The 2023/24 season is nearly a third completed and there are managers feeling the heat around their positions.
Manchester United’s difficult start across all competitions means Erik ten Hag has found himself under pressure for the first time since taking the job in July 2022.
Meanwhile, strugglers such as Sheffield United may be wondering whether head coaches with more immediate Premier League experience will be needed if they are to survive in the top flight, while Sean Dyche’s position at Everton all of a sudden feels locked in.
It means the first managerial casualty of 2023/24 may not be far away in England’s top flight. But which club will be the first to take drastic action to change their fortunes?
The Sporting News looks at the latest picture on which Premier League manager could be the first to go.
MORE: Premier League fixtures: Complete schedule, dates, times
The favourite to become the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season is once again Ten Hag. The 4-3 defeat to Copenhagen which has left their Champions League challenge hanging by a thread has piled further pressure on the Dutchman.
United lost nine of their first 17 games this season and conceded at least three goals in seven of those defeats. Their Carabao Cup defence is over, they sit nine points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and they must likely beat Galatasaray and Bayern Munich to keep their Champions League campaign alive into 2024. A narrow win over Luton Town on November 11 eased a little of the pressure.
Behind Ten Hag, Paul Heckingbottom is at only slightly longer odds to be the next man to go amid Sheffield United’s difficult start to the season. Next is Bournemouth’s Andoni Iraola, while pressure is mounting on Burnley boss Vincent Kompany.
Odds as of November 11, 2023
The first manager sacked in Premier League history was Ian Porterfield of Chelsea, who lasted 29 matches before being axed in mid-February in 1993.
The fastest manager ever sacked in the Premier League was Kenny Dalglish, who was ousted at Newcastle United after just two matches into the 1998/99 season. Peter Reid, Bobby Robson, Frank de Boer, Javi Gracia and Scott Parker were all given the boot after just four matches.
The first managers to go usually find themselves without a job at some time in the autumn or early winter. However, there was a notable outlier in 1999/2000: it took until March 21, 29 matchdays into the season, for the first manager to leave his role — that was Danny Wilson of Sheffield Wednesday.
Tottenham are the club that appears on this list the most, having been the first to part ways with their manager in four seasons. Newcastle appear three times, as do Chelsea and Sunderland.
Parker’s exit in 2022/23 came extremely early: on average, the first Premier League manager is sacked after 10.8 games.
*In 1994/95, West Ham manager Billy Bonds resigned before the official start of the season
When betting on the first manager sacked in a Premier League season, it’s important to pay close attention to the title of the bet.
Sometimes, managers can depart of their own accord, or by “mutual consent”, leading to some questions around what constitutes being “sacked”.
Officially, the bet is often titled “Next Premier League Manager to Leave their Club”, which eliminates much of the confusion around what constitutes being fired, released, let go, or departing by mutual consent. For example, Pep Guardiola is highly unlikely to be sacked by Man City any time soon, but bookmakers think it’s conceivable he could leave amid the investigation into the club’s finances.
Additionally, when placing bets involving “Next Manager” for a club, the word “Permanent” is often included, meaning interim managers are not given consideration for a winning bet. Thus, if a manager is given an “interim” tag as a replacement, the bet remains open until the “interim” tag is removed or a new permanent boss is hired from elsewhere.