It’s a huge weekend for…Jol, Lambert, Wigan and AVB
It may surprise you to know that the Premier League manager favourite to next lose his job.
Martin Jol is seen by many as a solid and steady manager, but despite being unbeaten in four games, the Dutchman is the expected manager to go. Bookmakers have been wrong before, but it certainly hints that all is not well by the Thames.
Fulham sit in 13th position, six points away from relegation danger. They won just one game between October 20th and New Year’s Day, hence the concern. Have finishes of 9th and 8th in the past two seasons increased expectations beyond realism?
Roberto Martinez has a magic spell over the English media, in that people see him as a player of beautiful football somehow doing a magnificent job at Wigan.
Whilst his football is, at times, good looking, Wigan are in more trouble this season after last year’s remarkable escape. Wigan have scored just 23 goals in 22 games, and have conceded 40. They have won just two league games all season at home, and have won two of their last 12 games, against Reading and Aston Villa.
In their next five games Wigan face Sunderland, Stoke, Southampton and Reading. Important times.
A game live on TV against one of your geographical rivals provides the ideal opportunity for Paul Lambert to save his job, and that is possible as serious as things have got.
Villa are five points off the bottom of the Premier League, and if supporters had been told they would be 14 points behind West Brom at this stage of the season, eyebrows would have been raised.
Although Villa may be seen by some as unlikely candidates to go down, Paul Lambert has overseen a woeful season. In their six games against the bottom five teams in the Premier League, Villa have gained just five points, a feeble total.
It is likely that Lambert will be given four games to save his tenure: WBA (a), Bradford (h), Millwall (a), Newcastle (h). Four games in three competitions, and on Saturday many will sit down to watch the latest instalment of a very grim Villa Park drama.
Taking over from the media darling was not easy, but Spurs are on the way to cementing a place within the Champions League positions under Andre Villas-Boas.
However, Spurs have turned in indifferent results at White Hart Lane and dropping 12 points in 11 games at home is not up to the standards of some other sides around them, especially given that matches at home against Stoke, Wigan, Norwich and West Brom have accounted for nine of these.
Spurs were hugely impressive in victory at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but they have not won this fixture for 12 years. United may have been criticised for their stumbling defending at points of this campaign, but having dropped just 11 points in 22 games will take some stopping.
A really wholesome test of just how far AVB has brought Spurs this season.