It might be only three games into the new Premier League season, but already managers are looking over their shoulders for the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from the board. Here are the top five managers closest to the sack according to English betting site Bet Victor.
Watford’s Javi Gracia is the bookies favorite in England after a poor start sees his hapless Hornets stuck the bottom of the table without a win to their name. The Watford board are not known for their patience, with the longest tenure of the last seven managers before Gracia being 17 months by Gianfranco Zola back in 2012/13. Considering Gracia is currently at 19 months you could say he’s overstayed his welcome and is on borrowed time. Despite guiding the Hertfordshire minnows to a Cup Final in May, the 6-0 embarrassment that followed at the hands of Man City, alongside the winless start to this campaign, will give Watford’s director and Owner Gino Pozzo enough ammunition to fire the former Barcelona youth academy coach if he sees fit.
Bet Victor: 11/8
Gracia isn’t the only one looking over his shoulder. Steve Bruce may have bought himself some time with this weekend’s win against Tottenham, but for how long? When Rafa Benitez walked away from Newcastle in the summer I can hand on heart say Bruce was not the name The Toon Army fans were crying out for. That didn’t stop Owner Mike Ashley from making the appointment and then spending $70 million on two new players, despite one of the main reasons Rafa left was because of a lack of financial support in the transfer market. Bruce is in for a rough season as Newcastle fans see him as associated with the unliked Ashley, however, if he can continue getting results like Saturdays 1-0 win over Tottenham he could be fine. More performances like the 3-1 loss to Norwich though and he could find himself signing on at the Job Centre before long.
Bet Victor: 8/1
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is probably the surprise name on the top five, not because Manchester United have been performing so well, but because they seemed to have backed him heavy in the summer. The signings of Daniel James ($20 million), Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($63 million) and Harry Maguire ($100 million) scream that the board have his back and, unlike Steve Bruce, Solskjær’s previous exploits as a Manchester United player mean it will take a lot for the Old Trafford faithful to turn on the Norwegian. That won’t stop United from struggling this season as boardroom turmoil takes its toll on and off the field, it just means Solskjær will not be the object of United fans frustrations. All the above could ultimately help him survive until at least January despite being the third favorite on most bookies lists.
Bet Victor: 10/1
Everton boss Marco Silva will be expected to produce results after the board backed him in the summer with over $130 million of arrivals. So far the Toffees have looked uninspiring with a draw against Crystal Palace and a loss to new boys Aston Villa either side of a lackluster 1-0 win over those hapless Hornets mentioned earlier. It’s highly unlikely, with the investment made, that the board will except anything less than 8th and will not be entirely happy in the bottom half of the standings, even this early in the campaign. Getting striker Moise Kean and attacker Alex Iwobi, two summer signings from Juventus and Arsenal respectively, fully fit and starting games could be the difference between Silva staying or going, with top-six finish a real possibility for the Toffees this season if they can play to their potential.
Bet Victor: 12/1
Roy Hodgson, like Bruce, will have done himself no harm with last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United. A last gasp winner by Patrick Van Aanholt gave Crystal Palace their first win of the season and moved the London club into the top 10. Hodgson has been at Palace for going on two years and has had an 11th and 12th place finish in that time, however, the key to Hodgson extending his stay could be whether the Eagles hang on to star player Wilfred Zaha. The Nigerian winger expressed a desire to leave during the summer, with Arsenal and Everton both interested. Hodgson, 72 years old, has done a fine job at the South London club and has a wealth of experience to fall back on, but with the average age of managers getting younger Hodgson is the last of a dying breed and you wonder if he does get the boot could it be his final hurrah?
Bet Victor: 12/1
Odds were accurate as of the time of posting. Follow me on twitter @G__Daly