Hodgson, Ancelotti, Houllier, Grant – Who Will Win The Premier League Sack Race?

Ollie Irish

6th, January 2011


By Ollie Irish

Four Prem gaffers are under immense pressure right now, with the possibility that all four could be out of a job come February. The beleaguered quartet are:

Gerard Houllier, Aston Villa – It’s worse than we first feared. Nurse, the screens… The doddery Frenchman has already fallen out with some key Villa first-teamers, including John Carew and Richard Dunne, and has dragged Villa into the relegation zone. The purchase of Robert Pires was a sign that old Gerard may be a bit out of touch with the demands of the Prem these days, and so it’s proving. Come back Martin O’Neill, all is forgiven etc. etc.
Odds on being next Prem manager sacked: 12/1

Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea – Ever since Ray Wilkins was ordered out of Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti has cut a lonely figure at the Bridge, with only his massive, arched eyebrow for company. Chelsea’s form has also taken a dive, and it now looks like the Blues might not even qualifiy for next season’s Champions League. You only have to look at Chelsea’s bench to see that their squad is much, much weaker than in recent seasons, and with Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and John Terry all off colour for various reasons (injury, malaria, shagging etc.), it’s enough to prompt Roman Abramovich either to sell up or give Guus Hiddink another rescue mission.
Odds on being next Prem manager sacked: 5/1

Roy Hodgson, Liverpool – It was clear almost from Day One that Uncle Woy was not welcome at Anfield, at least not welcomed by those backwards-looking Liverpool fans who still labour under the delusion that LFC IS A BIG CLUB. Bring back King Kenny! Bring Shankly out of cryongenic freezing! Rushie still looks trim! The cruel fact is, LFC is no longer in the top echelon in English football, and the hiring of Hodgson only confirmed that fact. But whilst Hodgson landed his dream job, he soon realised it would be a near-impossible job; a nightmare job, even. In defence of the many LFC fans who have slated Hodgson again and again, their manager hasn’t looked the part at all (remember the epic facerub), and at times it seems he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Turning Liverpool into Fulham is not the solution (Paul Konchesky went down well, eh), neither is playing a first-rate central midfielder on the wing, as Woy has done more than once to the exemplary Raul Meireles. Neither has Woy managed to unlock the secret to Fernando Torres’ massive loss of form. This isn’t the dream NESV bought into, and John Henry will surely put Hodgson out of his considerable misery soon.
Odds on being next Prem manager sacked: 1/2 fav

Avram Grant, West Ham – Like the other three men on this list, Grant is an avuncular and essentially decent man. Perhaps that’s where these managers are going wrong: too nice? Maybe some hairdryer/mind games lessons from Fergie would help. Anyway, despite a decent Christmas period, Uncle Avram is really testing the bloody patience of Messrs Gold & Sullivan, and after last night’s drubbing at Newcastle those relegation alarm bells are ringing out loud around the Boleyn.
Odds on being next Prem manager sacked: 7/4

Who do you think will win this four-way sack race? And who deserves to, if any of them?

I think Grant will get the chop first, though I think Houllier is most deserving for the woeful job he’s done at Villa so far. Let’s be having you…

Posted in Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Opinion, West Ham Utd

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  1. gamblino says:

    Has to be Hodgson now. I don’t get your fondness for meireles? When I’ve seen he’s looked ok but nothing special, seen him give away possession plenty.

  2. shinychris says:

    I think Gerard Houllier has been a disaster for Villa. I know the fans are quick to point the blame as soon as things go wrong on the pitch but I have a number of concerns about Houllier’s ability. The fact is that he has pretty much inherited the same group of players that Martin O’Neill got into sixth place in the Premiership. And yet we do look like a team that could go down – worryingly we are leaking goals when previously with the same group of players we had a watertight defence. That says to me there is something wrong in the dressing room – or in training – which has been borne out by the responses from certain experienced players like Dunne. Houllier in turn initially responded by playing the kids, most of whom, with the exception of Marc Albrighton, are not quite there yet for regular first team action, before changing his mind again for the Chelsea team in which we played a more experienced side and did OK but conceded sloppy last minute goals and gave away what should have been a 2-1 victory. Then he plays the same experienced team against Sunderland but fails to make changes quick enough after losing Heskey to a silly red card and going 1-0 down (what’s the point on bringing on Albrighton in the 88th minute). His inability to make decent tactical changes, coupled with the questionable decision to get Robert Pires on loan (clearly a spent force), worry me. Fundamentally, Villa actually do have decent enough players to finish mid table this season and push on from there. All we need is a goal scorer (sorry Heskey but we haven’t got a decent centre forward) and a manager who can motivate the team a little better and who the players actually like and get on with. Personally I think Kevin McDonald would have done a better job this season although I don’t think he’s a long term solution.

  3. Ollie Irish says:

    Chris, funny you would mention McDonald. Was speaking with Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen this morning and he said exactly the same thing. Houllier is wrong man at wrong time. Lerner has to change things very soon or suffer the consequences.

  4. spectator says:

    if ancelotti was to go just before hodgson, thus leaving him free to replace him, that would be fine by me.

  5. Smartass says:

    Ancelotti has lost it, Chelsea need him to go NOW. My fav.

    Woy might not get the sack so soon . He’s got some money to spend during the transfer window, hasn’t he ?

    Grant will stay, West Ham have been playing better for the few last games (except yesterday of course). He might be able to save the club after all.

    And (I keep the ‘best’ for the end) Aston Villa have been abysmal under Houllier. Shit manager, deserves the sack the most, that’s for sure. What were they thinking when they brought him in ?
    He will be sacked, but not now: in a few weeks when they hit rock bottom. Randy Lerner needs no less than that to wake up.

  6. Montesquieu says:

    Ironic two of the four manage/d Liverpool.

  7. Mr. Jordy says:

    -Ironic two of the four manage/d Chelsea.

  8. SF says:

    Sacking Ancelotti would fit Chelsea’s previous quite well but he doesn’t deserve it. Malaria, injuries and the sacking of Ray Wilkins were none of his doing and are largely what’s responsible for Chelsea’s dire form at the moment.

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