We are nearly a quarter of the way through the Championship season – and that means we can start to make some serious assessments on what we have seen so far. Keeping this as a general theme, this article has a particular focus on the managers or head coaches that are set to be sacked before the season is out.
The selections here have been made based on several different factors such as personal opinion, results and the perceived expectations of the clubs involved. This content covers various clubs in the Championship – and should provide something for everyone. However, I’m sure there will also be plenty of debate about the selections made.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into my choices…
1. Phil Parkinson (Bolton)
It’s always going to be tough for a newly promoted team to survive in the Championship. However, Sheffield United and Millwall are performing far better than Bolton – and that must be a concern. It’s also worth mentioning that the club have a rich history of both the Championship and the Premier League.
Therefore, establishing themselves in the league would be a minimum requirement. The situation for Bolton is bleak as they sit rock bottom of the league. In addition, they have yet to win a single game so far this season.
Phil Parkinson is a fairly experienced manager now after starting his first job in 2003, but most of that experience is in the lower levels of English football. So, he isn’t necessarily ready for this Championship challenge. It’s hard to see how things will improve significantly for him – so he could well be the next manager to be sacked.
2. Simon Grayson (Sunderland)
I’ve mentioned Sunderland a fair amount this season – and they again qualify for this article. Coming out of the Premier League, it was always going to be tough to adapt quickly. We saw this last season with Norwich City and Aston Villa.
The simple fact of the matter is that it’s rare for teams to bounce back from relegation straightaway. It’s worth adding here that the Black Cats weren’t one of the bigger spenders in the Championship over the summer – so there is some need to keep things in perspective.
However, Sunderland are on one of the worst runs of form in the Championship – and Simon Grayson is already begging for more time to turn things around. The reality for the club is they are heading for League One as things stand. Therefore, Grayson may see himself looking for another job.
3. Steve Cotterill (Birmingham City)
Birmingham City had a mixed time of it in the Championship last season that started so well but ended in a relegation fight. Harry Redknapp was the manager that was drafted in to save their skin – but he has recently been sacked. As mentioned in another article, I was shocked to see him sacked shortly after mentioning that he was under pressure.
Things have moved on quickly for the Blues as they have appointed Steve Cotterill as their new manager. Clearly, it is controversial to suggest he will be sacked this season – but I see him as a poor appointment. Simply put, it makes no sense to dispense of Redknapp and bring in Cotterill as a replacement.
In fact, the whole situation reminds me a lot of when Gianfranco Zola was appointed last season. It’s hard to see how Cotterill will improve matters for a club that appear to be in crisis. Therefore, Cotterill may find that he only lasts in the job for a few months.
4. Jaap Stam (Reading)
Reading have started the season slowly, but that wasn’t completely unexpected after they appeared in the play-offs last season. However, as we go into the second quarter of the season, the Royals know that things must improve quickly.
A lot of the club’s success last season was built on strong possession stats. Reading continue to dominate in that regard, but results have not been so consistent so far. Some people have pointed out that the club have lacked goals this season. Of course, that is really a function of the summer transfer window and not being able to secure the striker they wanted.
Jaap Stam did so well last season that some people would have expected him to move on to a Premier League job in the summer. However, we are now having a different discussion as his current club move further away from the play-off picture. Their current run of form includes no wins in five games – and that is a concern as well.
5. Leonid Slutsky (Hull City)
Hull City are another one of those clubs that were relegated from the Premier League last season – and have struggled to adapt to life back in the Championship. There have been positives for the club such as the number of goals they have scored. However, a poor defensive record is likely to be their undoing this season.
The club’s recent form has generally been poor, but they have managed a big win against Birmingham City recently. Although automatic promotion may not be the minimum requirement, a play-off place would be expected. However, Hull currently find themselves in the bottom half of the table – and they are quickly losing pace with the play-offs.
On the playing side, there have been bright sparks such as attacking midfielder Kamil Grosicki, who is a leading contender to be the top assist maker in the Championship. Leonid Slutsky hasn’t been in the job long – but he has struggled to adapt to the Championship – and I would be very surprised if he does last the season.
6. Gary Rowett (Derby County)
Derby County would have had high expectations for this season, but things haven’t quite worked as they would have expected. In fact, the club currently find themselves in the bottom half of the table – and are on a bad run of form.
There are bright points for the club on the playing side, such as having Matej Vydra – who is a leading contender to be the top scorer in the Championship this season. Gary Rowett only joined the club at the end of last season. It’s fair to say that a lot of big things were hoped for during his tenure at the club.
As mentioned, he will now be coming under pressure based on recent results. There will have certainly been a desire for the Rams to reach the play-offs this season. It’s extremely unlikely that a slow build will be tolerated. Therefore, Rowett can expect to be out of this job within the next few months.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at Championship managers that will certainly be sacked this season. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think that these managers won’t be sacked.
Please note that the factual data in this article is correct at the time of writing, but may have changed when you are reading it. If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Coming up, I will be looking at teams that are currently on the longest unbeaten runs.