The Longshot: More casualties likely in the sack race as Moyes teeters

The Longshot: More casualties likely in the sack race as Moyes teeters

NEXT TO GO?: West Ham United manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline during their 5-1 drubbing by Newcastle United at the London Stadium.

THE sack race has become a bit of a mainstay on our betting page this season. No wonder, given that 13 managers have left their posts in the Premier League since last August, smashing the previous record of 10.

“And is it not because you yourself might be coming under pressure because of poor performances of late, that the departure of people who are clearly not up to doing their job is something you seem overly obsessed with it?” a cruel reader might ask.

I am glad to say the editorial board have given me a huge vote of confidence by agreeing to move me back onto an even-numbered page on today’s edition after I carefully explained how the recent slew of bad tipping was simply down to being placed on the extremely unlucky for me pages 29 or 31 (or, God help us, 27!). Of course, if you are reading this online, this excuse doesn't apply.

With that issue now sorted, let’s look at who will probably be next to get the heave-ho. West Ham boss David Moyes is thought to be most likely at 6/4 to leave after his side’s poor season continued with a 5-1 trouncing at home to Newcastle in midweek.

If Moyes does leave the Hammers, Rafael Benitez is the 3/1 favourite to take over. Former club midfielder Michael Carrick’s odds have really come in over the last few days and he is now 9/1 second favourite.

The current Middlesbrough manager has them fighting for promotion from the Championship and he has a win percentage of 69% with Boro. West Ham fans wouldn’t mind a bit of that.

As a former player, he’s been a huge hit for fans of the Hammers, but would he leave a promotion push for a relegation battle?

If so, he would seem like the right fit for the club. Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis backed Steve Cooper to stay in charge and “end the speculation and the false and disruptive reporting”.

But Forest are only above the relegation zone on goal difference and are winless in eight matches after losing at Leeds on Tuesday, and Cooper is 7/4 to leave next. One win in seven games has left Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves a point above the relegation zone, but at 20/1 he is still behind Jurgen Klopp (16/1), who recently acknowledged that his job security at Liverpool has been based on past glories.

With Frank Lampard being announced as caretaker boss at Chelsea, his chances of getting the job on a permanent basis just two years after he left that role have to be good if their record goalscorer can get some decent performances out of them between now and the end of the season.

He even has a chance of doing what Thomas Tuchel did to him back in 2021 and guiding a team to Champions League glory mid-tournament. Luis Enrique is still 4/1 to be their next permanent boss.

Tottenham acting head coach Cristian Stellini will make way if Spurs appoint a new manager before the end of the season and Brendan Rodgers is 4/1 to get back on the merry-go-round with them, ahead of former boss Mauricio Pocchetino at 5/1 and recently departed Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is 6/1.

 - Millwall v Luton is a fixture that is loaded with history. Their 1985 FA Cup clash at Kenilworth Road is often acknowledged as the nadir of English hooliganism.

Millwall fans ran riot in Bedfordshire that evening in March. Then Football Association chairman Bert Millichip said: “The scenes were the most disgraceful I have seen, and I have seen a lot”.

The following day England, who had been favourites to host the 1988 European Championship, lost out to West Germany. Thankfully such scenes are well in the past, although it remains a tense rivalry.

The Hatters seem safe in securing at least a play-off spot for a chance to reach the Premier League again this season, however they could still be in with a chance of catching Sheffield United for an automatic promotion spot after defeating the Blades recently (they are equal on points with Carrick’s Middlesbrough).

They are unbeaten in four games against the hosts and a comfortable 2-0 win over their even bigger rivals Watford last time out means Rob Edwards’ side have now gone seven games without defeat, winning five since mid-February. They are 2/1 to maintain momentum, with a win that looks likely.

This year’s race for the Sam Maguire Cup begins

THE race for Sam Maguire begins this weekend, and it will take some getting used to for most of us that the daffodils are barely wilting and the Championship is beginning.

