All Change In The Hotseat
Gareth Southgate must be sitting at home wondering what has lead to his recent dismissal. Considering the players that Middlesbrough lost since their relegation, to be 1 point from the top of the table and still getting sacked must be a bitter pill to take. On that showing then it must be a minor miracle that Roy Keane is still in a job, with the only win this season for his Ipswich side coming after extra time and penalties in the league cup.
The Premier League sack race is also starting to hot up. Rafa Benitez currently has the expression of a Bernard Matthews turkey who has just seen an advent calendar. You know your luck has run out when a beach ball conspires to bring about your ruination. Most people always suspected that Liverpool were a two man team and this poor run of form is no co-incidence with the injuries to Gerrard and Torres. If your whole team centers around one or two players and you suddenly cannot find a result without them, then how can you be serious title contenders with no quality in depth. Still Rafa always has the next game to prove his doubters wrong, the visit of Manchester United!
Another manager who will be worrying at the present time is our old favourite Phil Brown. Rather than resembling a radioactive walnut, Phil has of late been looking a tad peaky. They currently sit in the relegation zone and quite frankly are deserving of the spot. The last 4 Premier League outings Hull have conceeded 13 goals and scored three. They have not learned from the lessons of last season and have not added the quality in the areas that needed it most. Altidore from Villarreal has not scored a league goal in over 18 months. Sonko was a Stoke panic buy and proved that he is not a Premier League defender. Whilst the only singing of any note, Vennegoor of Hesselink, has had one of his worst scoring patches since coming to Hull, 1 in 5. Brown has never really recovered from the debacle of the Man City team talk last season and now Hull fans are starting to turn on him. Expect him to be judged on the next three matches, at home to Portsmouth, away at Burnley and at home to the mighty Potters!
Gary Megson has been mentioned recently as being under fire in the press. This however, seems to be part of the course for Gary and Bolton during the last couple of seasons. They are 1 point above the dropzone but they do seem to have been turning things around the last few weeks with a gritty draw against Tottenham and a narrow 2-1 loss against Man Utd. The issue with Megson and the Bolton fans is that they have not seen any real progress with the side during the last few seasons and if they have, it is below supporter expectation levels. It will be interesting to see if Sean Davis' lengthy lay-off and the row with Wolves over the "tapping-up" affair finally brings and end to Megson's managerial tenure.
I think that the managerial comings and goings during the next few months will have a lot of bearing on the teams that will be in the relegation spots in the Premier League come May, moreso than in previous seasons. In the meantime there is still a lot to be decided and we have another four weeks of transfer activity to look forward to after Christmas to freshen the league up, so it may be all change again in four months time. Who would be a manager eh?