The sacking culture in the Premier League has been somewhat subdued this season.
However, the recent sacking of Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock, followed by Alan Irvine’s departure from the Hawthorns means that clubs are now looking to act if they find that their teams are struggling at the wrong end of the table.
It came as no real surprise when both Alan Irvine and Neil Warnock were removed from their managerial posts recently. Although it was probably the right decision for both clubs, further managerial movement in the Premier League shouldn’t be expected.
Alan Pardew’s reign at Newcastle United ended as he displayed the biggest vote of no confidence in Newcastle owner Mike Ashley by leaving Tyneside for Selhurst Park. Leaving St James’ Park means that there is a current vacancy at Newcastle United, meaning that another Premier League manager could well be leaving their current job do work under Ashley. Hull City manager Steve Bruce was tipped as the immediate favourite to succeed Alan Pardew. Rather bizarrely, his poor run of form at Hull City also meant that he was one of the favourites to be the next Premier League manager sacked.
Steve Bruce has often said that he was a Newcastle United fan when growing up and the idea of leading a club you support must be a very exciting prospect. However, Bruce has recently stated that he wishes to stay at Hull and guide them to safety. After their encouraging victory over Everton on New Year’s Day, Bruce will now be looking to push up the table with Hull City, leaving Newcastle to search elsewhere for Pardew’s replacement.
In terms of other potential sackings in the Premier League, it is hard to predict whether there may actually be any more managerial departures this season. Nigel Pearson is doing all he can at Leicester City and it looks as if the players are buying in to what Pearson wants and expects from his team. Although they have experienced some poor form, they look like a unified group of players and they have more of a chance of surviving under Pearson than they do with anyone else. The same story applies at Burnley with Sean Dyche and Queens Park Rangers with Harry Redknapp. These clubs have managers that are more than capable of getting their teams out of trouble and owners should respect that.
The only manager that seems to be under any sort of pressure in the Premier League at the moment is Everton’s Roberto Martinez. His team simply haven’t performed to the best of their capabilities for a while now and their defence has been all over the place in recent weeks. Although the Spaniard is under pressure, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is no fool. He will appreciate the job Martinez did for the Toffees last season and will know that Martinez has the managerial ability to turn his team’s fortunes around.
Overall, it looks unlikely that the recent departures of Irvine and Warnock will lead to any further sackings in the near future. This is clearly good news for the Premier League and the League Managers Association as clubs are now choosing to stand by their managers rather than relying on a ‘grass is greener’ ideology that has shown the potential to hugely backfire over the years.
Encouraging stability and a managerial identity at clubs is something most fans will want to see at Premier League level and hopefully the 2014/15 season will provide this.