Mayo only won the league title last weekend and now they are straight back into action on Sunday as their seven-decade-long quest for All-Ireland success resumes with their opening game of the Connacht Championship against Roscommon (10/3), who finished third in Division One, with a record of four wins and three defeats, one of which came at the hands of Sunday’s opponents on March 5.

Mayo are 2/5 to continue their good form under Kevin McStay and 13/8 to take the provincial crown and 6/1 for Sam.

The winners of the contest will go on to face provincial champions Galway in the Connacht semi-final on April 22, while the losers will have a six-week wait until their next game.

Easing the pressure somewhat is that both are already qualified for All-Ireland series, the group stages of which get underway in May. While that format will remain confusing for some, it is at least less byzantine than the route facing Ireland in trying to qualify for the Euro 2024.

Only 16 sides will contest for the All-Ireland next month, with the rest entered into the Tailteann Cup.

The first seeds in the new All-Ireland format will be four provincial champions and the second seeds will be the four provincial runners-up. The third seeds will be the next four highest ranked teams at the conclusion, and the fourth seeds will then be the next four highest ranked teams in the league.

However, last year’s Tailteann Cup winners Westmeath are also guaranteed a place if they don’t make that criteria and would knock the final ranked team back to the secondary competition.

Kerry remain the 7/4 favourites to retain their crown, something Jack O’Connor has never managed to do while in charge of the Kingdom.

The Dubs are 5/2 to come storming back with the help of fortysomething Stephen Cluxton now possibly guiding them again from the goal-line.

Last year’s finalists Galway pushed Kerry all the way on the last weekend in July last summer and look to be decent odds at 7/1.

Cork take on Clare at Cusack Park, a venue where they defeated their hosts comfortably a month ago in Division 2. They are 7/1 to win Munster for the first time since the shock defeat of Kerry in 2020 and 100/1 to lift Sam.

Rookies aim for bright start

WE’VE nailed our colours to the 18th flag regards the Masters by tipping Patrick Cantlay earlier in the week.

There’s usually a few unlikely contenders up near the top of the leaderboard after the first day (when I was growing up Jeffs Maggert and Sluman always seemed to get off to a flyer before fading at the weekend).

Debutants have done well recently, which is curious considering what a distinctive challenge Augusta offers, although adrenaline and excitement can explain that. Still, a course rookie hasn’t won here since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Jordan Spieth and Jason Day went very close on their first visit. 2017 saw Thomas Pieters feature and land a full each-way payout at 80/1. The delayed 2020 renewal saw Sungjae Im contend as one of Dustin Johnson’s main challengers, as he finished joint runner-up with Cameron Smith at 80/1. 2021 saw 80/1 Will Zalatoris go close too.

Talented course rookies this year such as Ryan Fox, Tom Kim, Kurt Kitayama, Mito Pereira and Sahith Theegala can contend, but are probably better as each-way value if they are within five shots after the first round.

A tough test for Ireland

THE Ireland women’s soccer team’s preparations for the World Cup begin in earnest and they couldn’t have asked for a tougher test than against four-time winners the USA. The game in Austin will be shown tomorrow evening at 7.30pm on RTÉ 2. Vera Pauw’s charges aren’t being given much of a chance and are 55/1 outsiders to defeat the 3/1 favourites for the tournament Down Under ahead of England on 4/1. It’s 12/1 Ireland can somehow secure a draw in Texas. Two-time World Champs Germany, who pushed the Lionesses all the way in last year’s European Championships final in Wembley look to be the value bet at 8/1.

The Bet

THE provincial championships will not be crucial on the route to Sam for the more fancied teams, however local bragging right remains a huge incentive. Mayo may recapture Connacht this year but I fancy Galway to go one step better and lift Sam Maguire this year at 7/1.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Have you downloaded your FREE ie logo  App?

People holding phone with App

It's all about Cork!

Have you downloaded your FREE ie logo  App?

It's all about Cork!

App Store LogoGoogle Play Logo
The Echo - Women in Sport Awards - Logo



Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Contact Us Cookie Policy Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions

© Evening Echo Ltd, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523713

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more