Which Premier League Manager Will Be Sacked Next?

It is never a nice thing, when someone loses their job, and yet, in football, it is often celebrated. Whether by the fans of a club or maybe even the players, the job of management is a brutal gig within football.

The Premier League is notorious for sacking managers, often regardless of table position, club ownership or even the backing of the fans. The 2023/2024 season has been relatively tame thus far, however, with season crunch time on the horizon, who may be facing the axe?

Pray for Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is the latest coach tasked with rescuing the sinking ship that is Chelsea Football Club. Ever since the London club’s huge financial takeover headed by American businessman Todd Boehly, the club’s fortunes, both luck-based and financial, have plummeted. Over a billion pounds expenditure, countless young players and multiple coaches in the space of two years see Chelsea stuck as a mid-table side. Pochettino was brought in to change this.

An experienced coach, both internationally and within the league, Pochettino had a reputation whilst at Southampton and Tottenham for nurturing young talent. However, this experiment has failed at Chelsea. The very definition of inconsistent, Chelsea has yet to win three games in a row in the league, and, at the time of writing, has conceded eight goals in their last two games. Watching Chelsea, it is difficult to see much improvement game-to-game. There is a lack of identity, with very little consistency in their playstyle and their base passing networks. 

The constant flood of rotational changes, both from the bench as well as game-to-game also dampens the side’s ability to play as a team. Pochettino has this Chelsea side playing no better than predecessors such as Graham Potter, and perhaps the only reason the Argentinian has made it as long as he has is his existing pedigree and resume within the game. Nevertheless, if results do not pick up he may well be out of a job soon. Admittedly, the Chelsea job is currently a poisoned chalice, but regardless, it may be time to lay Pochettino to rest. 

The ten Hag Narrative.

Erik ten Hag is one of the most conflicting managers in the league, and there has never been an assigned definitive perspective on his coaching ability. Similar to Pochettino at Chelsea, often poor results lead to blame being directed at numerous players, however, as time has gone on more and more blame has shifted towards the coach.

Like Pochettino, ten Hag has struggled to create an identity within his team. The Dutch coach famously stated this season that he could not recreate the amazing football his previous Ajax side played, due to the personnel and conditions at Manchester United.

This raised eyebrows among many because not only was he brought in largely for this reason, but the club had also purchased a number of his former players for large fees to help this factor. This season, Manchester United finished bottom of their Champions League group and has disappointed in the league, whilst off the field, several players have been involved in personal scandals that quickly became big hitters across mass media. For example, Jadon Sancho’s personal issues with ten Hag, Antony’s legal allegations and Marcus Rashford’s off-field behaviour. 

Statistically, Manchester United is a mess. According to Opta Analytics, United controls very little of the field, has a terrible conversion rate, and concedes more shots, particularly from set pieces, than almost the entire league. Ten Hag’s reputation tends to rewrite itself every week. One win and he trends upwards. However, with every loss he loses a percentage more of the fanbase than he previously had. With Manchester United facing new ownership following investment by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, it is up to ten Hag to impress his new boss if he wishes to keep his job.

The David Moyes Dilemma. 

David Moyes is a veteran of the Premier League, having coached almost 700 games over more than 20 years. Whilst being a veteran of the league brings experience, to football fans of a more modern era, it can also signify stagnation and a lack of evolutionary ideas and tactics. This is the stigma being directed towards the Scot. Moyes has coached West Ham for nearly seven years, during which he has helped the club find stability within the league, and win not only their first trophy in decades, but a trophy on the European stage (last season’s Europa Conference League).

However, something that Moyes has never pretended to be, is an exciting free-flowing manager. Moyes is pragmatic and defensively sound above all else, and his sides are often associated with strong tackles, being dominant on set pieces, playing with a low block, and being especially dangerous on the counter. However, despite the fact this football won West Ham silverware, many fans wish to see progression rather than stagnation, and there is a belief that Moye’s football can only take the club so far. 

For example, Brighton has pushed beyond West Ham in the table and this is largely credited to their highly progressive coach Roberto De Zerbi. Certainly, Moyes has perhaps proven he does not have the pedigree to coach at the top level. Moyes failed to impress during his short tenure at Manchester United, (albeit under harsh criticism and unrealistic expectations) however, his points per game statistics are also not those of an elite manager, currently averaging 1.57 points per game at West Ham.

Therefore, there is a growing trend among West Ham fans that it may be time to move past Moyes, but will he get the sack? West Ham is currently on a bad run of form, largely due to players missing from injury or international duty. However, with the fans turning against the manager, the board may soon follow suit. 

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