Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Thu 10 January 2008

The Sack Factor

Well well well, another Premier League manager gets the chop and it's none other than Newcastle United's Sam Allardyce. That makes him the eighth top-flight head coach to be shown the door in the space of five months. I know there's always been a hire-and-fire-'em culture in England when it comes to football management, but was it always as bad as this?

With eight men gone, it means there's now only twelve remaining who must surely be starting to feel the tightness of their shirt collars at this point. By the time I've typed up this article, we'll probably lose another one, so without further ado let's see if we can work out who's next for the guillotine.

Arsene Wenger
Practically part of the furniture at the Emirates and a man who can seemingly do no wrong. Unlikely to lose his job anytime soon, but surely the Chairman must have been hoping The Gunners would have won the Champions League by now? Cause for dismissal?
Sack Odds: 250/1

Martin O'Neill
Most people will say he needs a bit more time to weave his magic before Villa start achieving, but with the club now up to seventh in the table, perhaps change is already underway? That said, Villa sack their managers almost as often as they get a new kit deal, so don't bet against it…
Sack Odds: 50/1

Mark Hughes
Blackburn seem resolutely content to keep Sparky in the manner to which he's become accustomed, and that's perhaps because they're not too ambitious in what they hope to achieve. He's not won anything yet, but he has moved them forward by getting them into the UEFA Cup and the top half of the Premier League table. A bad run of form could see him out of a job, though…
Sack Odds: 33/1

David Moyes
Everything in the garden's rosy for Moyes at the moment. They're in the Carling Cup semi-finals, the last 32 of the UEFA Cup and are up to 6th in the Premier League. Again, no silverware in the cabinet so far for the Scot, but he's proved he can point the team in the right direction. No change, we feel.
Sack Odds: 80/1

Rafa Benitez
Those Scousers still expect the earth, and who can blame them when they've won so much in the past. Rafa's still trying to reproduce those glory days and you can never write him off, but having almost been eliminated from the Champions League a couple of months ago and with an illogical fondness for squad rotation, maybe that distant sound of grumbling will start getting louder…
Sack Odds: 50/1

Sven-Goran Eriksson
To recent an arrival to be seriously considered for the sack. Not only that, but he's guided Man City up to fourth in the table. Nosebleeds all round for fans of the club, then. Barely a hope in hell of being dismissed… unless he gets distracted by skirt once again.
Sack Odds: 200/1

Sir Alex Ferguson
Retire, maybe, but you can't sack Lord Alex of Ferguson, can you? Nah, come on - it'd be like selling your granny. No, don't even think about it. Impossible…
Sack Odds: 500/1

Gareth Southgate
…but then at the other end of the scale is the former England defender who always had a keen eye for a penalty shoot-out. He might be best mates with chairman Steve Gibson, but Southgate's giving much cause for concern through his underachievement. He's been constantly touted as the next manager to get the sack for the last three years, and he's only been managing for the last year and a half. Now that's bad.
Sack Odds: 12/1

Harry Redknapp
He has his ups and downs, does Harry, but right now his Portsmouth side's riding the crest of the wave. They’re eighth in the league and a UEFA Cup place looks well within reach this season so what could possibly go wrong (apart from half your team leaving this month to play in the African Nations Cup?) He's doing a good job at the moment, and we don't see that changing.
Sack Odds: 66/1

Steve Coppell
This time last year, we were all raving about the job Steve Coppell had done at Reading. Now, they're on the slide, albeit slowly. Consistency has been the keyword for Coppell and he's struggled to find it with his players this season. There's every chance he could turn it around and has the time to do it, but if the relegation trap door comes into view, who knows what might happen?
Sack Odds: 25/1

Roy Keane
Speaking of relegation, that's what Sunderland are currently staring in the face. Other newly-promoted clubs Derby and Birmingham have already shown no mercy in giving the boot to the men that got them promoted in the first place, but then again has it done them any good? Keano needs to start finding decent results and fast otherwise it'll be back to dog-walking again…
Sack Odds: 10/1

Alan Curbishley
Curbs managed to see out the end of last season by steering The Hammers away from the drop and now things are going altogether much better. They're into the top half of the table and have even proved that beating the likes of Man United isn't beyond their capabilities. A UEFA Cup place might be a bridge too far, but Curbishley's already won the board and the fans over with West Ham's improved form, so no need to panic, we feel.
Sack Odds: 66/1

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