Nobody has pulled the trigger just yet, so which Premier League boss will be the first to suffer the chop? Football FanCast’s expert writers give their verdicts below…
“Mark Hughes and Jose Mourinho certainly have every reason to fear for their positions. However, Saints demonstrated only last season that they’re prone to showing unwise levels of patience with mediocre managers, whilst United will surely want to delay ousting Mourinho for as long as possible.
“Meanwhile, trigger-happy Crystal Palace (just ask Frank de Boer) may seek an upgrade on Roy Hodgson before long if results don’t improve. The Eagles only have two Premier League wins so far – coming against Huddersfield and Fulham – and have been beaten by Southampton and held to a goalless home draw by Newcastle. The fine line between survival and a world of pain at Selhurst Park is Wilfried Zaha. Should push come to shove, the former England boss is expendable.”
“It simply has to be Neil Warnock. The experienced Cardiff boss deserves a lot of credit for the Bluebirds’ promotion, but his style just isn’t working in the top tier. Warnock’s side have scored the least goals this season, conceded the most, completed the least passes and also taken the least shots. A change is needed, or the Bluebirds might even break Derby County’s record low of 11 points in a Premier League season.”
“Hughes. He may have bided his time after Southampton ousted Everton in the EFL Cup, but if the team’s Premier League form does not improve, I do not envisage him lasting much longer. In seven games, the Saints have recorded just one victory and considering the opposition that they have faced (Wolves, Burnley, Brighton) it is not good enough. The relief of surviving last season masked over the fact that Hughes’s qualities as a manager are limited. Southampton will face Chelsea and Manchester City in their next four games, so they could be in trouble during the run-up to Christmas. If that ends up being the case, their only option will be to sack Hughes.”
“As a Southampton fan I think Mark Hughes is on borrowed time, but whether the board are brave enough to make a decision on him this early in the season – or whether they have a suitable replacement lined up – is another thing. Therefore, I think Cardiff City will pull the trigger on Neil Warnock first.
“The Bluebirds already look destined for the drop following their opening seven Premier League fixtures, with the 69-year-old not exactly having the pedigree to turn things around at this level – as well as recently admitting he doesn’t “have a clue” how to improve his team’s defence. It will only be a matter of time before the Cardiff board start to wonder whether a new manager can turn their form around and secure their top flight status for at least another year, and I expect them to act upon those feelings sooner rather than later.”
“Surely, with everything that is going on at Manchester United, Mourinho simply has to be the first man to get the chop this season. Results on the pitch have been bad enough, with the Red Devils sitting in tenth in the league and crashing out of the Carabao Cup at home to Derby.
“However, off the pitch the club is an absolute shambles. Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez continue to question their boss in public, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the hierarchy would prefer to get rid of their manager before they see the back of their very own World Cup winning midfielder.”