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Who will be the next Premier League manager to be sacked?

Wednesday 2nd December 2020
Who'll be out of a job next? Jonny Keen says there is one outstanding candidate...
Who'll be out of a job next? Jonny Keen says there is one outstanding candidate...

As the year reaches its end, the revolving door for Premier League managers is loose on its hinges and spinning dangerously. Who goes through it next remains to be seen but there are several managers casting uneasy glances at their bosses, dreading the day the words “you’re fired” come out of their mouths.

Perhaps the highest profile name with his job on the line is Mikel Arteta. The Gunners boss has led his side to their worst Premier League start in history. But with a solid win ratio and a couple of trophies to his name already, the Spaniard will likely be afforded a little more time.

Another big name with his job on the line is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Manchester United supremo was widely criticised on appointment as too inexperienced to turn the Red Devil’s fortunes around with his only previous venture into the Premier League ending in miserable failure with Cardiff City FC. And the season didn’t exactly get off to the strongest of starts.

While United are currently in a fine run of form and improving with every week, Ole’s job is still far from secure. He’s ridden his luck and his reputation to a degree so far and been given time to stamp his identity on the side. But it’s still highly doubtful whether he can lead United to their long term goals. But if Ole is given his marching orders, it won’t be just yet. The board have already shown they have plenty of patience in their former assassin and it’d take more than a simple downturn in form to see him gone. While there’s every possibility Ole won’t be in the hot seat come the start of next season, he certainly won’t be the first top-flight boss to go. It’d take something special to see him pushed before the transfer window runs its course.

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Slavan Bilic is another candidate. His West Brom side have struggled since promotion to the Premier League and lie in the relegation zone, a point behind Fulham. A run of bad results could see Bilic’s job on the line. But he’s certainly not in immediate danger. West Brom’s goal has to be simple survival and as long as the Baggies stay out of the drop zone, Bilic should be safe. He took a key win over fellow strugglers Sheffield United and have shown small signs of improvement. An experienced head like Bilic probably has a bit more time to turn things around but even a short run of bad results could cause the board to take swift action.

The most obvious candidate for the sack then is Chris Wilder, who’s Sheffield United side sit bottom of the league with a single point from their last ten games. While Wilder has done wonders at United, he seems out of ideas and his time at the club is surely drawing to an end. Voted manager of the decade for the 2010s, Wilder led his side to a 9th placed finish last time out. But all good things must come to an end.

United are struggling to score, with a pathetic tally of four goals this season, and Wilder seems out of ideas on how to improve the situation. The United board could opt to bring in a new man sooner rather than later, giving him the chance to stamp his identity on the side over the transfer window. A foreign appointment could well be in the works, someone with a contact book full of bargain attacking acquisitions.

There’s no doubt United are punching above their weight. But it’s clearly not working out under Wilder and he’ll surely be replaced soon unless he can pull a surprise out of the bag. There’s a reason he’s odds on to be the next Premier League manager out of the door.

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Jonny Keen

Glasgow based writer keen (geddit?) on the cultural elements of football. More interested in the fortunes of Cefn Druids or HJK Helsinki than the latest goings on at Manchester City or Real Madrid.

Once played 10 minutes of a game in the 17th tier of English football. He thinks the best food in football is to be found at Forest Green Rovers and Rayo Vallecano are the only club in Madrid. 

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