Home Football English Football Assessing The Ten Managerial Casualties of This Season’s Premier League

Assessing The Ten Managerial Casualties of This Season’s Premier League

EXETER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: Alan Pardew head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion prior to the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Exeter City v West Bromwich Albion at St James Park on January 6, 2018 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

The sacking of Alan Pardew means the Premier League has equalled a collective record of managers that have departed in a season.

Pardew is the 10th victim of this year’s campaign and whilst he left by ‘mutual consent’, it means West Brom have let go of two managers this season.

Here, we look at each and every one of those sackings, and whether they were justified.

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Frank De Boer (Crystal Palace)

Frank De Boer. What happened here? Labelled, “The Worst Manager in the history of the Premier League” by Jose Mourinho, De Boer lasted just four league matches. Yes, you read that right, FOUR.

De Boer was in charge for the shortest number of games of any manager in English football history and that, along with the fact he holds the record for the fewest games before being sacked in Italy too, seems to support Mourinho’s sentiment.

Verdict: This sacking was so quick, it’s impossible to know whether it was the right decision. The fact that Roy Hodgson has guided them to 17th seems to justify it, especially given De Boer’s 4 game reign didn’t produce a goal.

Decision rating: 6/10

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Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City)

Craig Shakespeare burst into the limelight after guiding then-Champions Leicester City to safety and winning one Champions League game, after Claudio Ranieri was cleared out nine months after pulling off the most unbelievable achievement in sporting history.

Clearly his players had once again decided they’d had enough of the man in charge and, with the likes of Mahrez, Vardy and Schmeichel all out of form, he was sacked within two months of the season starting and Leicester in the relegation zone.

Verdict: The Leicester job is a poisoned chalice, seemingly any manager could have the players suddenly decide not to perform under them. This happened to Shakespeare, and as a result, things needed freshening up. With Leicester now in 8th and happy under Claude Puel this was a very good decision.

Decision rating: 9/10

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Ronald Koeman (Everton)

Ronald Koeman used the funds generated by the sale of Romelu Lukaku to splash out on a new look squad with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford all coming in as they spent over £150,000,000 on new players

Ultimately, as was the case with Tottenham in 2012/13, the big spend after the sale of a superstar didn’t work, in the short-term at least. Koeman was sacked following a desperate 2-5 home defeat to an Arsenal, one of only 3 away wins the gunners have managed this season, and a third of the goals they’ve scored on their travels coming in that game.

Verdict: The replacement of Koeman with Allardyce was uninspired, but as a short-term plan to deal with the relegation threat it was the right decision. Ultimately Allardyce will retire soon, and his eventual replacement will get the best out of what has the potential to be an excellent squad.

Decision rating: 8/10

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Slaven Bilic (West Ham)

Slaven Bilic was ultimately let go after just after two years at the helm as West Ham slumped to 18th, with a general consensus among the fans that whilst he had achieved great things, it was the right time for him to go.

Bilic had generated a huge amount of excitement, but a toxic atmosphere generated from West Ham’s stadium move meant that a team low on confidence needed to improve their defensive organisation, and simplify their game plan.

Verdict: It’s been a season to forget for West Ham, for so many reasons. But, for now at least, they have some genuine breathing space in the fight for survival. Moyes’ football is not pretty, but he has picked up results at crucial times and West Ham will be able to re-asses at the end of this season as a Premier League team.

Decision Rating: 7/10

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Tony Pulis (WBA)

In 17th place and having failed to win in their last eight, West Brom parted company with Tony Pulis just months after he had guided them to a finish inside the top-half.

Looking for survival, Pulis would be the perfect man to bring in in this situation. But with him being the man sacked, it was Alan Pardew that was appointed to try and turn things around.

Verdict: Three wins, five draws, 13 defeats. As Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) points out on Twitter:

“Alan Pardew leaves West Brom with his players having stolen as many taxis as Premier League matches won under his management. Quite the legacy.”

Bad, bad decision

Decision Rating: 1/10

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Paul Clement (Swansea)

Paul Clement did a great job of keeping Swansea in the Premier League, but a disappointing summer transfer window resulted in a squad that was always going to be very difficult to keep away from the bottom.

He became the sixth manager casualty in two years at the club, but they needed a change, and Carlos Carvalhal has brought such a positive energy to the team, that survival now looks likely.

Verdict: It was a shame to see Clement leave, and certainly you felt the Swansea board were very disappointed, but there’s no denying it was the correct decision. He has got the fans back behind the club, injected a really positive energy and got the very best out of his squad. A brilliant decision.

Decision Rating: 10/10

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Mark Hughes (Stoke City)

When Mark Hughes was appointed, he transformed Stoke by signing skilful attacking players and turning them from a very direct, long ball side into one of the most entertaining sides in mid-table. Three ninth placed finishes in a row saw Stoke looking up, but following a slight decline in placing, and sharp decline in performance, Stoke fell to 13th last season.

The fans had not seen improvement, and the mood was turning from contentment, to frustration, to anger. Stoke were becoming increasingly disorganised, and confidence was at rock-bottom when Hughes was sacked following an FA Cup defeat at League Two Coventry.

Verdict: Such was the level of confidence in the Stoke ranks, he had to go. His replacement Paul Lambert has not managed success yet, but at least they have a fighting chance of survival under the former

Decision Rating: 6/10

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Marco Silva (Watford)

Marco Silva had won just one Premier League game in 11 when he was sacked as Watford manager. The club blamed Everton’s approach for their downturn in form and, as a result, the decision to sack Silva.

And the stats backed up their point. In the first eight league games, they lost just once, before a run of eleven defeats in sixteen which led to the Portuguese’s sacking.

Verdict: It seemed a ridiculous decision, yet another sacking from Watford, but with the board and Silva having friction after he failed to make a long-term commitment to the club, this was inevitable. The decision can ultimately be seen as a bad one though, Watford have lost a top quality manager, even if his replacement has all-but sealed their survival.

Decision Rating: 3/10

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Mauricio Pelligrino (Southampton)

Southampton sacked Claude Puel following his 8th placed finish last season. Sports journalist Paul Doyle called Puel “a victim of Southampton’s admirably unreasonable expectations”.

And unreasonable they were. There’s been no improvement in Southampton’s style of football, and they have fallen into the relegation zone. Pellegrino had to go.

Verdict: Pellegrino’s sacking was the right decision, but replacing him with Mark Hughes was met with disgust by a lot of the fans.

Decision Rating: 5/10

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Alan Pardew (WBA)

If Pardew managed to achieve one thing at West Brom, it was consistency.

Eight defeats on the trot led to his four month reign ending yesterday.

Verdict: The right decision, but it’s too little, too late.

Decision Rating: 6/10

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So there you have it. Overall, most sackings have actually been beneficial this season, but that doesn’t mean that as many as ten were needed.

For so many of these new managers, it seems that we will be saying the same thing in 12 months, as they, and others, inevitably fall victim to nervous chairpeople.

And you can bet that through the rest of this season and at the end of it, they’ll be plenty more managers given the chop. 

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