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EPL’s Amazing Sack Race

August 14, 2007

Now that the season has begun, and the cobwebs off your lazy chairs have been dusted off, it is the time of the year to make your first bets. Granted, you have to be in the UK to make any of these, but no harm in trying to make a quick buck without having to wait for the season to end.

The format every season is pretty much the same. New managers who have just been installed, underperforming managers, managers who barely escaped relegation in the previous season, and managers who do not get along with their board are the immediate candidates for the pink slip. Managers of promoted sides usually get a whole season (regardless of final position) before they are considered for replacement. Put in a good start to the season, and they’re definitely there for the whole season.

Roy Keane, and his Sunderland side, did that, and now he’s in the gaffer’s seat til the end, and despite losing, Birmingham put in a fighting performance against Chelsea, and Bruce will be there til the cows come home. Billy Davies on the other hand, despite getting a point of Portsmouth, is in a different category all together. Not only is he at loggerheads with his Chairman, he nearly didn’t sign he contract extension. Davies however is a better PR manager than Steve Mclaren will ever be, and he played it smart by continuously emphasizing that he had a 3 year plan, which he achieved in 1-year. Bogged down by a overachieving squad last season, Derby is bound to finish dead last in the league, but Davies will be smart enough to know not to point the finger at the mirror.

 Sacking Verdict: He will definitely stay on until the end of the season, after which he will leave the club. If they survive, credit will go to Davies. If they don’t, Davies surely won’t be blamed. Either way, keep your money in your pockets if you want a quick buck.

Moving up to the blue side of Manchester, Sven Goran Eriksson was always never the first choice for Frank (Thaksin) Sinatra of Thailand. That already puts him in a precarious position. By admitting he did a Theo Walcott, and bought players he’s never seen, City fans were crossing their fingers he wouldn’t screw up (although in all honesty, how worse can it get??). Ever the optimist, City fans tried to up-play his achievements in club football, but in England, they only see what they’ve experienced, and thats the failure of the best England side since ’66 to win any major championships. However, a good start, and a good showing by the players he’s never seen, showed that Eriksson is more comfortable in the daily dugout, rather than the once-in-a-while seat of England. My personal opinion also points favourably for Eriksson, as I believe the players he’s never seen are actually pretty good, especially Petrov, Bojinov and Geovanni. City fans might actually be surprised and will definitely cause a few upsets at the top of the league table and while its too early for Europe, they will comfortable finish in mid-table.

 Sacking Verdict: Unlikely. Next!!

Last season’s number 1 underachieving side, West Ham, traded Alan’s and took up their former player, Alan Curbs from Charlton. And by word, what a deal did Charlton get! Even though they were relegated, Pardew has experience bringing teams up, and knows what to expect in the Championship. Curbs on the other hand, spent his most recent stint at one club for over 15 years! When you spend so much time at one club, the club and players there are fine tuned to your expectations, and you usually know what to expect. Move along to another club and not everything will go your way. It would explain why Curbs struggled to make any telling contributions to West Ham’s cause last season. If it wasn’t for the intervention of an Argentine-whom-we-will-not-speak-of, West Ham would have been dead and buried by March! Add to that the recent outburst of twice his former player at West Ham and Charlton, Paul Konchesky, who said Curbs is the reason Darren Bent rejected West Ham and opted for Spurs, and also the reason he left, then it doesn’t bode well. Magnusson will probably want an immediate return for his investments, and as can be seen last year, is very prone to outside influence, like the media. As long as the media cuts Curbs up into pieces like a Sarawakian stewardess, Curbs is definitely bound to be free for turkey and christmas stuffings.

Sacking verdict: Good for the money! You need to be really crap to beat Curbs to the pink slip!

And that brings me to my final candidate. If you thought Curbs was bad, at least he can be counted as a qualified success, seeing that he was the man at the helm when they avoided relegation. Chris Hutchings (who?) is the man who replaced Paul Jewell as Wigan’s boss. It is not the first time Hutchings attempts to follow in Jewell’s footsteps. Rewind back some 6 seasons ago (If I remember correctly!), when Bradford survived relegation on the last day, and a young and upcoming Paul Jewell was in charge. Not too long after that, Jewell quit on the club, and Hutchings was promoted from the assistant’s position. 12 games later (again, don’t quote me! Bradford stats were not worth remembering!) Bradford was so bad, no one could figure out what went wrong! Sometimes, certain people were never meant to lead, but to constantly follow, and Hutchings is one of them. As hard as Jewell tries to teach Hutchings, each time he flatters to deceive, and that could only mean one result for Wigan. Relegation. The curse of Emile Heskey also hangs over Wigan. Of the last 3 clubs he’s been with, 2 were relegated. At least they’re guaranteed of good money for him. Heskey earned some 11million pounds for Leicester when he left for Liverpool, and despite continuously underperforming at Liverpool, still fetched a hefty 6million pounds when he left for Birmingham. And we know that led to the relegation of Birmingham 2 seasons ago. Last season, Wigan were also nearly relegated, save for a penalty against Sheffield United by a player who started last season as their own, David Unsworth. But this is about Hutchings isn’t it? Who cares!

 Sacking Verdict: Bring yo’ money o’er! You can start buying christmas presents by October!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. youngbruneian permalink
    August 14, 2007 11:22 pm

    “…By admitting he did a Theo Walcott, and bought players he’s never seen.. ” you could say sven just pulled a sven. tee hee

  2. mr. w. hill permalink
    August 15, 2007 8:03 am

    martin jol’s job is on the line too.. what a joke, all those talents.

  3. youngbruneian* permalink
    August 15, 2007 11:15 pm

    the clubs who did well last season seem to be experiencing some kind of hangover. thats my excuse for the two draws =p

  4. glamourousdiss permalink*
    August 16, 2007 4:22 am

    not to worry abt martin jol… last season spurs lost 3 of their first six games, and only had 5pts by the end of September and still finish 5th! At that time berbatov had 2 goals to his name and their top scorer was defoe, with 4 goals.
    Even if the press claim Martin Jol’s job is on the line, the board at spurs know its still early season.
    However, I will admit fault that i forgot to include 2 more managers…. Gareth Southgate of Boro fame and former Liverpuldian Sammy Lee, now at Bolton

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