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Managers Sack Race – Who’s Next?

One of the many reasons we love the Premier League is that anything can happen at any given time. A rollercoaster of a season with a multitude of highs and lows. 

And like all football leagues, some teams fare worse than others. But which teams those will turn out to be, we’re always none the wiser. 

In almost any circumstance, when a team is not performing to standard, fingers start getting pointed towards the team’s focal point – the manager

The Premier League, regarded by many as the most prestigious league in the world, has an array of world-class managers in its holster. Therefore, once performances start slacking to the extent that would catch the eye, the manager often pays the price. 

Today we will look at a selection of managers whose teams are underperforming and which of those may soon not be Premier League managers at all.

Steve Cooper (Nottingham Forest FC) 

Steve Cooper was appointed Forest’s manager on the 21st of September 2021. He was greeted by a lacklustre team situated rock bottom of the Championship. 

Yet miraculously, fast forward nine months, and Cooper has masterminded the team and himself to the Premier League following a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the final of the playoffs. 

A dream that many deemed impossible came true for the Forest faithful. 

However, like many that came before, Forest’s fairy tale came crashing down to earth after stepping up to the Premier League. 

Steve Cooper

If you were asked to guess which manager would be next to be sacked, your eyes would almost instantly wander to the bottom of the table. 

In this case, you would find Nottingham Forest. 

Nottingham Forest Bottom Of The League Table

With an utterly miserable start to the season, Cooper’s men find themselves 14 games in with a mere 10 points to show for it. Shamefully owning a -20 goal difference as well. 

Disregarding an “out of sorts” yet stunning 1-0 victory against previous year’s runners-up Liverpool, Forest’s form seems to be continuing in a similar fashion. 

However, a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of league leaders Arsenal swiftly snapped them back to reality.

To see the Garibaldi’s struggling and in the relegation zone perhaps doesn’t come as a surprise to many. However, one thing that did come as a surprise was their extraordinary 2022 summer transfer window.

Nottingham Forest set a new British record with an astounding 21 new signings. The most made by anyone British club ever. 

Forest Record Breaking Transfer Spend

The owners splashed out a whopping £163.4 million on transfers, breaking yet another record as the most spent by a newly promoted team in the Premiership. 

As the famous saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness”. In football, money doesn’t always buy success. 

One thing it will do for sure though is burn a hole in the owner’s pocket to which that money belonged. 

It is alleged that most of the £163 million spent on players was at the say-so of Steve Cooper. So the owners can’t help but question his decision-making and ability. 

Furthermore, after so much money being invested into the club, the riches and rewards that come with being in the Premiership will be a number one priority. 

This leaves the question; is Steve Cooper the man to maintain that Premier League status? Or is his Forest fairy tale near the end?

Frank Lampard (Everton FC) 

Lampard was appointed manager of Everton on the 31st of January 2022. Joining an Everton side positioned 16th in the league table, just four points above the relegation zone.

Bearing in mind his predecessor Rafael Benitez, a well-established manager, was sacked based on poor results. Everton’s results continued in a similar vein. 

Lampard’s men narrowly snatched survival on the 19th of May and the penultimate game of the season. Coming from 2-0 down to beat Crystal Palace 3-2. 

This display of strength in adversity potentially gave hope to the Evertonian faithful.

Frank Lampard 2017

Suggesting Lampard perhaps had what it takes to spark the revival of this historic club, subsequently returning it to its previously known state of being forever safe in the Premier League. 

If their start to the 2022/23 campaign is anything to go by, that hope has swiftly festered into fear

Everton Hovering Above Relegation

Everton’s record as of match week 15 sees them with three wins, five draws and six losses. A total of 14 points and a -3 goal difference. Leaving them 16th in the league and only 2 points from the relegation places. 

Everton’s transfer window, like many others, was not a quiet one. With nine new arrivals amounting to a total of £120+ million and departures of big names such as their talisman Richarlison. Inevitably, with bold statements such as these, results must follow. 

Unfortunately, it’s not only the results that have been below par. 

Performances haven’t shown a consistent, clear style of play implemented by Lampard. Now either that suggests he needs more time or there is no style to implement. 

Is Everton paying the price for Lampard’s relative youth in this industry? Is the once-legendary player living off his playing portfolio? Or is Lampard the right man for the blue of Merseyside?

David Moyes (West Ham United) 

Unlike the other managers on this list, David Moyes has been a West Ham manager for many years now, with his first appointment for the club on the 7th of November 2017. 

Moyes did leave the club after he was not offered a new contract in May 2018. However, he returned on the 29th of December the following year, and he’s been managing the Hammers ever since. 

Over the past two years, Moyes has brought West Ham to long-forgotten heights for the West Londoners. With the club attaining European football in back-to-back years. Something they had never achieved in their long spell in the Premier League.

David Moyes

West Ham Out Of Sorts & Ideas

However, this season they seem to be out of sorts and possibly out of ideas. 

They hold the third worst goals scored statistics in the league, which has unfortunately seen them on their way to 15th place after 14 games. They are only 2 points away from those dreaded relegation places. 

Moyes, however, is no rookie and is undoubtedly the best equipped experience-wise out of the managers on this “managers sack race” list to deal with a bad run of form. 

But with this ever-evolving Premier League, experience doesn’t necessarily resolve issues. One could even suggest it doesn’t even always work to your advantage. 

With new, young, up-and-coming managers with fresh methodology and ideas, is Moyes perhaps outdated? 

On the other side of the coin, were West Ham perhaps simply “over-performers” during the last two seasons? Is this mere misfortune? Or is Moyes the man to blame?  

For a team renowned for blowing bubbles, this bubble may have burst. 

Other Managers Who Need To Watch Out

Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool FC)

Mentioning this name in a conversation about potential managers being sacked doesn’t feel right. 

However, if it weren’t for the legendary status this man has built for himself over his seven-year reign at Anfield, this man would most certainly be a potential candidate for the next ‘gaffer’ in line for the chopping block. 

The predicted title contenders of a “two-horse race” sit in 9th place – dealt defeat by the hands of even bottom of the table, Nottingham Forest. 

Jesse March (Leeds United)

Many expect this man to be next to go, mostly due to the high standards set by most Leeds fans. 

However, where most people expected Leeds to be in the table, Leeds are. All the while still showing the passion and character that defines them in victories such as their comeback against Bournemouth and their 2-1 win at Anfield. 

Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)

After an abysmal start to the season, Leicester City has gone on a decent run of games. However, as we all know, that could swiftly turn miserable once more. 

Fingers would instantly be pointed towards Rodgers after many fans were left confused by his reluctance in the transfer window. 

So who will win the manager’s sack race?

All in all, as noted at the start, the beauty of the Premier League is that it will continue to fuel questions that very few would be able to answer correctly. 

Yet ask them we will; can Cooper choreograph a cataclysmic turn of form? Is Lampard living on a legacy? Are Moyes’ methods misspent on the modern game? Which manager is next to face the sack? 

Hal Van Geesbergen

Hal Van Geesbergen

About The Author

Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been immersed in football. Be that playing it, watching it, or talking for hours about it - football is where I find happiness. Nowadays I spent much of my time writing about it. Sharing my thoughts and opinions on all matters to do with the beautiful game. Connect on LinkedIn

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