Carlo, Roy and Gerard on the Brink, but Who Can Replace Them?

True BlueCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2011

Under pressure?
Under pressure?Scott Heavey/Getty Images

The Premier League table has some teams in very unusual positions.

And the results tonight have go a long way to proving that these league standings are not necessarily going to be easy to change.

Where the headlines will focus on Chelsea being outside of the top four there are even bigger stories in where both Liverpool and Aston Villa find themselves.

It seems unthinkable that Chelsea wont make it into the Champions League for next season, but the evidence of the last few games shows that Chelsea are not fifth because of bad luck or injuries but perhaps because of the inability of the coach to make a difference to the teams mentality.

It may also be because the players are no longer convinced by Ancelotti which would be staggering if true considering what they achieved under him last season.

All that said it does seem as if a change is in the offing at Chelsea and maybe Carlo will be gone in the next few weeks?

Liverpool's falls from grace has been more predictable as there has been turmoil in both the dressing room and the boardroom.

But the fall has been faster and further than any would have thought likely even with a new manager and a squad below the quality expected of a top four club.

From day one though it seemed that the Liverpool players had no real belief in Hodgson and it shows in the attitude, certainly of Torres where the goals have dried up and the attitude is one of at times of going through the motions.

Again Hodgson seem unable to get his players to change, to believe or in some cases to stay at the club if Daniel Agger is anything to go by.

It would seem beyond the wit of man to keep Hodgson in place beyond the next couple of games and lose the chance to bring in new players in January.

As disappointed as Chelsea and Liverpool fans must be now it surely pales in comparison to what Aston Villa fans must be feeling.

A new manager of an age and style that left the Villa fans feeling deflated on day one has also called it wrong by insisting on throwing youth in the ahead of more senior and experienced players, and that whilst the club slid down the table.

Villa find themselves in the bottom three for the first time in eight years and the manger seems incapable of doing anything about it.

Randy Lerner, the Villa supremo has tightened the purse strings which precipitated Martin O'Neils departure but surely he needs to give some money to Houllier. Or is Houllier no longer trusted to deliver?

So there are three managers in charge at clubs going the wrong way and definitely outside of their comfort zones and none of them seems able to change things.

Mark Hughes was sacked by Manchester City because the points trajectory of the club being below that expected by the Board,  but they were well ahead of the previous seasons achievements and well outside the relegation zone.

So what chance Houllier, Ancelotti and Hodgson? Seemingly very little unless miracles happen in January.

We could therefore see three top Premier League clubs, clubs used to being in the top five looking for new managers at a time when top managers are in short supply.

The only real 'name' in play at present is Rafa Benitez so could we see him taking over at Chelsea or Villa? Surely Liverpool is a no no?

Beyond Rafa there are whispers that Jurgen Klinsmann is being considered but then the choices become more risky.

Maybe the paucity of alternatives will yet keep one or all of them in place.


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