Gracia Won the Sack Race, Who’s Next?

Watford manager

Watford FC have wasted no time whatsoever, becoming the first Premier League side to replace their manager this season. Javi Gracia lasted a mere 4 game weeks as the Hornets replaced him with previous boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

Gracia would not be the only casualty of the season so let us take a look at three other managers at risk and assess their abilities to survive.

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According to the bookmakers, three other managers at the same odds to leave their respective teams next.

Steve Bruce (NEW) – The Magpies have 4 points in the league so far but were particularly impressive when they beat Spurs away in GW03. Bruce was neverthe fans’ favourite but in truth it was never easy to replicate the level of popularity enjoyed by Rafa Benitez, their previous boss. It also did not help that that Bruce had previously managed Sunderland for 98 games earlier in the decade. The Newcastle board under Mike Ashley had been notoriously stingy but they did spend this summer, in the tune of £65million. Record signing Joelinton (FWD | 6.0) looks good so far.

Verdict: Fans do not like Bruce but it is the board that makes the call. Bruce would be given a lot more time by the board, who is unlikely to harbour much ambition other than staying alive in the Premier League.

To be sacked by March 2020

Mauricio Pochettino (TOT) – The short odds on Pochettino is not because of doubts around his abilities but more around the rumours around his other ambitions. The Argentine had already managed Spurs for nearly 300 games and had brought the club to their first ever UEFA Champions League Final last year. He is very well-liked with the fans but has been constantly bickering with the board of late. Real Madrid and Manchester United had been tacitly tracking Poch, waiting for the right time to poach (yes, pun). Pochettino himself had recently expressed his desire to coach his national team, fueling more doubts about his long term stay with the London club.

Verdict: Spurs had started the season with 5 points but at least had gotten two difficult away fixtures out of the way (ARS and MCI). Their season will improve and there is still the Champions League to come. It is likely that Pochettino may last the season before deciding on his next career move. If he were to become the next Argentina national football coach, let’s not forget that the 2022 World Cup qualification do not begin until March 2020.

To leave on mutual consent in May 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (MNU)– Solskjaer took over the hot seat at Old Trafford in Dec’18 and went on a 8-game winning streak but times have been a lot gloomier since. The summer saw United strengthen in defence but lose valuable striking talent with the exodus of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. The Norwegian looks set to build a very young team around the likes of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Antonio Martial but results to this season have been at best average. United would play Arsenal (GW07) and then Liverpool (GW09) at home in the coming month.

Verdict: When we put last season’s results into perspective, Solskjaer had only managed 3 wins and 4 draws in his last 16 games. They also have not won away from home since beating PSG in the Champions League in Feb’19. The United Board is throwing their weight behind OGS at this point but if they are still lingering in mid-table by mid-December, there would be no chance that they would stick with him for long. United is a huge club and the prospect of missing out Champions League for two years running is disastrous so expect the club to be on a lookout as long as they spot a world class manager available in the market.

Next to be sacked (expected Nov 2019)

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About FF Fly 206 Articles
The FF Fly has been playing various forms of fantasy football for almost a decade without winning anything. Mid-table Mediocrity is his favourite alliteration of all time.

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