put it right.”

To the objective eye, it rather looked like the spirit in the camp was shot at and the “agenda” driven by people outside the club, which Monk referred to last week, was likely to be fuelled even further.

Regardless of where the rumours started from – and their was talk of his imminent exit last month – the Swansea fans certainly vented their displeasure by booing the team at The Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Monk’s job as is reportedly safe for the time being, despite fresh claims he was facing the sack on Monday.

The board however, are somewhat understandably concerned by results this season, and the bookies have Monk as short as 1/3 to go next.

Garry Monk Swansea

2. Steve McClaren (↑1)

Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf was linked with Schteve’s job on Monday and that tells you just about all you need to know about his stability at the helm of Newcastle. Although the report came from a dubious source – Italian website Calciomercato – there’s no doubt the heat is on McClaren.

He has has been in the job for five months and has maintained that his side were making progress. He did though admit it was their worst display of the season on Saturday as they were hammered 3-0 by Jamie Vardy and Co and claimed they would get “setbacks along the way”.

The fans have certainly made their mind up and a poll on the Newcastle Chronicle suggested 87 per cent had lost faith in the former England coach, who reportedly had three games to save his job last month.

It’s a good job Mike Ashley doesn’t listen to those Toon fans, because if he did McClaren would already be a goner.


3. Jose Mourinho (↓1)

Mourinho has eased to 8/1 in the betting and even that seems short considering owner Roman Abramovich’s patience with the Portuguese tactician.

Mourinho was back in the dug out at The Bridge, although Eden Hazard looks like he’s taken over the running of the team after playing himself in the No. 10 role against Norwich.

“I said to him: ‘Maybe we have to try to change something. If I can play number 10?’ And we try,” said Hazard after the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

After a disastrous run the Blues have a more attractive set of fixtures looming and Mourinho has his eye on a place in the top four after writing off their chances of retaining the title.

Regardless of where they finish this season, it looks as though Mourinho is immune to the sack and Abramovich might well have already braced himself for a season without the Champions League.

4. Alex Neil (NM)

= Eddie Howe (NM)

6. Quique Flores (↑2)

= Remi Garde (↑3)

“Oh Merde, what have I done?”

What new Aston Villa boss Garde wanted to say after the 4-0 demolition by Everton.

“Of course, I was disappointed, and the players were as well. We could have done much better,” what Garde actually said.

= Sam Allardyce (NM)

= No Manager to Leave (↑3)

10. Manuel Pellegrini (↑7)

The big mover in the ladder after Man City were humiliated at home to Liverpool. Fickle football.

= Tony Pulis (↓3)

= Mauricio Pochettino (↑1)

= Ronald Koeman (↑1)

14. Alan Pardew (↓3)

= Slaven Bilic  (↑5)

16. Roberto Martinez (↓5)

= Louis van Gaal (↓5)

= Mark Hughes (↓5)

= Arsene Wenger (↑1)

He’s a crap manager this week after losing at West Brom. He’ll be good again next week after winning at Norwich.

19. Claudio Ranieri (NM)

100/1 to go next, but should be a 1000/1 after guiding Leicester to the top of the table and mentoring the prolific Jamie Vardy.

= Jurgen Klopp (NM)

Safe as houses after masterminding the 4-1 win at Manchester City.

Matthew Briggs


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