The Premier League was hardly full of Christmas cheer this weekend. Some matches were just plain cruel for the league’s mangers, in fact. There are a couple of familiar faces under severe pressure at the moment and it might not be long until the second sacking of the season (after Francesco Guidolin earlier this season)...
Uproar over Bob Bradley’s terminology this weekend was tedious, narrow-minded nonsense, but the American has bigger things to worry about. Swansea were dire yet again, as they were thrashed by Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon. Defensively flimsy and short of ideas with the ball, Bradley may be regretting taking on such a challenge in his first Premier League job.
Investment in January is desperately needed if the Welsh club are to have any chance of Premier League safety, but pressure is already building on Bradley. Three points from safety and with the worst defensive record in the league, his future at the club is unsurprisingly under question. Swansea must make a decision; either give Bradley funds in January, or replace him and start afresh before the window opens.
Bradley now leads the betting in the Sack Race, as low as Evens with 888 Sport.
Yet another defeat for Hull leaves Mike Phelan’s position at the club under further threat. Despite one of the Tigers’ best performances of the season, Hull were unable to find the net against West Ham. That inability to take their chances is Hull’s greatest downfall and could ultimately cost them their Premier League status.
Defensively the Tigers were resolute once again and were unfortunate to concede the penalty that was the eventual difference between the two sides. Now at the foot of the table, though, misfortune means little for Phelan. This is ultimately a results business and Hull’s boss has seen his side collect two points from their last six games. He may have only officially become the boss this season, but Hull must be edging towards another managerial swap.
Sitting at longer odds than Bradley and Alan Pardew, you could be convinced that Phelan is not under much threat at the moment. However, 7/1 presents really good value for the Tigers’ boss.
Stoke City are an odd side. Fluctuating from potential European contenders to looking like a relegation side, Hughes’ Potters have hit another of their infamous slumps. They were great against Leicester in the first half, mind, but curious decisions from Hughes saw his side fail to convert a two goal lead into victory against ten men leaving the Stoke fan base frustrated.
Hughes’ transfers since becoming Stoke manager have shown great ambition. He possesses one of the more gifted squads outside of the top six, despite some obvious imbalances. So often, though, his tactics and team selections are eyebrow-raising.
Currently cosy in 11th, Hughes is not likely to lose his job just yet. Another poor run, however, and he could quickly be in serious trouble.
Partly due to Stoke’s patience with their managers and the Potters’ current league standing, Hughes is at odds as long as 40/1 to be the next manager to go. With so many under pressure bosses, it is a longshot, but those odds make it worthwhile.