Saturday, May 21

The 2021/22 Premier League manager sack race

Premier League owners were feeling charitable during the 2020/21 season with only four managers – Jose Mourinho, Chris Wilder, Frank Lampard and Slaven Bilic – getting the sack.

History suggested there was little chance of their generosity being repeated this season, though, and we have seen Xisco Munoz, Steve Bruce, Nuno Espirito Santo, Daniel Farke, Dean Smith, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Rafa the gaffer given their marching orders this time out.

Being a football manager – particularly in England – remains a hazardous occupation and if teams are not getting results it won’t be long until further heads start rolling this term.

The question is: who will be sacked next?

Rafa BenitezRafa Benitez

At least Rafa can now return his true passion, advertising stuff / Samuel de Roman/Getty Images

Who would’ve thought that Rafa Benitez’s spell at Everton would end in tears?

Well, most people actually.

Pep GuardiolaPep Guardiola

Guardiola will be allowed to leave on his own terms / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City will likely win the Premier League this season – that normally happens when you have the most expensive squad.

Due to this, Pep Guardiola will be free from P45 danger. If he finally breaks the club’s Champions League hoodoo he might even be tempted to walk away a year before the end of his contract next summer.

Jurgen KloppJurgen Klopp

Klopp faced accusations of burnout last season / Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has been successful enough to walk away from Anfield on his own terms.

Klopp experienced the toughest season of his career last time out, dealing with both personal trauma and a scarcely believable injury crisis. Yet, he still managed to secure the Reds a Champions League spot and the club remains heavily in debt to the German.

They’re going very well this campaign too.

Ralf RangnickRalf Rangnick

Technically, he’s already been sacked / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Ralf Rangnick has it sussed. You can’t get sacked if you promise to leave at the end of the season.

Saying that, things are going pretty badly so he might even lose his interim role…

At the beginning of last season, West Ham were being tipped for relegation and David Moyes was about as popular in the East End as an overcooked pie or an under-seasoned plate of jellied eels.

Come the end of the campaign, though, the Moyesiah had guided the Hammers back into Europe. The Scotsman revolution shows no signs of letting up either.

Thomas TuchelThomas Tuchel

Tuchel has joked about Chelsea managers not lasting long in the past / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel won the Champions League last season. At any other club in the world, his job would be 101% safe.

However, this is Chelsea and anything can happen.

Steven Gerrard, Gary McAllisterSteven Gerrard, Gary McAllister

Gerrard is in the big time / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Aston Villa are a mightily ambitious club with plans to break into the Premier League top six in the not-so-distant future, so it was no surprise to see Dean Smith get the boot.

HIs successor, Steven Gerrard, has improved things but after being backed heavily in the transfer market, the pressure is on.

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte

It’s not that bad Antonio / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Tottenham do not have the stones to sack Antonio Conte but it’s more than likely that the Italian could walk if certain things at the club do not change fast.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-BRIGHTONFBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-BRIGHTON

Potter was linked with a host of Premier League clubs this summe / NEIL HALL/Getty Images

Graham Potter’s stock is extremely high at the moment. From here his career could go one of two ways.

He could end up being poached by a top Premier League side. Alternatively he could get sacked after a winless 10 games for Brighton, joining the likes of Aidy Boothroyd and Garry Monk on the scrapheap of exciting, young English managers who did not fulfil their promise.

Bruno LageBruno Lage

Lage won the league with Benfica in 2019 / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Bruno Lage’s arrival was one of the more understated appointments in Premier League history.

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He’s done well this far, though, helping to turn Wolves into a more attacking side – at last.

Dean SmithDean Smith

Smith has a tough task on his hand / Julian Finney/GettyImages

After Norwich finally lost faith in Daniel Farke, Dean Smith was forced to cut his New York holiday short to step into the hot seat.

Smith has previous of both keeping a team in the Premier League and taking one up from the Championship, so expect the Canaries to stand by their new man barring a major disaster.

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta needs to prove himself / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

It’s make or break for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal this season. The Spaniard has been backed in the transfer market, has no European distractions and has had more than enough time to transmit his message to the squad.

Thankfully for him, there are finally some signs of progress.

Patrick VieiraPatrick Vieira

Vieira likes to bring promote youth / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Patrick Vieira loves bringing through younger players – which seemed like a surefire way to get sacked if you are a Premier League manager.

However, rather miraculously, the Eagles have started the season terrifically.

Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers

Rodgers has hardly put a foot wrong this joining Leicester / Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers’ arrival as manager has transformed Leicester from European hopefuls to bonafide members of the Premier League top six.

A lot was made of Liverpool’s injury problems last season but the Foxes also had serious issues with every member of their starting XI, other than Kasper Schmeichel, missing games. With this in mind, their fifth-placed finish and FA Cup triumph are even more impressive.

2021/22 could be going better, mind you – much better in fact.

Thomas FrankThomas Frank

Thomas Frank finally has a chance in the big time / Henry Browne/Getty Images

Thomas Frank has plenty of credit in the bank, registering close to a 50% winning ratio during his time at Brentford so far. Their opening day win over Arsenal was superb too.

The Bees ownership also seem pretty level-headed, which should help the Dane keep hold of his job if the waters get choppy. Then again, the allure of Premier League survival can corrupt even the most forgiving of chairmen.

It was not that long ago that Ralph Hasenhuttl was being linked with the Chelsea job and 90min’s very own Sean Walsh was backing Southampton for a seventh-placed finish.

Flash forward to the present and Hasenhuttl has aged about 20 years and the Saints are widely expected to go down this term. However, Hasenhuttl still has some magic left, leading his side to several impressive results already.

Sean DycheSean Dyche

Live. Love. Laugh. / Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Some people are born to sing, dance or act. Sean Dyche was born to keep Burnley in the Premier League.

Dyche’s other-worldly ability to keep the Clarets clear of relegation trouble, despite their meagre resources, does not get enough credit.

Is the bubble finally bursting this season, though?

Marcelo BielsaMarcelo Bielsa

Bielsa is a mad genius / BSR Agency/Getty Images

In years to come the streets will not forget Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.

They were sumptuous to watch last season and also picked up some terrific results, eventually finishing just two points behind Arsenal in ninth.

Bielsa and his bucket are seemed safe, barring a complete meltdown…

While it is not quite that bad yet, results need to improve soon.

UC Sampdoria v Parma Calcio - Serie AUC Sampdoria v Parma Calcio - Serie A

Ranieri may not last long / Getty Images/Getty Images

He has only just taken over, but Claudio Ranieri may not last long at Watford.

The Hornets have some seriously tough games coming up and if he cannot tighten his side up at the back, he might be shown the exit door.

Eddie HoweEddie Howe

Howe needs to improve soon / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Howe is Eddie going to perform at St James’ Park? It’s anyone’s guess really.

He is on shaky ground already and with Rafa Benitez available Newcastle could be tempted to pull the trigger…

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