Sacking managers in the Premier League is commonplace.
There have been 10 dispatched this season already — including two at Southampton — and if we have another between now and end of the campaign, it will amount to a record in the competition’s 32-year history.
History tells us it doesn’t always work. In fact, of the 39 sackings made from March onwards in Premier League history, only seven have actually prompted improvement in league position.
So as the Premier League season prepares to restart after the international break and with the bottom nine clubs separated by just four points, which of the nine trigger-happy chairmen have got the biggest bounce from their decision to chase a manager out of the door?
Having spent precious little money since promotion last season, Bournemouth sacked Parker after four games once he started moaning in public about it. The first club to sack a boss this season, they didn’t seem to have a succession plan in place and gave Gary O’Neil the job on an interim basis.
After taking charge on an interim basis, Gary O’Neil remains the Bournemouth head coach sevens months later
Seven months on he has still got it. The Cherries have had the odd notable result — such as the recent home win over Liverpool — but O’Neil has not brought about long-term growth. The club have won just five league games from 23 on his watch.
Chelsea spent £280m on new players in the summer and then sacked their manager after just seven games. A move straight from the Roman Abramovich era, it was actually the first big call of new owner Todd Boehly and was designed to signal a shift in thinking: out with the boom-and-bust years and in with some long-term strategy.
Has it worked? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some already have Graham Potter down as a small-time coach with a small-time outlook while those with a brain recognise the former Brighton manager just needs time to bring about one of the biggest culture shifts in modern English football history.
Potter’s stats aren’t great, admittedly, but the Champions League may yet help to save him.
When Wolves gave Lage the boot after eight games of the Premier League season they were actually reacting to a poor run of form that stretched back into last season, Wolves had won just one of their last 15 and had lost 13 of their previous 22.
So the evidence to make a change was conclusive but whether they appointed the right man in Julen Lopetegui remains to be seen. Wolves may have crept up towards mid-table but they have played two games more than West Ham in 18th and are only three points ahead. They also have a difficult run-in. There may yet be trouble ahead.
The jury is still out Julen Lopetegui, but Wolves have crept up the table under him
Villa acted decisively when they realised the Steven Gerrard era had flatlined and they got two things right back in October. They sacked the former England captain quickly, after just 11 games of the season, and replaced him with the right man.
Villa have taken 26 points from 15 games under Unai Emery at an average of 1.7 points per game. That would have seen Villa finish sixth last season so perhaps bodes well for season 2023-24 under the experienced Spaniard.
Southampton used to be known for strategic planning, intelligence and foresight. Not now. This season the south-coast club have jumped from one bad decision to another and are currently heading to the Championship with Ruben Selles as their manager.
Selles was assistant to both the men sacked at St Mary’s this season and seems well acquainted with their bad habits. Southampton have won just two of his seven games in charge.
See what happens when a club gives an experienced, talented manager the reins? Everton had not won in 10 games under Frank Lampard when he was sacked at the back end of January. Everton got lucky when Marcelo Bielsa turned them down as the former Leeds boss would have needed too long to implement his unique methods.
But when they turned to survival specialist Sean Dyche they got the bounce required. Dyche has tightened up Everton’s defence and three 1-0 home wins and a draw at Chelsea have edged them up the table.
Everton do appear to have turned over a new leaf since appointing Sean Dyche as manager
Leeds gave Marsch in the region of £140m to spend in the year he was at Elland Road but the American’s football was disorganised and chaotic until the end.
So were Leeds’ attempts to replace him, however, and the Spaniard Javi Gracia was only appointed after other candidates turned down the job.
Gracia does have Premier League experience from his time at Watford a few years back, but his current club’s position remains precarious.
A 4-2 win at Wolves just before the international break gave them a lift but three consecutive home games that follow Saturday’s trip to Arsenal now look pivotal.
Palace jettisoned Roy Hodgson two summers ago because they wanted the club and the team to take on a more progressive, forward-thinking identity. Now, at the first sign of trouble, they have sacked his replacement Vieira and hired Hodgson again.
Panic? You could say that. Hodgson is 75 and has been given the job of keeping Palace up, even though they have never really looked in any real danger of going down. Without a win since New Year’s Eve, Palace can’t say their fate isn’t in their own hands.
Of their remaining 10 games, eight are against fellow strugglers.
Cristian Stellini is set to lead Tottenham until the end of the season following Antonio Conte’s departure from the club
Having once sacked a manager, Jose Mourinho, in the week before a Carabao Cup final, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has now gone a step further and jettisoned a bloke who has them in the Champions League places.
But that is not to say Levy is wrong. Conte has been writing the longest resignation letter in football history this season and finally put his signature at the bottom of it with his extraordinary display of narcissism after the recent draw against Southampton.
So Conte had to go and the good news for Levy is that his temporary replacement, his assistant Cristian Stellini, actually did rather well while the Italian was laid up following gallbladder surgery recently.
So at Spurs, for once, there is hope…
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