Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho were the big movers in the Premier League sack race, while the bookmakers cannot agree on the stability of Louis van Gaal’s position at Manchester United.
We are four games into the new Premier League season and the summer transfer window has closed, Man City are top with a 100 per cent record, Chelsea are in the bottom half, the jury is out on Van Gaal’s Man Utd, while both Arsenal and Liverpool have had unspectacular starts.
Will we have to wait until December 27 to witness the first Premier League manager casualty of the season?
1. DICK ADVOCAAT (Non-Mover)
Advocaat has eased in the betting to around 2/1 after being the heavy 6/4 favourite last week, but the layers still think he’s the most likely to go first and it’s hard to disagree.
A draw at Villa and some new blood in at the Stadium of Light, namely in Yann M’Vila, Ola Toivonen, DeAndre Yedlin and Fabio Borini has eased the pressure on the Dutchman, according to the bookies anyway.
2. BRENDAN RODGERS (↑3)
Last weekend’s 3-0 mauling at home to West Ham has seen Rodgers fly up the ladder and from a 16/1 poke last week the Northern Irishman is now as short as 6/1 and with a trip to Man Utd up next, there are tricky times ahead for Liverpool.
Rodgers said his side “never got going” at Anfield and insisted his men will be better after the international break: “Seven points from a possible 12, and we’ll look to improve after the international break. We’ll come back, re-focus and look to be much better.”
Any sort of defeat against arch-rivals United will see Rodgers under increasing pressure, but with £78million spent in the summer – the third highest in the top flight – the fans and media want more.
There’s not a history of knee-jerk reactions at Anfield though and after chairman Tom Werner’s pre-season support, Rodgers looks safe, at least for this season.
= JOSE MOURINHO (↑2)
There are not too many people who would have had Chelsea in the bottom half of the table after four games and Mourinho as short as 6/1 to go first.
The Blues have had a torrid start and Mourinho has, so far, not been able to come up with a solution. Two defeats from their first four games would have been unthinkable a month ago, but Mourinho’s men have looked defensively vulnerable and the new arrival of Pedro is unlikely to solve that problem.
The failure to sign John Stones must have been a crushing blow to Mourinho and instead the Portuguese boss signed fellow defenders Michael Hector – who was loaned straight back to Reading – and Papy Djilobodji, who has been omitted from the club’s Champions League squad. Just how much game time Djilobodji will get remains to be seen but he’s certainly not the tried and tested centre-back Mourinho wanted in at the club.
4. QUIQUE FLORES (↑1)
The bookies fail to be impressed by Flores, who has overhauled the playing squad and guided the Hornets to three points so far.
Flores is friendless at Sky Bet, who have the Spaniard as short as 10/1.
5. SLAVEN BILIC (↓3)
As big as 20/1 now with Sky Bet from 8/1 after the 3-0 mauling of Liverpool.
Bilic has most definitely bought himself some time after two terrific away-day triumphs at Arsenal and Anfield.
6. MAURICIO POCHETTINO (↓1)
The fans are not happy at White Hart Lane after a transfer window which failed to see the frontline striker brought into the club.
Pochettino claims he’s not too unhappy with his business and the bookies have not reacted with the Spurs boss still a 16/1 quote.
= TIM SHERWOOD (↓3)
= ROBERTO MARTINEZ (↓1)
9. STEVE MCCLAREN (↑1)
10. TONY PULIS (↓1)
= RONALD KOEMAN (↑2)
12. CLAUDIO RANIERI (↓2)
= LOUIS VAN GAAL (↑6)
The bookies can’t agree with Van Gaal’s stability at Old Trafford with the Dutchman as short as 10/1 with Sky Bet. He’s 40s with William Hill but he’s generally a 33/1 chance after spending a whopping £142million this summer.
United have spent the third highest amount on transfers in Europe and with that comes an immediate craving for success, and while their start has not been a disaster, the attacking fluidity the fans and Van Gaal would like to see is
14. EDDIE HOWE (↓2)
= MARK HUGHES (↑1)
= ALEX NEIL (↓2)
= ARSENE WENGER (↑1)
Arsenal are the only top-flight team in Europe not to add an outfield player to their squad, but that’s not concerned Wenger who has suggested that the players were simply not out there to sign.
18. GARRY MONK (NM)
19. ALAN PARDEW (↑2)
20. MANUEL PELLEGRINI (↓1)
Four games, four wins and a terrific summer of recruitment and Pellegrini is going nowhere.