Welcome back, yet again, to the Premier League circus. It feels like we have welcomed them back too many times already considering it is only November. Surprisingly, no other managers lost their job over the break, but the race to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked is just coming round the final bend.
It’s probably a little bit too soon to be suggesting David Moyes’ tenure as West Ham gaffer will be a short one. Moyes said before the game that West Ham is not his last chance in football management. I beg to differ David. You looked all tanned, relaxed and happy when declaring your interest in Bilic’s job when in Dubai. For some unknown reason, the hair looks a little more grey on Moyes’ head once again, following a debut 2-0 defeat to Watford. Granted, Watford handled the ball with more frequency and style than Joe Hart, but West Ham players got themselves into this situation so, quite frankly, they deserve at least 12 months of the former Everton manager. That said, I am still putting him in at 8/10 of the sackability ratings. Still, at least he heads to the Athletic Stadium with the West Ham fans on his side.
Antonio Conte is growing a beard. The question is, following Chelsea’s 4-0 at West Bromwich Albion, which will last longer – Conte’s beard or Tony Pulis as WBA’s manager? It’s all well and good subjecting the Albion fans to PulisBall when you are nicking matches 1-0 and steering clear of the relegation zone but Pulis has not won in ages and the club are sitting just above the dreaded drop zone. I’m going to suggest Pulis has a sackability rating of 9/10 right now.
Southampton’s players will be very disappointed with their performance in the twice-annual audition for the summer move to Anfield. Mo Salah was electric once more, meaning that Mauricio Pellegrino’s sackability rating has edged up to an all-time high of 8.5/10.
One manager that is unlikely to get sacked but, on the opposite side of the coin, might find his scurrilous tactics to get a new contract by flirting openly with PSG fail miserably is Manchester United’s, Jose Mourinho. Do you remember when United were scoring four each game? Do you? Paul Pogba was in the team back then and upon the Frenchman’s return guess what happened? That’s right, United scored four. It’s almost as if that £90m did get them a good player after all. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also returned to the side, starting his one-man crusade to come out of international retirement for next year’s World Cup and upset all the good work Sweden have put in since he got out of the way. After the game, Jose revealed the cunning plan that won the game – having both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on the pitch at the same time. As I said, cunning. It’s almost as if that is what the United fans have been begging for, for months.
Oh, Arsenal, why do you keep doing this to your fans? Wenger’s men are the ultimate tease. Arsene has one of the most moveable sackability ratings ever, and following his side’s shock 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby, he is back down to a pretty safe 3.5/10 (as if Arsenal would ever have enough about them to sack him). Once again, the selection of Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette, and Mesut Ozil led to Arsenal being rather good. Once again, the average football fan could have pointed that out to a manager with several decades of football management behind him. Tottenham were surprisingly passive. Someone might have forgotten to let Harry Kane know he was only given one week off to rest, not two. The Spurs striker always scores in London derbies, they say. Not this one, much to the fury of many a Fantasy Football manager.
Claude Puel (no sackability rating for the new Leicester City manager until late August next season you’d imagine) saw his honeymoon period come to an abrupt end as Manchester City clinically remained top of the table. City won 2-0 but the main talking point was Vincent Kompany returning once more from injury and potentially not lasting the full ninety. Another injury, you would be right to think but no! Big Vinny probably should have seen red for the professional foul that could well have changed the game.
How we laughed at David Unsworth’s plan to recreate the 1995 Dogs of War. But maybe he is actually on to something? Sam Allardyce announced during the week that “you don’t keep a manager of my pedigree waiting for an answer” following talks with Everton about the vacancy, and Everton responded swiftly by making a move for Watford’s Marco Silva, a move that Watford instantly rejected as they have not even had a chance to sack Silva yet. Everton’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace was another display of guts rather than ability, but all “real football men” will tell you that “guts and character” are the things you need most when you are down the wrong end of a table. Crystal Palace are starting to make progress under Uncle Roy, but considering they have the finest English prospect ever in Ruben Loftus-Cheek (not my words, but those of the written press after the Germany game) surely they’d expect to be off the bottom of the table by now? Unsworth may well get the job permanently, but he still has a sackability rating of 8/10 for me, which is pretty high considering he is not even the official manager yet.
Will someone please give Sean Dyche the chance to fail at a bigger club? It’s now three wins in a row for Burnley and they are still level on points with Arsenal and Liverpool, who, allegedly are much bigger clubs managed by much better managers. Swansea’s manager, the sacked Derby County manager Paul Clement, believed that the way to win the game was sticking Bayern Munich’s talented central midfielder on the left of a four in a move that had Paul Scholes thinking “I didn’t lose my international career to watch others suffer from this stupidity”. For this alone Clement’s sackability rating has soared to 9.5/10 as Burnley eased past their Welsh opponents 2-0.
Eddie Howe was, as we all know, ineligible for a sackability rating what with him being the pin-up poster boy for young, intelligent English coaches. Don’t let the fact that Bournemouth are pretty much still in a relegation battle, albeit a relegation battle that involves smashing Huddersfield Town. Callum Wilson has done well to recover from two cruciate ligament injuries and his hat-trick has to raise big question marks over Jermain Defoe this season. With Gareth Southgate seemingly moving to a younger England side because, you know, they’ve won stuff together it’s highly unlikely we will see little Jermain partnering big Crouchy in Russia.
Considering today’s theme is pretty much manager based, it seems only right to talk about Chris Coleman and start penning his managerial obituary. Why? Well Coleman, who might have mentioned a few times what a good job he did managing Wales, has walked away from answering calls from Real Madrid telling him Bale is injured and moved to the North East of England and Sunderland. Oh yes, somebody’s ego is telling him that having done the impossible with the nation of his birth that he might be able to fix the most unfixable club thinkable.
That said, the Wales job is open and Ryan Giggs has already fired over his email saying that he doesn’t need to apply because he is Ryan Giggs, that he probably wouldn’t attend an interview because he is Ryan Giggs, but he would definitely like the job.