10 World Football Managers on the Hot Seat
Football at the highest level is a game of high stakes. Fifty-two managers have been sacked from English football since the start of the season. When you consider that there are only 92 professional clubs, and therefore only 92 jobs, you realize that being a football manager is one of the most hazardous jobs in world-sport.
Of those 52, only five have come from the Premier League in 2012-13. But as the season draws to an end there are more EPL managers under pressure than in any other division.
Some men, like Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, seem to thrive on the highly pressurized situations that arise from game-to-game and from moment-to-moment. But for every top-class and legendary manager there are a hundred who dream of emulating them only to fall short.
Here, Willie Gannon looks at 10 managers currently in the hot seat at their respective clubs.
Odds via Oddschecker and SkyBet.
Who do you think will be the next big manager to be sacked?
Leave your comments, thoughts and predictions in the section below!
Rafael Benitez: Chelsea
The place to start is with the man in the hottest seat in professional football.
It is no secret that Rafael Benitez and Chelsea will part ways at the season's end.
Rafa was brought in as an interim manager when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked last November. Since then he has come under fire from a number of Chelsea fans and has pretty much played the entire season with the knowledge that the next game could be his last.
Even now with just a handful of games left to go, Rafa is priced at 6-4 to be the next manager sacked.
Jose Mourinho is the current favorite to replace Rafa at 2-7. Manuel Pellegrini is priced at 8-1, Jurgen Klopp is at 14-1 and current Everton boss David Moyes is a well priced 20-1.
Alan Pardew: Newcastle United
Before Newcastle United were beaten 3-0 by Sunderland, Alan Pardew was priced at 40-1 to be the next EPL manager to be sacked.
Following that defeat, a draw to West Bromwich Albion and a 6-0 loss to a Liverpool team without its main striker Pardew's odds have been slashed to 9-4.
Newcastle has been incredibly poor this season. This drop in performance level is made all the worse when you realize that the Toon Army finished fifth last season with Pardew claiming both the EPL and LMA Manager of the Year awards.
To say they have been diabolical this term would do them a disservice. Pardew is under intense pressure to keep Newcastle in the EPL and if they are relegated he could be looking for a new job.
Tony Pulis: Stoke City
Tony Pulis came out fighting last weekend amid rumors that he was set to quit before the end of the current campaign.
Importantly he offered no assurances that he would be in charge of Stoke next season.
Pulis is one of the longest-serving managers in the EPL having been in charge of the Potters for the last seven years. This season has been Stoke's worst in many a year and they are fighting for their very lives on the fringes of the relegation zone. Stoke were predicted to challenge for a place in the top half of the table so this turn is very surprising.
Pulis is priced at 5-1 to be the next manager to leave his post.
Roberto Mancini: Manchester City
One could make a very good argument that Manchester City have continued to progress this season under Roberto Mancini. They are, after all, in the final of the FA Cup.
However, that argument would not take City's dismal defense of their title into consideration. Nor their lack of goals compared to last season or them being knocked out of the Champions League with the worst points total of all time for an English team.
Manchester City set standards last season when they won the league but this year they have rested on their laurels and allowed Manchester United to run away with the title unchallenged.
Mancini is currently priced at 25-1 to be sacked this summer and considering City's millions and attractiveness to other top managers that price might be worth a flutter.
If you're wondering, Jose Mourinho is best priced at 3-1 to replace Mancini in the current betting with Manuel Pellegrini at 5-1, Frank De Boer at 12-1, Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers also at 12-1 and Jurgen Klopp at an excellently priced 28-1 with Jupp Heynckes.
Jose Mourinho: Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho has been a man under pressure at Real Madrid from the very first moment he stepped through the door on May 31, 2010. Since then he has delivered the La Liga title after wrestling it from the grasp of Pep Guardiola, but he has fallen short on his real job of winning the Champions League.
Jose has a long love affair with the EPL from his successful time as Chelsea manager and it is the Blues who he is favored to take over this summer.
FC Paris Saint-Germain's Carlo Ancelotti is the early favorite to replace Jose at 3-1 with Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas beginning to drift out to second favorite at 8-1 having once been priced at 4-1.
Two other Premier League managers are also in the running to replace Jose with Rafael Benitez and Michael Laudrup priced at 10-1 and 16-1 respectively.
Edgar Davids: Barnet
If you think that life at the top of football is tough then spare a thought for the man at the bottom of the professional game.
Dutch playing legend Edgar Davids' brave decision to begin his management career on the bottom rung has proven extremely difficult for the ex-Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur star.
Davids took over at Barnet in October 2012 in the hope that he would help the Bees avoid relegation from League 2. However, following defeat to Northampton in the final game of the season, Barnet were relegated.
Claudio Ranieri: Monaco
Claudio Ranieri's job at AS Monaco is under extreme threat at the moment. In December 2012, the Italian warned his players that he would "kill them" if they did not win!
Needless to say, it does not look like they listened all that closely and he is expected to be the next manager of a French team to be sacked.
It would seem the club’s Russian billionaire owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev may want to emulate Roman Abramovich or the Qatari owners of PSG.
The much-wanted Portuguese is still best priced to be the next Chelsea manager at 2-7.
Arsene Wenger: Arsenal
Arsene Wenger is under no immediate pressure at Arsenal. The current betting reflects this as the Frenchman is priced at 66-1 to be the next manager to lose his job.
However, next season will be the most important of his career. Having taken over at the Gunners in 1996, Le Prof quickly set about building a dynasty and massive reputation. That all started to crumble in 2004 and now the Gunners have gone almost eight years without winning a trophy.
Arsenal's fans are growing impatient with the club's reluctance to spend big in the transfer market in recent years and now their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur are threatening to become the No. 1 team in North London.
As far as Wenger's future is concerned; watch this space, especially as his contract runs out in June 2014.
Giovanni Trapattoni: Republic of Ireland
Giovanni Trapattoni, the Republic of Ireland's manager, is one of the game's true legends.
Having managed teams to the Serie A title seven times, the Bundesliga once, the Austrian Super League once and the Portuguese League once, not to mention the European Cup in 1985, as well as winning Serie A and the European Cup twice as a player, it would be fair to say he has done and seen it all.
Trapattoni is the only manager in the history of the game to have won all of UEFA's club competitions and the World Club title.
He is used to dealing with pressure.
Ireland's display at Euro 2012, where they were soundly beaten by Spain and Italy—the two eventual finalists—as well as Croatia led to questions over Trapattoni's job security. And after a recent 6-1 mauling at the hands of Germany, he is under intense pressure.
Many respected columnists, such as Eamon Dunphy, have now called for Trapattoni to be sacked.
Brian McDermott, having recently taken over at Leeds United, is favored to succeed Trap at 6-4. However, the most intriguing runners are Martin O'Neill at 6-1 and Roy Keane at 33-1.
The English Manager
Ok, so the English manager may be something of a fictional character to have in the hot seat but let me explain.
When the Premier League first burst life in 1992, there were 15 English managers in the top flight.
Today, there are only five English managers in the EPL. They are Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis, both named in this article as men under severe pressure, Sam Allardyce, out of contract at the end of this season, and the already relegated Harry Redknapp and Nigel Adkins.
It is worth noting that no English manager has won the EPL or the UEFA Champions League and the only Englishman to win a major league trophy since 1992 has been Steve McLaren with FC Twente.
In short, Premier League chairmen source foreign managers well ahead of Englishmen and a successful Englishman in the EPL is the rarest of all beasts.