Fulham and Swansea the latest Premier League clubs to pull the trigger as they look to save their seasons
With just over 10 Premier League games to go until the season reaches its crescendo, there will be a handful of chairmen weighing up their options as to whether to stick or twist with their current boss or twist and get some new blood in to try and turn things around before fates are decided in May.
Fulham certainly fell into the ‘twist’ category in February as they parted company with Rene Meulensteen following a plethora of disappointing defeats that has seen them become firmly rooted in the relegation zone. The Cottagers have brought in former Wolfsburg boss, Felix Magath, to try and bring a new lease of life in to the stuttering west Londoners.
Without a win in seven games, Fulham have been producing some woeful displays out on the pitch and it was no surprise to see them wield the axe and send Meulensteen on his way, along with his backroom staff including Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishley, despite being at the helm for just 17 games. But Magath has been handed a gargantuan task to keep Fulham from being relegated to the Championship after 13 years in the top flight.
While there was no real shock over the departure of the former Manchester United no.2, there were gasps aplenty when Swansea City parted company with Michael Laudrup, who had led them to Capital One Cup glory just last season.
The legendary Danish midfielder was a phenomenon from the outset at the Liberty Stadium, as he improved the Swans from their time under Brendan Rodgers and took them to that Wembley victory that saw them propelled onto the European stage. Indeed, their Europa League form this season has seen them sparkle.
Nevertheless, rumours emerging from the dressing room touched on potential inharmonious activity between the players and the coaching staff, and this was major cause for concern for the Welsh club’s hierarchy. They elected to show Laudrup the door and launch Swansea legend Garry Monk to the fore. He will now look to secure their place in the Premier League for another season, and also see how far he can progress through the aforementioned Europa League.
Since the turn of the year, only Meulensteen and Laudrup have been given their marching orders, but there will be a few Premier League bosses looking over their shoulders over the next couple of weeks. While the likes of Sam Allardyce and David Moyes have momentarily hushed the boo-boys after some positive results, Chris Hughton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Alan Pardew have all been labelled with some severe criticism of late.
The former and latter would’ve been buoyed by victories at the weekend, with Norwich City easing the pressure on Hughton with a grinding victory over Tottenham Hostpur and Pardew’s worries were eased as Loic Remy’s late goal saw them beat Aston Villa at St James’ Park on Sunday lunchtime.
By contrast, Cardiff City’s lamentable 4-0 defeat at Hull City has seen recently appointed Solskjaer slashed to a 4/1 shot to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked, as his Bluebirds side are currently in the bottom three of the league with just one win to show from his first seven league games in charge.
Eccentric owner Vincent Tan showed he is certainly a ruthless chairman when he gave Malky Mackay his marching orders, so many could look to get stuck into the odds on offer for Solskjaer to be shown the door.
With eight Premier League managers already sacked this season, it would be no surprise to see the ninth casualty waiting just around the corner and there’s seemingly no shortage of potential candidates!