We may only be one game into the Premier League season, but modern football is notorious for a merciless firing system. Which Premier League manager is under the most pressure to deliver success at their club? Here’s our choices..
5. Mauricio Pochettino
It has been a tough year at White Hart Lane for the Argentinian boss, in what many would dub an impossible job. Daniel Levy has high expectations but Liverpool and Manchester United have far superior squads when it comes to challenging for that fourth Champions League place.
They haven’t featured in Europe’s most prestigious competition in four seasons and should Harry Kane fail to build on an impressive 2014/15, Pochettino cannot rely on many other players.
Erik Lamela has shown sparks of his ability but rarely has replicated his form shown with former club Roma, whilst Moussa Dembele has so far performed far below expectations in Tottenham’s midfield. Impressive defensive additions need to be capitalised on, the focus being on replacing Kyle Walker with Kieran Trippier at right-back.
Impending new signing Clinton N’Jie had an impressive debut Ligue 1 campaign with Lyon, but will need to pull rabbits out of hats to keep his new side in the race for the Champions League should Kane not deliver.
All in all, it is difficult to say whether Daniel Levy will show his sympathetic side should Spurs flounder in their European aspirations.
4. Roberto Martinez
The Spaniard guided Everton to eleventh place but last season was a very disappointing one for Toffee fans, and it comes with no surprise to see Martinez featured along the most likely names to be relieved of his duties. We believe that Martinez must have some mind controlling powers after persuading Bill Kenwright to part with £28 million for Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian’s seemingly impressive record of twenty goals from forty-one appearances in all competitions is largely masked by the fact he scored close to half of those strikes in the Europa League, as well as a further two in the FA Cup.
In total, just ten goals in the Premier League for a player who cost £10 million more than Kevin de Bruyne was unacceptable and Martinez must feel responsible having taken such a gamble. Many managers point to the Europa League as a reason for domestic failure, and perhaps it’s a viable excuse for Everton.
But with no European distractions this season, the club have to challenge Swansea and Crystal Palace for a place in and around seventh or eighth. Should they fail to do that, it is not difficult to imagine Martinez being booted out of Goodison Park by Kenwright in cartoon like fashion.
3. Claudio Ranieiri
Leicester may not be one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs but its fans are certainly amongst the most voracious. Nigel Pearson’s sacking amidst the incident surrounding his son Tom angered fans of the Foxes’, and Ranieri’s appointment puzzled supporters and pundits alike.
His failure to convince Esteban Cambiasso to stay on at the King Power as well as unsuccessful attempts to lure Charles Aranguiz to Leicester have been masked by the 4-2 opening day win over a horrendous Sunderland.
It is rumoured that Napoli’s Gokhan Inler is close to signing in what should be an astute move. Be that as it may, Ranieri’s downfall in recent years is his inability to be competent enough to manage a club for more than two years since his Chelsea days.
Leicester should definitely survive this season, but this is thanks to Nigel Pearson’s shrewd business in the market, signing players like Shinji Okazaki, and little to do with Ranieri’s ‘genius’.
Cambiasso’s departure has some fans worried that Ranieri is very much a short-term appointment. Should results turn south, it is expected the former Greece boss will have a volatile fan base to deal with.
2. Brendan Rodgers
This is an incredibly important year for the Scot. He joined Liverpool after an outstanding tenure with Swansea, and after almost leading the club to the title in 2013-14, the departure of Luis Suarez rocked the club to it’s very core and panic signings, such as Mario Balotelli, sealed Liverpool’s doom.
A simply atrocious Champions League campaign was matched by a similarly horrific Premier League season, where the many, many defensive lapses by the likes of Dejan Lovren saw results like the 6-1 defeat by Stoke enter nails into Brendan Rodgers’ coffin.
After being granted a chance at redemption, the additions of Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke have been monumental, but should they fail to settle at Anfield, Rodgers is in hot water.
The very least the Liverpool board will expect is fifth place and an impressive run in this season’s Europa League. Winning the competition would guarantee a place in the 2016/17 Champions League, a far likelier route to the competition instead of finishing in the top four. The link up between Firmino, Coutinho and Benteke, or the success of it, could decide the manager’s future.
1. Manuel Pellegrini
It is at the Etihad where you will find a manager hotter under the collar than any other Premier League manager. At Manchester City, success is now demanded.
Manuel Pellegrini’s new contract, which runs until 2017, came as a surprise to everyone, but we all know in the modern era that these things matter little in football. What City’s Arab owners are yearning for is progression in the Champions League, and with players like David Silva and Sergio Agüero in their side, this really shouldn’t be an issue.
Some may say the Champions League draw has been unkind to City: playing Spanish champions Barcelona twice in two years in the knock-out stages has been a touch unfortunate. With the £49 million addition of Raheem Sterling alongside fellow new signings Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts to the club however, to say Pellegrini is under pressure would be one of the understatements of the year after another splurge in the market.
A repeat of last season’s achievements would see the Manchester City board searching for a new manager, possibly rumoured target Pep Guardiola. A 3-0 win over West Brom on Monday night will allay fears of another disappointing campaign, but the upcoming clash with Chelsea could be an instrumental game in deciding Pellegrini’s fate.
We are all sure that there will be a surprise departure as ever, though. Will Louis van Gaal spontaneously combust after growing frustrated with David de Gea at Manchester United? Perhaps Roman Abramovich will pull the plug on Jose Mourinho if the Portuguese tactician fails to emulate Roberto di Matteo’s success in Europe? Have your say on our Facebook page.