Saturday, December 3, 2022

Will Sven Goran Ericksson start the managerial merry-go-round?

The managerial merry-go-round is likely to start this week as Leicester City chairman Milan Mandaric is reported to be flying back to England from America in order to sack Ian Holloway. This won’t come as a shock to Holloway after over seeing Leicester’s relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history.

In the lower leagues, there will be several casualties in the manager ranks and few of the relegated managers can be assured of keeping their jobs. Managers that haven’t got promotion for clubs with high ambition will also be on the move.

What about the twenty managers in the Premier League. How many of them are safe in their job for another try next season?

You would have to say that Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are pretty secure in their jobs at the moment. I wouldn’t imagine that either of them are bothering to keep much of an eye on the job market.

Also in the totally safe category I would place David Moyes, Martin O’Neill, Mark Hughes, Harry Redknapp, Juande Ramos, Steve Bruce, Paul Jewell and Roy Keane. It is very unlikely that Everton, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Wigan, Derby or Sunderland, respectively, will be looking to make a change. There are different reasons for all of those men being safe, but they should be.

So in my opinion there are ten Premier League managers who are secure in their jobs at this time, leaving another ten men not totally certain of their immediate futures.

These ten can be split into three groups. Doomed, in the lap of the Gods and ‘who knows?’.

In the doomed category I believe we have Ray Houghton at Fulham, who despite possibly managing to keep the club up will at least, I believe, be ‘moved upstairs’. The other doomed manager, of course, is the incredibly unlucky Sven Goran Eriksson, who is going to be fired for doing a great job!?

In the lap of the Gods are the futures of Alex McLeish, Gary Megson, Steve Coppell, Gareth Southgate, Kevin Keegan and Alan Curbishley. If Birmingham go down, McLeish could go. The same applies to Steve Coppell at Reading who although he has done a wonderful job at the club, may be coming to the end of his tenure. Gary Megson has kept Bolton up, but the fans never wanted him in the first place and the Board could look elsewhere. Small crowds and fan unrest at Middlesbrough could see the back of Gareth Southgate and Alan Curbishley can’t be safe after West Ham have undoubtedly under achieved this season. Mike Ashley may be looking to replace King Kev after Keegan said honestly, but inadvisably yesterday that he could never get Newcastle to challenge the top four.

The two men in the ‘who knows?’ category are Avram Grant and Rafa Benitez. Grant is clearly not safe even though he has made history by taking Chelsea to the Champions League final and is still in line for an incredible double. Rafa Benitez is a pawn in the political game being played by the owners of the club and could be fired at the whim of the men at the top.

It is a very hard profession when half of the employees are in fear for their jobs. There can only be a maximum of five successful managers at the top, winning the Premiership, Carling Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League. It would rarely be five, and this year could be just two or three. One of those could easily be sacked anyway!

Obviously there are fantastic financial rewards for these men and we shouldn’t feel too sorry for them, but it certainly is a high pressure role and one with almost no job security.

The men with the money are demanding of instant success. They rightly want this for their own financial reasons, for the club and for the fans. All of those are laudable reasons and the owner of the club must have ambition. However, there must be an element of realism and that is what seems to be lacking in the game at the moment. Everyone knows that Fergie and Wenger have achieved success at their clubs through consistency and longevity and being given backing, time and support. I really hope that most of the owners in the Premier League take that into account over the next few weeks, but I fear that it might be worth putting a couple of pounds on the fact that at least six of the current managers will be looking for new employment by the start of next season.

Who’ll be the first to go? Anyone think that someone will go before Sven?


Graham Fisher



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Van Basten
Van Basten
14 years ago

If Sven-Goran Eriksson gets sacked I’d be really disappointed. How can you sack a manager that has achieved the goal set forth by the club before the season started?

Man City was aiming for a top 10 finish, which they got. I think they have done quite well considering that none of the new players had any EPL experience, let alone knew English.

Thaksin is out of his mind and needs to find another toy to play with…

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