Will he walk or won’t he? We focus on Jose Mourinho’s precarious position in the sack race and could Tim Sherwood quit at Aston Villa?
With Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers gone in the same weekend we look at who the bookies think could be next in the Premier League sack race.
1. STEVE MCCLAREN (↑2)
After Saturday’s 6-1 mauling at Manchester City, where the Magpies scored first, McClaren claimed “that either makes or breaks you”.
And the Toon boss now has almost two weeks to make sure it’s the former and not the latter before the Geordies host Norwich in what McClaren describes as the start to their season.
He’s got plenty of work to get through on the training pitch, but he’ll be missing the spine of his team – who are away on international duty – as he aims to get some “consistency” into their performances.
“I have seen enough in the last two weeks that we can win football matches. We were unlucky last week and this week. There is enough in there, we just need consistency. Our season begins now,” said McClaren after the Etihad thumping.
McClaren looks a solid 7/4 favourite and that price will quickly collapse if the Magpies are “unlucky” again the Canaries.
2. JOSE MOURINHO (↑3)
After his seven-minute meltdown after the Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Southampton it’s surprising he can still be backed as big as 4/1 to go next.
His post-match rant looked like it was going the way of an honest admission of his inadequacies, but it wasn’t to be as he turned on the referee to explain another demoralising defeat.
He then went on to claim he wouldn’t walk out on the job and said: “If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away.”
But while he said he wouldn’t walk out on the job, managers rarely do bar Dick Advocaat because it waves away their pay-off, he quickly contradicted that when he claimed the loss of “trust” from the players would make him walk.
“If they tell you they don’t trust me, (that) is the only thing that can make me resign. The only thing,” added Mourinho, whose treatment of John Terry and Nemanja Matic has reportedly stirred the Chelsea dressing room.
Stalwart Terry has been dropped this season, but was in fact was reinstated for Saturday’s defeat, where Sadio Mane tore him to pieces. Matic meanwhile had the humiliation of a substitute being subbed as the Blues crumbled at home – their fourth league defeat of the season.
Has he still “got the dressing room”? That’s debatable…
3. TIM SHERWOOD (↑1)
Things are just not happening for Sherwood this season and after Saturday’s home defeat to Stoke he admitted things were “getting worse”.
Not exactly what Villa fans were wanting to hear from their chosen one, but it’s hard to see how things can be improved and at 6/1 the former Spurs man might just be the value bet to get the boot first.
Things started to go pear-shaped at the end of last season when they lost 6-1 at Southampton. They followed that with a desperate 1-0 home defeat to Burnley – who were relegated – and then got thumped 4-0 in the FA Cup final.
This term started brightly with a 1-0 win away at Bournemouth but it’s been gradually downhill ever since and if Sherwood can get to January he’s unlikely to be given significant funds to add to his squad with Randy Lerner still looking to sell the club.
It’s a tricky situation. Lerner did show remarkable patience with Paul Lambert previously and he must acknowledge that losing Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke has been a huge handicap, however Sherwood might be likely to walk away if he think his reputation is being tarnished.