Premier League Hot Seat: November


The Hot Seat

With three months of Premier League play over, the contenders and pretenders have officially been separated. The Premier League season is a quarter of the way through, however most clubs have played into the mid-teens for total matches. Managers such as Jose Mourinho and Ronald Koeman are currently lighting up the Premier League and being praised for their teams’ current form. Then there are those who are getting just as much coverage, but for all the wrong reasons. Whether it be injuries, bad luck or just bad play, these managers have found their jobs under fire.

Some have been on the spot since our last look-in on the Premier League. Either moving closer or further from the unemployment line is something that has occurred for these men. There have also been some additions to the list, as two managers have found their way there this month, with one possibly being the first to be hitting the unemployment line.

Getting Warm

Manuel Pellegrini

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  • The 2011-12 Premier League season saw Manchester City win the clubs first title in 44-years. The club was led by then manager Roberto Mancini. The following season, Manchester City finished second in the Premier League, 11-points adrift of champion Manchester United, and lost in the FA Cup final. Mancini was terminated for failing to reach the club’s goals. Anything short of a title is unacceptable for the board. With City’s struggles this season at the continental level and this past weekend’s loss to West Ham, Manchester City are in danger of losing contact with Chelsea in the title race.

    Though Pellegrini did lead the club to last season’s Premier League title, the campaign was impressive by no means. Without the collapse of Liverpool last season, Pellegrini could already have been axed. With the Manchester Derby this weekend, a win would seriously help Pellegrini in establishing his position as the best man for the job. However, if the club begins to fade from the title race and continues its current Champions League form, a new manager could be in the club’s future for next season.

    Brendan Rodgers

    In the same position he was last month — not yet in dire trouble — but not in the best place. Drawing 0-0 at Anfield against Hull City is bad news for this side. Losing at Anfield to Real Madrid by a 3-0 scoreline is worse news. The club have also made some questionable signings this year. The acquisition of Mario Balotelli looks more and more foolish with each passing match. Adam Lallana has yet to find the same form he had while with Southampton. The team overachieved last season, contending for the title with the crop of players they had was shocking. The fall off to this season has also been shocking.

    Though the club has won two of its last four matches, others were home draws against Everton and Hull City, clubs which have not shown the skill it should take to defeat Liverpool. Rodgers is not in immediate danger of losing his job, but should the club continue to falter in key matches, a move could be made to help rejuvenate the club. The upcoming transfer window will be key in determining Rodgers future at the club.

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    Harry Redknapp

    The club’s win over Aston Villa last weekend does help Redknapp’s position with the club, but not by much. Defeating a struggling Aston Villa side is not an achievement by any means. A loss in that match could have meant immediate termination for Redknapp from the club.  With owner Tony Fernandes growing increasingly frustrated over the clubs current form, a change could happen any day.

    For a club which struggled to meet expectations last season, having to go to the play-offs to earn promotion to the Premier League, could any manager in the world turn the club around? Easily outspending its fellow relegation zone clubs, QPR is the biggest disappointment in the recent memory of English soccer. With many already saying QPR is destined for relegation, a change in manager would not be enough for the club. A total change in philosophy is needed, and the amount of time for the change to happen is too much for this season’s side.

    Alan Pardew

    After going winless in their first seven matches, Alan Pardew’s Newcastle has managed to win its last two matches. Defeating Leicester City 1-0 and coming from one-nil down to defeat Tottenham 2-1 shows signs of encouragement for the embattled manager. Having been public enemy number one for some factions of Newcastle’s supporters, these wins give a breath of fresh air to the club as a whole. Superb halftime adjustments from Pardew led to the side’s win at Tottenham. With the two wins, the club has jumped out of the relegation zone, albeit by only two points.

    Even with the two wins however, a loss this week at home against Liverpool will result in a return of the anti-Pardew chants. Though club owner Mike Ashley has failed to deliver on termination threats on numerous occasions, any loss at this point could prompt the unpredictable Ashley to axe Pardew. However, the club’s problems might not lie with the manager. No matter who manages the club, Ashley must change the way he runs the club if Newcastle are to again be successful in the Premier League.

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  • Sean Dyche

    Manager of easily the smallest club in the Premier League. The clubs promotion to the Premier League shocked many and earned Dyche the undying love of the clubs supporters. Though the club were not expected to contend in the Premier League, the results have been worse than what could have been expected. Five goals in nine matches put the club on track to score the least amount of goals in Premier League history. The defense, which was strong early on, winning the club all of its four points, has faltered as of late. The club is also the only club in the Premier League without a win this season.

    Dyche may have brought the club to the Premier League for the first time since 2009, but past results cannot be used to help a manager’s case. The club has played terribly on the offensive end and at times just as bad on defense. If the club are to have a respectable campaign in the Premier League, a change needs to be made. Whether the change is player-wise or manager-wise remains to be seen. Should the club’s form continue though, Dyche will soon find himself looking for another job.

    Good as Gone

    Gus Poyet

    Sunderland seemed to have turned things around. The club defeated Stoke City 3-1 and seemed to be on the upswing in terms of form. The club then proceeded to lose its last two matches by a combined score of 10-0. Losing at home against Arsenal is not a shocking result, but losing 8-0 to Southampton, or to any side for that matter, is embarrassing. The Gus Poyet-led side sits 18th in the Premier League, again in the relegation zone.

    Though Poyet did receive a contract extension at the end of last season, the club is quickly heading back to the same form it had for most of last term — bad. If the club has any hope of turning things around, a change needs to be made, and made now. With plenty of the club’s players unhappy, a new manager needs to be found now. Bringing in someone now gives the manager time to evaluate the club and target players that could possibly be brought in during the January transfer window. With the club’s players obviously not responding to Gus Poyet, a change is needed. The fate of the club lies in the decision to fire Poyet. If one is not made quickly, the club will not be rescued as it was last season.