THE midweek games saw a couple of teams that had just ‘lost’ their managers, namely Chelsea and Spurs, battle to unconvincing draws against Merseyside opposition respectively. But also saw encounters among sides that are likely to witness the next managerial departures.
The 2022/23 season has already seen the previous record for managerial sackings of 10 in a season (set on four occasions) surpassed by two (three if you count a willing departure), with seven weeks and nine matches remaining.
The first manager to be handed his lunch wrapped in a road map was the unfortunate Scott Parker.
Despite doing some fine work to bring Bournemouth up to the Premier League he lost his job on the south coast as early as August 30, following the embarrassing 9-0 trouncing from Liverpool.
It was thought that he got dismissed by the club for comments that Bournemouth were “under-equipped” for life in the Premier League, rather than the blitzing in Anfield itself.
Parker went on to take over at Club Brugge in December 2022, but only lasted for 12 games, winning just two games, before he was asked to leave once again.
Next out the door was the surprise departure of Thomas Tuchel from Chelsea. The surprise came from the fact that the German manager had won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time at the club. However, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly pulled the trigger after a mediocre start to the Premier League and an embarrassing 1-0 defeat in the Champions League to Dinamo Zagreb that suggested remedial action was needed before it was too late. As it turned out, improvement were not forthcoming at the Bridge after Tuchel’s departure.
Realistically, the lack of return from the £720m investment in the club by Boehly ultimately did for Tuchel… and his replacement.
Wolves were next to see off their manager, when Bruno Lage was dismissed on October 2.
To be fair, Lage’s side only scored three goals all season by the time he lost his job, which does not make for security of tenure. The Portuguese man was replaced by Julen Lopetegui.
The next boss to get the push came in the same month with the highly publicized expulsion of Steven Gerrard.
The Liverpool legend struggled to build on the successes of his first year in the midland’s club and seemed to have been let down by players who have shown a lot better performances under Gerrard’s replacement Unai Emery.
Southampton disposed of Ralph Hasenhuttl in November despite the Austrian’s great service to the club. But results saw the Saints stuck to the bottom of the table so they were forced to appoint then Luton boss Nathan Jones to the job.
However, he only lasted till February losing seven of his eight game in charge. Ruben Selles has since taken over but the Saints remain firmly anchored to the bottom of the table.
Frank Lampard pulled off a heroic salvation of Everton’s Premier League status in the final game last season. But his luck ran out at the start of the new year as continuing poor results saw the Chelsea playing legend run out of options at Goodison Park.
Amazingly, Lampard has been asked to take the helm at Chelsea until the end of the season, despite been fired from the position just over a year ago.
The Ted Lasso experiment at Leeds United ran out of steam in February when Jesse Marsch got discharged, with the Yorkshire outfit struggling in 17th place in the table.
Without a win in 2023, Patrick Vieira was always at risk of losing his spot in charge at Crystal Palace. And so it was cruelly apt that on Patrick’s Day the Frenchman was also sacked, to be replaced by 76-year old former Eagles boss Roy Hodgson, who seems like he will never retire from the game or Palace for that matter.
Many predicted that the notoriously irritable Antonio Conte would not last long at Spurs. And on March 27 he was supposedly given the sack after an explosive rant against his players in the 3-3 draw against Everton.
Brendan Rodgers demise at Leicester City on April 2 broke the managerial dismissal record when the Foxes slipped to 19th place after defeat to a Crystal Place side that had not won all year before Hodgson took over.
Rodgers record did not last long as Graham Potter, who had filled in for Thomas Tuchel sacking, was himself awarded the honour of the sack at Chelsea later that Sunday evening.
Despite a good start at the Bridge his luck suddenly went south as they were knocked out of both domestic cups, the Champions League and slipped to 11th in the table. The revolving managerial door at Stamford Bridge is swinging so strong now it could keep a helicopter afloat.
Despite the record of 12 dismissals no one believes that’s the end of severance packages being dispensed this season. There is still time for more exits.
Currently Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest is the bookies favourite to next face the chop at 3/10.
Next most likely to go is David Moyes, at 6/1, whose West Ham side went embarrassingly down 5-1 at home to Newcastle on Wednesday. A big drop from the Moyes heyday, a couple of seasons back, vying for European spots and a top four finish.
And maybe most amazing of all, the next most likely to get his P45 is Jurgen Klopp. Yes the legend of Anfield, who brought the Reds back to the Premier League title promised land is now touted at 10/1 to get the push.
Man City fans chanted “you're getting sacked in the morning” at Klopp in the recent 4-1 away disappointment for the Reds. It didn’t happen. But could it transpire?
It’s been a horror year for the Klopp and the Reds but I can’t see Liverpool parting with the much loved fan favourite. Mind you, no Champions League next season might be enough to push Liverpool’s American owners into drastic measures.