EPL 2011/2012 is only in its fourth week, yet there is already a buzz about which club managers are under pressure to deliver or face the boot. Two names stick out prominently – Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean is one and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger the other. The former is 44-years old who was made manager in December 2010 on a contractual basis until mid 2013 while the latter is the longest serving and most successful manager of his club. While there are some more names being thrown around, much of the focus has been on the two men managing the Rovers and Gunners. Here’s what the betting odds for EPL manager departures look like.
The First Premier League Manager to Bid Adieu
Leading bookmaker William Hill is accepting bets on predictions about which Premier League manager would be the first to leave. The odds on Wenger departing stand at 8/1 while Steve Kean tops the list with odds of 4/6. Others tipped to get the pink slip include Sunderland boss Steve Bruce and Everton manager, both at 8/1. QPR manager Neil Warnock also makes the list, with the odds for his exit standing at 5/1. Not surprisingly, Sir Alex Ferguson’s odds of leaving stand at 50/1, same as those for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish.
Fans’ patience with Wenger is running thin; the final draw came after the crushing 8-2 loss last week to Manchester United. He has been criticized by fans and football experts alike for the following:
Not making the most of the summer transfer window to strengthen his team on the back of news that star players Bendtner, Nasri and Fabregas are all set to leave. However, following Gunners’ last week loss, Wenger has spent big to sign Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, and loan Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea. Whether this reinforcement will give the club’s performance a boost in the upcoming games is yet to be seen, but it is a relief that Wenger has at least realized that his side needs new blood.
Not doing enough to persuade Fabregas and Nasri to stay. The two players have already sizzled on their debut for Barca and Manchester City respectively.
Failing to change playing tactics and formations to deliver optimal results. This has resulted in a trophy draught over the last six years, which is rather humiliating for such a respected English club.
Kean’s Job on the Line
After three straight EPL losses, Steve Kean’s managerial abilities have come under the scanner. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is sacked prematurely, much like his predecessor Sam Allardyce, whose ouster came as a shock to not just the players but the football world as well (Ferguson publicly condemned this move by Rovers’ owners). Unless he is successful in ensuring that Blackburn Rovers finish this Premier League season at a respectable position, the chances of him staying on are slim.
Warnock Fighting Hard to Prevent QPR Relegation
Queens Park Rangers’ coach Neil Warnock is aware of the general sentiment that his club will probably face relegation. Despite this, he is fighting hard to prove his critics wrong. And he has support from new club owner Tony Fernandes, who has taken on a more proactive role and promised to do everything in his capacity for the squad. New signings in the form of Joey Barton, Anton Ferdinand and Shaun Wright-Phillips have given QPR fans reason to rejoice. It also doesn’t hurt that QPR is currently placed above Arsenal, in twelfth position with two losses and one win.