All 20 Premier League clubs have the same managers they started the season with.
Sure, that might not seem an achievement given that it’s only mid-October and we are only eight matches in, but clubs have shown in seasons past that they are not afraid to pull the trigger early.
Rumours of managerial change, for the most part, have been rare this season. That might just be because most teams are playing somewhere near expectations.
The sides that have struggled are the ones we all expected to struggle. The top six, with one notable exception, have been around par.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are the obvious exception. Mourinho has led the sack race betting for the majority of the season after a rocky summer.
Comments criticising his superiors during preseason were followed by indifferent performances and it looks/looked like Mourinho was in third season mode.
Rumours circulated last Friday that Mourinho would be sacked over the weekend whatever his result was against Newcastle.
He did not get sacked. Maybe he would have been had Manchester United not completed the dramatic comeback against Newcastle. We might never know the answer to that.
What remains to be seen, though, is whether this is a turning point or a false dawn for Manchester United.
Manchester United's decision to extend Jose Mourinho's contract until 2020 was a stroke of genius.— 888sport (@888sport) October 6, 2018
Well done, Ed. pic.twitter.com/Tjghd9LdMh
Mourinho is still the very short 3/5 favourite to be the next manager to go. It’s surprising the odds aren’t a bit longer, but that’s understandable considering Manchester United are already five points off the top four.
It was a throwback to the Alex Ferguson years as a poor first half was corrected with bold second half attacking and a cinematic win.
Their victory came from a do-or-die display against a struggling team. It’s not unreasonable to expect Mourinho to revert to tactical type, which would see the same problems arise.
The victory will have earned some credit for the once Special One. More dropped points and limp performances, though, will see that credit vanish quickly.
Mourinho is out alone atop this market. Three managers, however, sit on 6/1. Neil Warnock, Rafael Benitez and Mark Hughes have combined for one win in 24 Premier League matches this season.
Benitez is extremely unlikely to get the boot, but his tetchy relationship with the Newcastle hierarchy could see him leave the position.
At this point, it seems improbable that would happen before another Premier League manager departs. Newcastle have had a rough start to the season. Given their fixture list and squad, few would have done much better.
Warnock is under greater pressure than the former Real Madrid boss. Cardiff have been poor this season and are bottom of the table. The question for the board at the Premier League’s solitary Welsh club, though, is whether they have the talent in the squad to do much better.
Mark Hughes has picked up 33 points in his last 38 matches as a Premier League manager.— 888sport (@888sport) October 9, 2018
Is it time for Southampton to make a change? pic.twitter.com/lsjpmYnsUw
Cardiff’s summer business was clearly insufficient at the time. Several matches they have dropped points in have been a result of a lack of quality as much as anything.
Warnock, you would imagine, would point towards a tricky fixture list, having played Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham in their last five matches.
The 6/1 price is better value for Warnock than Benitez. It’s Hughes who is the man to back if you think Mourinho can cling on, however.
Hughes kept Southampton up last season. It was done with a degree of fortune and little sense that this was the beginning of a long tenure.
As clubs almost always do, though, Hughes was handed a longer deal at the club. His record for the final 18 months of his time at Stoke and now at Southampton is abysmal.
Saints are on just five points. Recruitment has taken a downturn at St. Mary’s in recent seasons, and maybe any manager would struggle to stay away from the bottom three with this squad.
As has riddled Hughes’ managerial career, when his teams are bad, they tend to be dreadful. The second half collapse at home to Brighton was a clear example, as was the 2-0 away defeat to Wolves.
Manchester United and Mourinho could go almost any direction from here. The damage might be done already, but the Old Trafford decision makers will have more patience than many other clubs.
Hughes is the value option in this market. Southampton will make changes if they think it’s necessary. The former Stoke manager might be handed his P45 if he doesn’t win either of his next two (away to Bournemouth, home to Newcastle).
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*