Managers take their mark for the Premier League Sack Race
The English Premier League is undoubtedly the most talked about and watched professional soccer league in the World and with it come the pressures of succeeding. From the expectations of fans through to the players who must deliver results on the pitch in the name of winning games. However, it is the managers of the twenty Premier League clubs who feel the pressures of life in the World’s best league and there is a fine line between success and failure and when things go wrong they face the boot pretty rapidly.
A phenomenon known as ‘The Sack Race’ has developed in recent years, a media term borne out of the volume and frequency at which managers have come to part company with their employers in the Premier League. Over the past five seasons, an average of five managers per season have lost their jobs whilst managing in England’s top division. That is a quarter of all bosses!
The 2009/10 Premier League season has thus far only seen one casualty, that of Portsmouth boss, Paul Hart, who has since been replaced by former Chelsea manager, Avram Grant. However, with the half way point of the season fast approaching, a critical time when teams begin to gain a clearer picture of what fate lies ahead for the remainder of the campaign expect to see more managerial casualties on the way.
Many teams, especially those towards the bottom, or those teams in mid table who were expected to be challenging in the upper echelons of the league will be considered to be under achieving. As such, it will be the managers of these teams who must carry the can and answer the questions of the board, media and fans alike as to why they are not performing better often with the end result being the sack!
The three most under pressure Premier League managers currently are Gary Megson of Bolton Wanderers, Mick McCarthy of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Mark Hughes at Manchester City.
Megson and McCarthy both find themselves under increasing pressure because their respective teams find themselves in the Premier League’s relegation zone and if results don’t begin to improve soon for either of these managers then dismissal is inevitable.
In contrast, Mark Hughes finds himself under pressure after expectations at Manchester City were high following a summer spending spree of in excess of £100 million and a squad packed with talented players. However, approaching the half way stage, City find themselves off the pace following a run of poor form and with the January transfer window approaching, the Abu Dhabi based owners could well look towards another manager to spend their money in an attempt to guide the Blues to a Champions League place finish come May.
Whilst it is unsure as to which Premier League manager will be the next to leave his post, the only certainly is that it’s only a matter of when rather than if! Soccer is a results driven business and if results aren’t delivered then the axe will fall and the sack race and next manager to be sacked odds has become big business and even bigger news for football fans.