Predicting the first five Premier League managerial casualties…

There is perhaps no more cut-throat industry in the world than football management.

While most of us mere mortals closest attempt at simulating such a job is via a computer game, as we take Blyth Spartans from the football doldrums to Champions League glory, the real deal is a far more demanding prospect, especially in the Premier League.

With no less six managers set to make their debuts in the English game, there has been perhaps no harder season to judge which coaches could be out of a job come May…but we have given it a go.

Here are five likely managerial casualties in the 2016/17 season…

Aitor Karanka – Middlesbrough

Britain Football Soccer - York City v Middlesbrough - Pre Season Friendly - Bootham Crescent - 9/7/16 Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka before the match Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

After coming so close last season, Spaniard Aitor Karanka has finally lead Middlesbrough to the promised land.

With some serious money being spent on Teeside and some relatively impressive names set to ply their trade at Boro, there is considerable pressure on Karanka to stabilize the club in the top flight. Should he fail to produce early on, his job at the Riverside could come into question.

Claude Puel –  Southampton

Claude Puel (6)

Considering how impressive the last three managers at Southampton have been, you would be hard-pressed to criticise the board for hiring yet another relative unknown.

The announcement that Claude Puel would be leading the Saints into the new season hardly filled anyone with delight and optimism. Should he fail to replicate his predecessors, it could be an early flight home for the Frenchman.

Francesco Guidolin – Swansea City

Francesco Guidolin

Losing your two most prolific strikers and your captain in one summer is hardly the ideal way for Francesco Guidolin to impress Swansea fans.

Despite adding some new faces to the squad and refreshing a team that looked a little stagnant last season, the Italian does seem to be facing an uphill battle to continue the consistency of the South Wales club.

Tony Pulis – West Brom

West Bromwich Albion - Tony Pulis Press Conference

West Brom fans have been growing increasingly frustrated with Tony Pulis and his mundane tactics, which, despite earning enough points to keep the Baggies up, also were inordinately tedious.

With the general style of the Premier League gearing towards a fluid, attacking, open style of play, Pulis’ style looks dated and lost.

With just one arrival so far this summer and a squad looking supremely weak in terms of depth, it could be a tough season for the Welshman, who may not have a job by the end of the campaign.

Walter Mazzarri – Watford

Woking v Watford - Pre Season Friendly

Despite performing impressively in his managerial debut season in England, Quique Sánchez Flores was removed from his post at the end of the season to disappointment and anger from some parts of the media.

However, anyone who knows how the Pozzo family run their clubs should have expected the Spaniard’s departure. In his place comes Walter Mazzarri, the vastly experienced Italian has coached Napoli and Inter with relative success in his home country.

However, the Premier League is a totally different animal and he will need to adapt fast if he is to survive for more than one season.

 


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