Claudio Ranieri and Slaven Bilic could be front-runners in Premier League Sack Race despite their odds of 16/1
SAFE AS HOUSES
Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman, Mark Hughes, Garry Monk, Alex Neil, Alan Pardew, Eddie Howe, Roberto Martinez
We are ruling out half of the field straight away for this Premier League Sack Race market. Wenger is an institution at Arsenal, while Mourinho and Van Gaal are rock solid at their respective clubs. Neil and Howe did wonderful jobs to guide their teams into the Premier League, while Pardew, Koeman, Hughes, Monk and Martinez all have great relationships with their respective chairman.
SECURE FOR THE SHORT-TERM
Brendan Rodgers is the favourite on the Sack Race market although he’s been backed by FSG who seem in no mood to change the guard. Manuel Pellegrini also has a second chance at Manchester City after a potless 2014/15 campaign.
Dick Advocaat has returned to Sunderland and is hugely popular after his work last season, while the same applies to Tony Pulis at West Brom. Meanwhile, Steve McClaren will be given time at Newcastle United and Mauricio Pochettino is doing respectably at White Hart Lane.
WHICH LEAVES US WITH…
Quique Flores, Tim Sherwood, Claudio Ranieri and Slaven Bilic. Three new managers and Sherwood, who did pretty well with Villa last season including guiding them to an FA Cup final. Nevertheless, he’s something of a ticking time bomb and let’s not forget Villa finished 17th in the end and face a struggle to keep Christian Benteke.
Flores could be anything at Watford, a club who have made a habit of chopping and changing the manager on a regular basis. Odds of 7/1 reflect this, although we’re happier to take the meatier prices about SLAVEN BILIC and CLAUDIO RANIERI.
Bilic has been received with warm acclaim by the West Ham supporters, although there’s no getting away from a mainly poor track record in club management. The fact that David Gold alluded to his connection to the club as a former player was heart-warming but also a bit of a straw clutcher.
Sam Allardyce will be a difficult act to follow and the same applies to Nigel Pearson at Leicester, with the well-travelled Claudio Ranieri taking his place. The Italian was manager of Chelsea many moons ago before being replaced by Mourinho – since then, he’s had a succession of posts but a Teflon-like aspect to most of them.
The Leicester owners have alluded to the fact that they have “an elite European manager” although the Thais might come to realise that Ranieri has little experience of a relegation dogfight where the players have to roll up their sleeves in a bid to stay in the Premier League.