Premier League sack race: Five bosses feeling the heat
The Premier League season is gathering momentum and several managers are clinging to their jobs by a thread.
Scott Parker, Thomas Tuchel, Bruno Lage, Steven Gerrard and Ralph Hasenhuttl have already got the chop this term and it looks increasingly likely that more will suffer the same fate in the weeks ahead.
We take a look at five top-flight bosses who could find themselves out of work if results do not improve quickly.
Frank Lampard (Everton)
After watching his Everton side survive by the skin of their teeth last term, Frank Lampard entered this campaign in high spirits — but things have gone from bad to worse at Goodison Park.
Exactly one year ago, the Toffees sat 16th in the Premier League with just five wins from their opening 19 fixtures. Now, only goal difference is keeping them off the bottom of the pile.
There is a toxic feel around the blue half of Merseyside too, with protests against the club’s directors and owner Farhad Moshiri intensifying by the week.
Lampard received the dreaded public vote of confidence from Moshiri last week when he said in a statement: "I have faith in the work being done not only by our manager, but our director of football and our board of directors."
Yet the subsequent home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton has surely moved the ex-Chelsea boss perilously close to the sack.
David Moyes (West Ham)
It is hard to believe that David Moyes could find himself under so much pressure given West Ham’s remarkable achievements since his return to East London in 2019.
Keeping the Hammers up in his first season, the Scot guided his side to a club record 65 points in 2020-21, subsequently qualifying for the 2021-22 Europa League where they would enjoy a magical run to the semi-finals.
This season, however, has been a brutal bump back down to earth.
Despite retaining key players over the summer, the Irons currently sit in the division’s bottom three having lost seven of their last nine top-flight outings.
Moyes insists he can turn things around but accepted after the latest loss to Wolves that he is "not winning enough games", while the club’s hierarchy are said to be sounding out potential replacements.
Defeat in a humungous game against Everton next weekend could well spell the end of a memorable era.
Graham Potter (Chelsea)
There was a palpable relief around Stamford Bridge on Sunday after Chelsea ground out a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace — especially in the home dugout.
Prior to that, Graham Potter had overseen just three wins in his side’s last 13 competitive matches, with the Blues only picking up a paltry six Premier League points from a possible 27 since late October.
That run had prompted questions over whether the ex-Brighton boss would be axed but Kai Havertz’s header was enough to down the Eagles and secure a pressure-easing triumph.
Owner Todd Boehly seems keen to stand by the man he headhunted to replace Tuchel only four months ago, with excessive January spending designed to give Potter’s squad a much-needed injection of quality.
Another poor spell of results in the coming weeks could prove fatal, though.
Brendan Rodgers (Leicester)
In many ways, Brendan Rodgers and Leicester have become victims of their own success.
Having finished inside the Premier League’s top 10 for five seasons running, expectations around the Foxes have risen significantly and this term’s struggles feel like a significant underperformance as a result.
However, the reality is that while their rivals have strengthened en masse in the transfer market, Leicester’s owners have tightened their purse strings and the effects are starting to show.
After a frustrating summer window, Rodgers concluded: "To watch clubs in the top five leagues add players and we haven't been able to do has been difficult. We needed help and I haven't been able to get that."
The failure to properly replace Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana, coupled with constant injury issues for the likes of Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and James Justin, has left a tight-knit squad woefully exposed.
Four straight top-flight losses mean a change in the coaching ranks may not be far away.
Gary O’Neil (Bournemouth)
Gary O’Neil must be wishing he could go back to being Bournemouth’s caretaker manager having endured a terrible time of things since taking the reins permanently.
The former midfielder was put in temporary charge after the Cherries’ 9-0 loss to Liverpool in August and led the South Coast club on a remarkable six-match unbeaten run in the top flight.
Things have turned sour since, though. Aside from a couple of wins over Everton, Bournemouth have lost their other 10 games and are rapidly sliding down the Premier League table.
Since the World Cup, they have lost all four of their top-flight outings without scoring and exited the Carabao Cup via a 4-2 home defeat to Championship leaders Burnley.
With new owners keen to stay up at any cost, do not be surprised to see O’Neil under extreme pressure if the downward spiral continues.