At the start of the 2013/14 Premier League Season, very few pundits and fans would have predicted the next 9 moths would be so entertaining. There has been the demise of Manchester United, the Liverpool renaissance, the closely fought battle for the 4 Champions League spots, and the multiple teams embroiled in the battle against relegation. However, what has proved to be the most entertaining story by far is the drama surrounding the Premier league managers.
It has been a long time since we have seen so many managerial causalities in one season. What makes this season even more unusual is the managers who have been brought in to ‘rescue the team’ are struggling – one manager has already been sacked (after 8 weeks in charge), at least two more are in the ‘last chance saloon’, and that’s before we pay any attention to the David Moyes situation at Manchester United.
Premier League Managerial sackings 2013/14:-
Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland – sacked 22nd September
Paolo Di Canio became the first victim of the 2013/14 Premier League Sack Race after Sunderland sent him packing. The Black Cats had only managed to register a point from their opening five league games, with the 3-0 defeat to West Brom proving to be the final straw.
Di Canio was only appointed back in March but in the end lasted less than six months in the dugout, winning just three of his 13 games in charge. The colourful Italian managed to save the club from relegation last year but after spending the summer completely overhauling his squad he was unable to make them gel together.(Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Ian Holloway, Crystal Palace – mutual consent 23rd October
Ian Holloway became the second casualty of the 2013/14 Premier League season after leaving Crystal Palace by mutual consent. The emotional 50-year-old revealed that he was absolutely exhausted and lacked the energy for a relegation dog fight. In total he won 14, drew 14 and lost 18 of his 46 games in charge.
Pulis took charge of Palace in November 2012 and went on to lead them to promotion up to the top-flight via the play-offs. However, the Eagles have struggled on their return, picking up just three points from their opening eight games, leaving them second from bottom and five points adrift of safety. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Martin Jol, Fulham – sacked 1st December
A 3-0 defeat to London rivals West Ham has seen the end of Martin Jol’s tenure as manager of Fulham. The result was Fulham’s fifth successive defeat in the Premier League with the side now in the relegation zone with just 10 points from 13 games.He has been replaced by former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen with immediate effect.
Jol took over at Fulham in June 2011 on an initial two year contract following the resignation of Mark Hughes. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Steve Clarke, West Bromwich Albion – sacked, 14th December
The sacking of Steve Clarke by West Brom was something of a shock as the former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant had only been in charge at the Hawthorns for 18 months and had guided the Baggies to their highest ever Premier League finish last season. However, just three wins from 16 games this season, including four straight defeats, culminating in the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff saw the Albion board call time on the 50-year-old.
The Midlands club are now placed 16th in the Premier League on 15 points from 16 games and just two points away from the relegation zone. (Courtesy of- http://www.thesackrace.com)
Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham Hotspur – sacked, 16th December
The plug was pulled on Andre Villas-Boas by Daniel Levy and the Tottenham board following Spurs humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool in front of the White Hart Lane faithful on Sunday, 15th December and it was a matter of when rather than if following that loss.
Less than 24 hours later, the former Porto and Chelsea boss was given his marching orders after the North London club struggled to find any sort of consistency in the Premier League, winning just eight of their first 16 games of the season. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Malky Mackay, Cardiff – sacked, 27th December
Malky Mackay became the fourth Premier League boss to lose his job in what proved to be a torrid December for top-flight managers. It was the worst kept secret in football with Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan ruthlessly axing the popular gaffer, who had the full support of the Bluebirds faithful.
Mackay took over the Welsh club in June and last season become the first manager in the club’s history to lead them up to the Premier League after winning the Championship. The club enjoyed a reasonable start to life in the top-tier, with highlights including wins over Man City and fierce rivals Swansea. However, after a public row with Tan it was only a matter of time before the controversial Malaysian businessman acted, with Mackay’s final match a 3-0 defeat at home to Southampton. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Michael Laudrup, Swansea City – sacked, 4th February
Swansea City sacked Michael Laudrup just under a year after he led the club to Capital One Cup glory. The Dane had been under pressure following a run of just one win in 10 Premier League games, which included six defeats, but was seemingly safe after Swans chairman Hue Jenkins dismissed claims that he would be axed. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
However, just 24 hours later and Laudrup had been ruthlessly dismissed, with his final game in charge proving to be a 2-0 defeat at West Ham, a loss which left the Welsh side just two points above the relegation zone. In total Laudrup won 29, drew 24 and lost 31 of his 84 games in charge. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Fulham are at it again: Rene Meulensteen, Fulham – sacked 14th February
Rock-bottom Fulham sacked their second manager of the season after sending Rene Meulensteen packing after just 75 days at the helm. The Dutchman had only been in the dugout since early December but the Cottagers decided that a change needed to be made following just four wins from 17 games in charge.
It is safe to say that Meulensteen has not enjoyed his venture into management, as earlier in the season he lost his job at Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala after a remarkable 16 days. As a coach he was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s team at Man Utd, a venue he enjoyed great success at, having helped the club win a plethora of trophies. (Courtesy of – http://www.thesackrace.com)
Chris Hughton – Norwich City
Ole Gunnar Solskjær – Cardiff (newly appointed)
David Moyes – Manchester United.
Of course while we are using the word ‘entertaining’ to describe this season, my final word has to go to the bizarre antics of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and the now world famous headbutt, along with Jeff Stelings (Sky Sports) brilliant reaction.
With 10 matches to go….what next?
Image: bbc.co.uk and Getty images