There are few jobs that are deemed less secure than that of a football manager.
They might be handsomely paid, but the pressure they come under, from fans, the media and club owners is immense, and only a handful of games into the new season, there are already a few faces looking seriously worried.
While many might have expected and even predicted the struggles for Liverpool and Sunderland, no one would have thought Chelsea and Jose Mourinho would be the whipping boys of the league, and a team who couldn’t buy a win – and they’ve tried.
The axe hasn’t fallen yet, but if results carry on the way they are for certain clubs, it probably will, and here are four managers we think are favourite for the chop.
Who would’ve thought the man who calls himself special, and lifted the Premier League title last time out would be having to reassure fans he isn’t on the chopping block.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea have been woeful this term, taking four points from five games and conceding 12 goals. In fact, they’re relegation fodder at the minute, and while Mourinho moving to tell fans they won’t face the drop was probably more sarcastic than anything else, you can’t blame fans for worrying.
Most Chelsea supporters are backing their manager to the hilt, and feel if anyone can turn it around, he can, but rumours of trouble with Diego Costa coming so soon after Eva-gate are not going to make anyone relax anytime soon.
Chelsea may well have to target the Champions League this term given they’re 11 points behind Manchester City currently – and while the Blues look like they can’t get much worse at the minute, if they manage to, Mourinho could well be axed.
Roman Abramovich isn’t known for his patience, and despite Mourinho claiming he wants to build a dynasty at the club, it is doubtful if two trophies in three years will be good enough to allow him to do so.
The clash against Arsenal is a must win for the Blues, and Mourinho will not want to lose twice in as many months to a man who hadn’t beaten him in a decade prior to that.
Liverpool fans want him out.
While Mourinho might avoid the chop on reputation alone, Rodgers has done nothing to justify the money he has been given to spend at Liverpool, and the results he has got from it.
The club suffered a humiliating defeat to Manchester United on the weekend, and things look like they’re going from bad to worse for the northern Irishman.
There is even a GoFundMe petition to raise the cash needed to pay off his contract, and while that probably won’t achieve it’s goal, there is no denying the fans are baying for blood.
Jurgen Klopp is the man all Liverpool fans want to come in, either now or in the summer, but the Reds will have to at least make a push for the top four if they really want to show a manager who could have his pick of clubs that they are the ones for him.
The wally with a brolly may have restored his reputation since making the move to Holland (dodgy accent aside), but as any football fan knows, St James Park is never the most stable of working environments.
Newcastle look much better than they have for a while, and at times, are showing some attacking flare, but McClaren needs the results to come – and fast.
Trigger happy owners and fans who will boo you after a couple of bad results might be the standard procedure in football at the minute, but there are few grounds worse than Newcastle’s for that.
After such a poor spell with England, McClaren knows that this could well be his chance to really put those doubters to bed, and if he can get it right at Newcastle, he could do so anywhere.
That being said, he needs time, and that is never in great supply in the north-east, especially when you sit rock bottom of the league table.
It really isn’t a good time to be a supporter of a club from the north-east, given Newcastle and Sunderland occupy the bottom two positions in the league.
The Black Cats seem to be in a cycle of appointing a manager, failing to back them in the summer, seeing the manager struggle, sacking said manager and getting another one in.
A derby win and escaping relegation usually also tend to coincide with this, and the saviour of last season, Dick Advocaat, is probably wishing he had ignored his wife when she told him to take the job on a permanent basis right about now.
Yet again, Sunderland look like favourites for the drop, and are offering very little at the back, going forward or in any department really.
You have to ask the question if it’s really the manager’s fault – given they have so many of them, and have the same issues over, and over again – or if there is something inherently wrong with the club as a whole.