Premier League sack race odds: Bournemouth boss leads the betting
The Premier League sack race is a competition that frankly no one wants to win.
Last season saw a record-high 14 dismissals, with more bosses fired last term than in the first seven Premier League campaigns combined. From Scott Parker in August to Javi Gracia in May, no one was safe.
As far as the bookies are concerned, it’s not going to change this season.
Premier League sack race odds
All odds from Betfair
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1. Andoni Iraola (Bournemouth): 7/10
It’s been a wretched start to the season on the south coast with Bournemouth still in search of a first win of the season. They started the season with a tough run of games but failure to beat Brighton from a winning position has led to a severe drop in confidence.
Back-to-back defeats against Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers have followed, with Burnley up next. Iraola has extenuating circumstances – his assistant manager is still waiting for his work permit and yet to link up, while injuries ripped through the squad early on – but should the Cherries pick up zero points from a winnable run of nine, the Basque boss could prove to be one of the most disastrous appointments in recent Premier League history.
2. Paul Heckingbottom (Sheffield United): Evens
No one has scored more than two goals for Sheffield United, who are rooted to the foot of the table. They haven’t won and they’ve picked up just a single point thus far. Against Manchester United, Heckingbottom was forced to play a back four rather than his usual five, due to the severity of the injury crisis in defence and since the 8-0 shellacking at the hands of Newcastle United, the Blades haven’t looked even likely to turn the tide.
Losing Iliman Ndiaye and Sande Berge has probably jammed a couple of spanners in Heckingbottom’s plans – and there’s a case that this side were perhaps promoted a little earlier than they expected. With Chris Wilder out of work, the bookies are putting two and two together for a potential return for the man who carried them to ninth in the table… before Heckingbottom replaced him.
3. Erik ten Hag (Manchester United): 10/1
It’s been a testing start to the season for Erik ten Hag, with four losses in nine league fixtures and two in three in Europe – but the results tell just a portion of the story. Injuries and controversy have eaten away at this group of players, with Antony, Jadon Sancho, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and others all unavailable for varying reasons.
Fans aren’t calling for Ten Hag’s head. The Dutchman has credit in the bank and the fingers are instead being appointed above his head – but constant reports of fallouts with squad members and a dour style of play of late haven’t helped his cause. Could the Glazers dismiss ETH? Or will Jim Ratcliffe do so upon acquiring a stake? It seems unlikely right now – but the mood can change in the blink of an eye at Old Trafford.
4. Vincent Kompany (Burnley): 14/1
Burnley racked up over 100 points en route to the Premier League, playing an expansive, expressive brand of Kompanyball that had neutrals enraptured. It’s given way to the difficult second season, as the Belgian juggles his side’s will to be aggressive in attack with naivety and inexperience at this level.
Like Ten Hag, Kompany has proven himself enough that the Clarets board aren’t ready to press the panic button just yet. One win so far though – against Luton Town – is a disappointing return from a side who breezed the second tier. Unless things pick up, it feels inevitable that the Lancastrian outfit turns to a firefighting specialist to reverse fortunes.
5. Rob Edwards (Luton Town): 20/1
Rob Edwards is hardly in a unique position: a top manager who has worked wonders to get his side where they are now, Luton may have to make a change in the dugout if they’re going to progress much further.
Given that the Hatters’ five points from nine games is hardly unexpected, nor the manager’s fault, however, it seems as if things would have to go a lot further south before a sacking’s considered. It’s hard to think of a manager who would definitely keep them up – and it might stand Luton better to stick with a manager in Edwards, who they know can build this side, even if they are relegated.