You're Fired!

Curbishley favourite to win the Premier League sack race

West Ham boss could be granted the first P45 of the season


Every season, punters stake a significant amount on the first managerial sacking, but in the opast few years, the bookies have been clearing up. Who could have seen bumbling clowns Sammy Lee and Chris Hutchings outlasting two-time Premier League winner Jose Mourinho? And the year before did anyone really see Charlton, having stood by Alan Curbishley for 15 years, sacking Iain Dowie just three months into the season? Curbishley is the unlucky favourite this year (5/1, bet here), but in preparation for a big shock, chickendinner have surveyed all of the sack race contenders…

Alan Curbishley

» West Ham’s last two managers – Glenn Roeder and Alan Pardew – were both sacked in the first half of the season.

» Glenn Roeder was sacked after just two games in his third season in charge in 2003. This will be Curbishley’s third season at West Ham.

» However, West Ham have only had eleven full-time managers in their 113-year history – no other Premier League club has had fewer.

» Three managers have left West Ham while they were a Premier League club – Billy Bonds, Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew – but of those only Pardew was removed in the middle of a season.

Kevin Keegan

» All seven full-time Newcastle Premier League managers have left in the middle of the season.

» Newcastle have ridiculously sacked three managers in August over the last past ten years – Dalglish, Gullit and Robson – winning the sack race on each occasion.

» Keegan has a track record for resigning mid-campaign. He left the England job in the middle of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup and he left both Newcastle and Man City mid-season.

» But Keegan has never spent less than a year at a club, which would mean staying on until January 16. By that point last season, eight managers had left their club.

Gary Megson

» Megson is the only of the five candidates to have been sacked in the middle of a Premier League season before when West Brom dismissed him in October 2004.

» Bolton have changed manager during the last two seasons and were runners-up to Chelsea in last season’s Sack Race.

» Bryan Robson (West Brom), Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth) and Alan Curbishley (West Ham) have all helped their clubs avoid relegation over the past three seasons and on each occasion the manager has kept his job throughout the next season.

» However, the last five clubs to finish 16th – Aston Villa, Man City, Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Fulham – have all replaced their manager within twelve months of that season finishing.

Rafa Benitez

» Liverpool have never in the history of the Premier League been the first team to sack their manager.

» In only two of the last seven seasons has the first manager to leave their club come from outside the UK.

» But the last four, and six of the last seven, managers to leave their club first were in their 40s, which is quite surprising considering the average age of current Premier League managers is 50.45.

» Benitez has resigned from his last three clubs – Extremadura, Tenerife and Valencia – and cited disagreements with the board as his reason for quitting Valencia.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

» Chelsea were the first club to replace their manager last season, with Jose Mourinho leaving on the 20th September.

» Two of Chelsea’s last four managers – Gianluca Vialli and Mourinho – were sacked in September – with three of the last five leaving in mid-season.

» The last time Scolari managed a foreign club side – Japanese team Jubilo Iwata – he left after just 11 games.

» Avram Grant became the shortest-serving coach of Roman Abramovich’s tenure last season but even he lasted eight months.

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