Premier League sack race: The contenders

Since Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace, we’re still waiting for one panicky Premier League owner to pull the trigger on the manager. Mark Scott takes a look at the five prime candidates for the axe as we head towards a busy winter schedule.

Harry Redknapp: Harry must have felt his collar tightening after the dismal defeat to West Ham at the start of the October. Not many welcome international breaks, but Redknapp had his arms wide open to allow QPR some much-needed time to regroup. Although another setback followed in the weird, yet wonderful game against Liverpool, QPR have improved drastically, with Bobby Zamora weaving his magic on his return to the first team. However, if the R’s do slip back into their old habits, then Harry may be spending more time with wife Sandra pretty soon.


Gus Poyet: Next in the firing line is the Sunderland boss. After the heroics of last season the Uruguayan had the chance of a fresh start this year, but the Black Cats are far from purring. The unmitigated disaster that was the 8-0 drubbing at Southampton could have provided Ellis Short with sufficient ammunition to fire Poyet, and yet he is still managing to fight for his life. Poyet promised changes, but he may well end up being one of them himself unless they can get back to winning ways against Crystal Palace.


Manuel Pellegrini: There will be more grey hairs appearing on Manuel Pellegrini’s head after his Man City side were dumped out of the League Cup by Newcastle. With Chelsea already beginning to escape their grasp in the Premier League title race and also having to endure even more misery on the European front, Pellegrini could find himself out of a job quicker than you can say “Blue Moon”. The FA Cup could be the Chilean’s saving grace this season if he does somehow manage to find the winning formula again.


Paul Lambert: Five. That is how many Premier League games Aston Villa have currently gone without scoring a goal. To put it into a crazy perspective, Championship sides Leeds United and Watford have had as many managers between them in the same amount of time. Lambert looked to be getting the very best out his Villa side after starting the season with three consecutive league wins, one of which came away at Anfield. That glorious win is a distant memory now, though, and Villa are heading for another tussle in the bottom half of the Premier League table; a situation Villa fans are all too familiar with. The Scotsman will have every right to feel jittery about his future, especially with the menacing Roy Keane lurking in the background. Could he be the next man in the main hot-seat at Villa Park?


Alan Pardew: Even with Newcastle’s recent improvement, there are many members of the Toon Army who would still love to see the back of Alan Pardew. His bumper contract will continue to be an issue whenever speculation sparks about his future, but with Mike Ashley diverting his gaze towards Rangers, the change that Newcastle fans crave could be coming sooner than anticipated.

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