Here's a look at some Premier League managers that could be out of a job before 2017 is out
So, Premier League football is back with us following the summer break – and it looks like we could be in for some season. Now is an appropriate time to look at some predictions from me. I would state though that the results in the league have no bearing on these predictions.
This article will focus on the managers that could find themselves under pressure when half the season is over. This is a sister piece to my earlier article that covered the Championship, link to that will be at the end of this content. The decisions for this article are largely opinion based, but there will be some factual information to back up my arguments.
So, let’s get into it…
1. Chris Hughton (Brighton)
There is no doubt that Brighton had an exceptional season in the Championship and fully deserve their place in the Premier League this season. Obviously, the club will be keen to give Chris Hughton every opportunity to do well.
However, sometimes newly promoted clubs need to sacrifice a manager to give the team the best chance of surviving. British managers Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe have done well in the EPL, but it’s debatable if Hughton is in that class. Previous experience at this level has not gone well for him; Newcastle decided he wasn’t the man – and he had just a 29%-win ratio at Norwich City.
Brighton have tried to add to the squad this summer and have spent around £26m on new players – but they have lagged behind rival teams, in the transfer market, such as Huddersfield. The Seagulls’ squad has an average age over 27 and may lack the young legs to prosper in the Premier League. The big questions remain on Hughton though and how much he may have learned from his previous spells at this level.
Norwich fans would say that the former Newcastle manager often uses an overly cautious approach when under pressure. Brighton fans haven’t seen so much of that, but the going is going to get tough at some stage this season. It’s vital that Hughton adopts a braver stance this time around, otherwise he may be given his marching orders before the year is out.
Have a look at the Premier League odds and remember that when you sign up at bet365 today for the very first time, you get up to £200 in welcome bonuses. SIGN UP
Participate also in our ASN COMPETITION and win £100 in FREE BETS
2. Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City)
Leicester City were the real surprise team a couple of years ago when they shocked everyone to win the Premier League. Last season, things did not go so well for them and they needed Craig Shakespeare to come in to save their bacon. Clearly, he did a good job and currently has a 47.1% win ratio as Leicester manager. I certainly agree that he fully deserved to get the job on a full-time basis given his record.
The club’s owners have backed him in the transfer market as well with nearly £53m spent so far this summer. It would certainly be interesting to know what kind of expectations he has been set for the season. I must admit though that I fear the worst for him for the season ahead, it’s always a lot harder when you are the main man and have to make those critical decisions.
Shakespeare also does not have previous management experience to fall back on when the going gets tough. While I expect his teams to be exciting, we have already seen in the opening game that the defence may still be an issue. Harry Maguire is one player that they have signed to try and deal with that problem – but it will still be an uphill task for Shakespeare. If results don’t go well, then I can see the owners making a change before the year is out.
3. Rafa Benitez (Newcastle United)
Newcastle United have certainly done well to make an instant return back to the Premier League. However, they have struggled to sustain a place in the top-flight over the years – and wasted a lot of money. Of course, they will now be hoping that things will be different under Rafa Benitez.
The Spanish coach certainly has an impressive CV, which includes spells in charge of clubs in the Premier League and other top European leagues. The club have also spent around £33m on new players – and Jacob Murphy is a player that I think will shine at this level.
However, Newcastle do have to prepare themselves for a season near the bottom of the league. This means that relegation is always going to be a danger. We have certainly seen Newcastle panic in this sort of position before – and they may well do so again if they believe they might go down. Therefore, don’t believe the hype with Benitez, his job could certainly be on the line before this year is out.
Watch soccer matches with bet365's live streaming service. VIEW THE SCHEDULE on your desktop or log in if you're on a mobile.
Participate also in our ASN COMPETITION and win £100 in FREE BETS
4. Paul Clement (Swansea City)
Swansea City are another one of those clubs that are expected to struggle in the bottom half of the Premier League table. That was certainly the case last season when Paul Clement came in to save them from relegation. I have to admit that Clement performed better than I was expecting him to – and I do worry that his luck will soon run out.
The Welsh club have also struggled in the transfer market this summer with a total spend of just £11.25m – but their best piece of business may well be on Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham who joins on loan. The forward was excellent in the Championship last season and Clement will be hoping he can repeat his goalscoring form in the Premier League.
Clement has certainly gained a strong reputation as a coach at places like PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. It’s just a question of if he can translate that into being a manager, I’m not sure he will get the time to find that out. I’m reminded about how the club panicked when they sacked Garry Monk and can see them doing so again. Therefore, given the situation that the Swans find themselves in – Clement could well be out of a job before the year is out.
5. Slaven Bilic (West Ham)
West Ham are often a hard club to work out and they can be inconsistent. Slaven Bilic has done well to hold onto his job as there has been continuous speculation over his future. The Hammers will certainly be hoping they can make a good start to the new season and have invested nearly £41m in new players.
The club managed an 11th place finish in the Premier League last season – and Bilic will need to repeat something similar to stay out of trouble. The Croatian manager is likely to be concerned about his current stats as West Ham boss; it’s the first time in his career that he has had less than a 40% win ratio.
After being backed in the transfer market this summer, he will need to ensure that his new signings do the business for him. Bilic’s track record in this regard isn’t too good recently as the transfer of Robert Snodgrass showed. The return to the Premier League for Javier Hernandez could prove to be a crucial signing. However, if things aren’t going according to plan for West Ham at the turn of the year – then Bilic may find that he is out of the door.
6. Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace have certainly been through a few managers in recent years – and they took their time before appointing Frank de Boer. The club have also been quiet in the transfer market so far this summer with just one permanent deal and two loans.
Looking back to last season, the Eagles managed to finish in 14th place and will have been glad to have survived in the league in the end. However, they really need to find some stability now – but that’s also difficult when a place in the Premier League is always on the line.
Frank de Boer has quality as a manager, but his career so far has featured a successful spell at Ajax and an unsuccessful spell with Inter. Therefore, it’s tough to know which way this will go for the Dutchman – and I’m not convinced that he was Palace’s first choice. The club have started the season with a 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield – and de Boer will have to improve things quickly if he wants to keep his job.
This completes the content section for this article as we looked at the Premier League managers that might be in the most danger of being sacked this season. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like our piece on the Championship covering the same topic. As always, keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. There will be plenty more to come from me covering both the Championship and Premier League shortly.