The managerial merry-go-round has been in full effect this week with Gus Poyet being shown the door at Sunderland after a dismal run of results. We advised backing him to be the next manager to leave his post some time ago, when the writing started to appear on the wall, and it seems to have been a bad fit between the gentlemanly manager and the North East Club. He should have no shortage of offers to get back into work, and the Sunderland board moved swiftly to replace him with the announcement of Dick Advocaat as his successor.
All of this has set the rumour mill churning again, and one name that keeps coming up is Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City.
Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Barcelona brought to an end another underwhelming Champions League campaign for the Citizens, and if truth be told it never looked like being anything other than ordinary. A rousing comeback against Bayern Munich in the group stage set up an unlikely win in Rome for City to qualify, but it felt like they’d snatched qualification at the last. That’s not the way top sides should progress from Champions League groups, and with one of the highest wage bills across Europe, City should definitely be judging themselves against the best.
Barcelona thoroughly outclassed Man. City at the Etihad, and the defeat in the Nou Camp would have been much heavier but for Joe Hart’s heroics in goal. The England keeper made several saves on the night to deny Messi and Co., but his inspired form shouldn’t mask what was a poor City performance. In fact, they’ve been labouring for some time now domestically, and look a shadow of the side that played with such attacking fluency at times last season. They were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Newcastle way back in October, then suffered a shock defeat to Middlesborough in the FA Cup. The only thing they have left to play for is the Premier League, but at the moment they show no signs of making up a six point gap on Chelsea.
Sergio Aguero has carried the team at times, but he continues to suffer with on-off injury problems. Yaya Toure has been substituted in the last two games, and isn’t bossing the midfield like he was a few months ago, and too many of City’s other stars are failing to step up to the mark. No silverware at all this season could signal the end for Pellegrini, and while he will probably be given a reprieve until the title race is over, if City have many more poor results it could be sooner rather than later.
Sam Allardyce – +450 with Skybet
Sam Allardyce continues to be short odds in this market, and that can only be down to the fractious relationship with the West Ham board. David Gold and David Sullivan are never shy to speak out in the media and court publicity, and there have been a few quite public disagreements between Allardyce and the board over the last couple of seasons. His position isn’t helped by the fact that he is on a one year contract which gets reviewed at the end of each season. According to Big Sam and the board that’s best for both parties, but it doesn’t help to quell the speculation.
The Hammers haven’t had a great time of things in 2015, and that adds fuel to the fire. They’ve only won once this year (at home to Hull), and despite some good performances, notably against Manchester United and Spurs, they’ve slipped steadily down the table to 10th. Given their flirt with relegation last season, and the abject 13th place finish, a top half position after a great season should be viewed as a good result, but after reaching the Champions League positions it has been a rapid decline.
Nonetheless, Allardyce continues to meet his main target of Premier League survival, and with a move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, that is vital to West Ham. It will be interesting to see what the Hammers board decide to do, but it looks almost certain that they will make that decision in the summer. The players are still fully behind the manager, and with a good run of fixtures coming up his stock could be rising in the next few weeks.
Nigel Pearson – +700 with Skybet
Leicester haven’t pulled the trigger yet despite sitting rock-bottom of the Premier League, and it seems that they are prepared to stick with Nigel Pearson for the long run. They have a seven point gap to make up to reach safety, and that looks ever larger with just nine games to go. The recent 0-0 draw at home with Hull wasn’t good enough and its now seven games without a win for the Foxes. Pearson brought them up from the Championship though, and there seems little point in the board hitting the panic button now. It looks more likely that he’ll be given the chance to retain as much of his squad as possible to lead them back at the first time of asking.
Roberto Martinez – +1200 with Betvictor
Roberto Martinez always looked safe as long as Everton were in the Europa League, but the 5-2 defeat to Dynamo Kiev sent the Toffees tumbling out of the competition and he could be on thin ice. At least he can say that his team were the longest-surviving English club in Europe in a season of failure on the continental front. Everton are 14th in the table, and although they now have little to play for, it looks like the European run might have given Martinez a stay of execution, and he might also be given the chance to build on his squad and go again next season.
The expectation at Manchester City is that much higher though, and Manuel Pellegrini may be afforded no such luxury.
If you want to play it safe and don’t fancy this longshot, we’re also happy to advise backing no managerial casualties at a much shorter price of -120
Next Premier League Manager to Leave His Post
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