The first weekend of the 2010 Premier League season wasn’t a good one for two of the three Roberto’s. Roberto Di Matteo’s West Brom were given a harsh lesson on their return to the top flight as the Premier League champions scored six past them at Stamford Bridge. It was even more embarrassing for Roberto Martinez, as his Wigan side lost 4-0 at home to everyone’s relegation favourites. When you add Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini who is under huge pressure due to the money that has been spent at Eastlands over the summer, will it be a Roberto who wins the Premier League sack race?
That’s certainly what the British bookmakers think. After the dreadful opening day for Wigan, Martinez is now the favourite to be sacked first at 11/4. West Brom’s Di Matteo is at 9/2 and Mancini is at 13/2, with the three managers in the top handful of those with the shortest odds. All three clubs have different expectations this season, with City looking at the higher echelons of the table while the Latics and Baggies look nervously at the relegation zone. If it is going to be one of the Roberto’s who’s first to face the Premier League axe, which one is it likely to be?
The exit door is looming large for Roberto Martinez. The opening-day thrashing was simply unacceptable and when you add in a couple of hidings they got last season, it’s not looking good for the young Spaniard. Wigan’s next two games are tough too, with the Latics facing Premier League champions Chelsea before revisiting the scene of their 9-1 trouncing from the last campaign. The exit of Charles N’Zogbia is looking likely too and the chances are that the departure of the Frenchman may well be shortly followed by the words ‘adios amigos’.
Roberto Mancini arguably has the most pressure on him this season. Having spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the summer, with the latest £50 million on Mario Balotelli and James Milner, the Manchester City hierarchy will be looking for the Italian to guide City to Champions League qualification at least, if not even the Premier League title itself. Mancini has the unenviable task of trying to get his squad to gel together, but they showed a determination at White Hart Lane against Tottenham last weekend that will stand them in good stead for the challenges that lie ahead.
Roberto Di Matteo has a bit more room for manoeuvre having successfully achieved promotion from the Championship last season. As long as West Brom can make big losses a rarity and can stay in touch at the foot of the table, then the Italian is likely to be given plenty of time to ensure the Baggies can stave off relegation. This is something the Boing Boing Baggies haven’t been able to do in recent years, so if Di Matteo can turn the tide then that will be some feat indeed.
So Martinez, Mancini and Di Matteo are three of the frontrunners in the 2010/11 Premier League sack race, but which Roberto will earn the unwanted award? My money’s on Martinez, but if Mancini’s millions don’t produce on the pitch then it may be the Italian who’s first for the chop…