Who will be the next Premier League manager to leave his job? We discuss the leading candidates and bring you the latest betting odds for the Sack Race.
Football club management is becoming an increasingly precarious job and the attrition rate is showing no sign of slowing down, in fact the exact opposite judging by recent seasons.
Of the 20 Premier League clubs in the 2016-17 campaign, 13 of them have changed their manager within the last 18 months...several of them twice!
This season has been even more competitive than ever because most of Europe’s very best managers are now plying their trade in England with Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino all trying to follow Claudio Ranieri in leading their team to Premier League title glory.
Of course, back at the start of 2015-16, Ranieri, who had just taken over at Leicester City, was the favourite for the Sack Race as pundits were unconvinced about his ability to make a success of the job. Nine months later, he was a champion as his side incredibly finished 10 points clear at the top of the table!
But with Leicester in danger of following their remarkable triumph by being relegated, the Italian has duly lost his job in what has been condemned as a hugely unpopular decision by the club's owners only a couple of weeks after they had given him a vote of confidence.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Getty Images)
It took only until early October for the first casualties of last season to emerge and the same thing happened again this time around, with Francesco Guidolin replaced at Swansea City by Bob Bradley, the first American to manage a Premier League club.
But Bradley lasted only 12 weeks and 11 matches until relieved of his duties on December 27 and there was no Christmas cheer shown at Crystal Palace either for they sacked Alan Pardew on December 22, replacing him with former England boss Sam Allardyce. Hull City's Mike Phelan was the first casualty of 2017 on only January 3, succeeded by Marco Silva, while Middlesbrough's Aitor Karanka was the latest casualty on March 16.
Sunderland, meanwhile, have not started and finished a season with the same manager since 2011 when Steve Bruce was in charge, so David Moyes is trying to buck that trend having been appointed as Allardyce's successor after he took the England job (which he held for only 67 days).
Another club that changes managers almost as frequently as the wind direction are Watford, whose owner Gino Pozzo applies a very Italian approach to hiring and firing – Quique Sanchez Flores did a brilliant job in 2015-16 but was not given the chance to build on his work.
His replacement Walter Mazzarri is 11/1 in the Sack Race market which is now headed by Moyes at 3/1, although the favourite is that no more managers will leave before the end of the season at odds of 6/5. However, that effectively means it is odds-on that at least one more manager WILL leave his job.
The odds for Arsenal's Arsene Wenger have collapsed to just 5/1 following the Gunners' embarrassing 10-2 aggregate Champions League exit to Bayern Munich. The second leg of that tie at the Emirates Stadium was accompanied by a supporters' protest against the Frenchman, whose contract expires at the end of the season, while a 3-1 defeat away to West Brom left Arsenal sixth in the table and six points outside the all-important top four.
Premier League Sack Race (next manager to leave his job) best odds
6/5 No more managers to leave before the end of the season (Paddy Power