EPL Sack Race: 5 Managers in Plenty of Trouble

Nathan JudahCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2012

EPL Sack Race: 5 Managers in Plenty of Trouble

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    Seven games into the new EPL season and all 20 managers are still in a job.......for now!

    As Halloween fast approaches, there are plenty of men who are hoping to avoid a severe fright from their respective Chairman that would leave them trick or treating without a club to go back to.

    Normally by this time, there is usually one or two who have already been shown the door but as it stands at the time of writing this article, all is calm but the storm is on its way.

    New managers have used up their grace period, while some of the tried and tested have yet to make significant strides during a crucial part of the season.

    Here are five managers who should be looking over their shoulder... 

5) Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool

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    You may well look to the heavens for inspiration, Mr. Rodgers, because on the pitch, events have been pretty catastrophic.

    Do I think he will be fired? Not this season

    Is he under pressure? Obviously

    Have the results been good enough? Absolutely not.

    Yes, of course you can argue that Liverpool are going through a transitional period and that some of the displays and signings have looked encouraging, but these are the same people who hailed the return of "King Kenny"—and we all know how that one ended.

    It has been Liverpool's worst start to a Premier League season for 100 years!

    I know things weren't going to turn around overnight but did anyone expect this?!

    With the Andy Carroll saga an absolute joke after not getting Clint Dempsey on transfer deadline day and the misfiring Fabio Borini now out for at least three months, things don't look like they're going to get better in a hurry.

    Steven Gerrard is not the elite player he once was and with only Luis Suarez leading the line for the foreseeable future, don't be surprised if the Fenway Sports Group start to get itchy fingers again. 

4) Brian McDermott: Reading

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    Since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in late 2009, McDermott transformed his Reading side to promotion contenders and sent them into the Premier League during his first full season in charge.

    A quite remarkable achievement from someone who was initially seen as a caretaker boss until the Board found someone suitable.

    They didn't spend a tonne of money coming up, and although the Pavel Pogrebnyak signing was seen as as the man to score 20 goals plus, he currently has just two goals and zero assists in nearly 500 minutes of football.

    But it's not just the strikers who are struggling, the defence are conceding at an alarming rate—more than two goals a game.

    They are currently in the relegation zone and are big favourites with the bookmakers to be one of the three teams to go back down to the Championship.

    Whether that means McDermott will lose his job remains to be seen, but if Sir John Madejski sees a change around Christmas would give his side the best chance of staying in the EPL, McDermott could be looking for another job.

3) Chris Hughton: Norwich

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    Hughton should look worried, because Norwich have just three points from their first seven and entertain Arsenal this weekend.

    It's not been a good start for the man brought in to replace Paul Lambert, who defected to Aston Villa.

    But the mild mannered 53-year-old could have taken too much on when agreeing to the task of keeping the Canaries up this season.

    Things could only get better after an opening day 5-0 loss at the hands of Fulham, but in all honesty, they haven't improved much.

    Still searching for their first Premier League win, they are coming off the back of two heavy losses to Chelsea and Liverpool.

    With Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton all to come in their next six, it could conceivably get even worse before it gets better.

    However if the results and lack of points continue, Hughton may not be there when the schedule eases slightly in December.

2) Nigel Adkins: Southampton

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    I don't think it's much of a laughing matter—do you, Nigel?

    Four consecutive defeats to open the season before recording their one and only victory against Aston Villa was not what the fans had in mind.

    Of course, they were always favourites for the drop but at the same time, conceding 20 goals in the first seven matches does not provide much optimism to think they can defy the odds.

    However, their schedule does ease somewhat as they travel to West Ham on Saturday for what must be deemed as a six-pointer.

    Adkins has said he won't change the style of play in order to get results the ugly way but that may have to be the case if the Saints want to be have a chance of survival post-Christmas.

    But the worrying thing for Adkins is that the fans are beginning to get disgruntled at the way results are going. Once you lose the fans, it's the beginning of the end.

    Back to back promotions is an excellent achievement, but as we all know, there is not much sentiment in sport anymore and if the job's not getting done, it can very easily be the end for 47-year-old.

1) Mark Hughes: QPR

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    For anyone who hasn't read my articles in the past, a quick summary—I'm not a fan of Mark Hughes.

    Every one of my predictions have come true; however, I did tip them to get relegated last season and if it wasn't for the complete ineptitude of Bolton Wanderers, they should have.

    Don't get me wrong, 'Sparky' was a magnificent player, a true legend who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame....if there was one!

    But as a manager—sorry, not good enough.

    Did okay at best while in charge of Blackburn, got a plum job at Manchester City and failed to deliver on multiple occasions. Lasted all of eleven months at Fulham before walking out to take charge of Aston Villa who had a last minute change of heart leaving Hughes on the shelf. 

    Hughes took charge of QPR last January after the harsh dismissal of Neil Warnock and was given huge amounts of money to improve a squad and keep them in the EPL.

    He signed seven players in two days, including four in the last hour of the transfer window!

    Well, they survived on the last day of the season, and his reward? More money for more signings!

    How many more? 3,4,5? Try ten new players!

    That's 17 players Mark Hughes has signed this year. Arsene Wenger has not signed 17 different players in five years at Arsenal.

    It's an astonishing total; however, if QPR were getting results, maybe comfortable mid-table, I would bite my tongue.

    But they're not—they're rock bottom of the Premier League with two points from their opening seven games.

    Not one win to show for all those signings. That is completely unacceptable, and managers have gone for far less.

    A 5-0 drubbing on opening day at home to Swansea set the tone of things to come with recent losses to West Ham and West Brom resulting in the boos getting louder by the minute.

    It doesn't get any easier for the R's, as Everton come to town before they travel to Arsenal.

    He is the overwhelming bookmakers' favourite to be the first manager to go, and if you have a bit of spare cash this week, get your money on—this is a dead cert!

    Chairman Tony Fernandes has already given Hughes the dreaded vote of confidence—the last time he did that, Neil Warnock was sacked inside a week.

    Bye Bye Mark!

    Who will win in Week 8? Check out my EPL locks of the weekend!