So we have just past the half way point of the Premier League season, with 20 games played so far and with many managers already shown the door. We take a look at a select few managers who have there work cut out in the second part of this season.
Sam Allardyce – West Ham United
As the West Ham faithful so regularly sing “I’m forever blowing bubbles”, one has to wonder has Big Sam’s bubble finally burst? With his team languishing in 19th place in the table three points from safety and one point above a resurgent Sunderland under Gus Poyet in recent weeks. The perception here is that of a manager who is fighting to save his job. Most worrying of all, the perception is of a manager embroiled in an ultimately unwinnable fight to gain acceptance from the majority of West Ham fans. The question then, is how Allardyce responds to what is arguably the biggest challenge of his career.
With recent run of bad results most notably the 5-0 and 6-0 defeats to Nottingham Forrest and Manchester City consecutively have lead to the fans growing increasingly unhappy and calling for change. Although circumstances haven’t been great for big Sam with an ever growing injury list mostly made up of his defence, his biggest criticism certainly from the fans point of view is the inability to bring in a quality striker capable of scoring goals consistently to propel them out of this situation, with Andy Carroll injured for the majority of the season which has left very few options up front combined with the decision to release and resign Carlton Cole, has led to many in the footballing world questioning Big Sam’s dealings in the summer transfer window. With a crucial must win game this weekend against Newcastle United one has to wonder whether another defeat here could signal the end.
Chris Hughton – Norwich City
With his team currently lying in 15th place in the premier league table three points above the drop zone, Chris Hughton is far from safe. With only five wins and five draws from the twenty games played so far combined with the resurgence of a Crystal Palace team under Tony Pullis has Hughton nervously looking over his shoulder. Although with some good signings during the summer most notably Gary Hooper who has been pretty consistent in the goals department as of late, the question remains is it a case of stick or sack? for the Norwich City Board who’s only objective for the season is to remain in the Premier League. Not to be overly harsh on Chris Hughton who has done an admirable job since taking over from Paul Lambert at the beginning of last season, guiding them to a very respectable 11th place finish last May, a league finish which has to be somewhat admired considering we are talking about a team made up of some individuals who where playing League One football just a few years ago. One has to wonder whether Hughton has what it takes to keep the canneries in the Premier League this season, only time will tell.
David Moyes – Manchester United
Since taking over in the summer from truly one of the all time greats of the game if not the greatest Sir Alex Ferguson. The pressure has never really been off David Moyes , who has received frequent criticism from the media and select few of the United faithful on a weekly basis. With Manchester United sitting in 7th place in the Premier League eleven points behind leaders Arsenal and looking ever increasingly out the title race, a title that never looked likely at the beginning of the season even to the most hardened of united fans.
The emphasis now for Moyes is the challenge of securing Champions League football for next season a task that is looking ever more difficult as the weeks go by, currently five points behind Liverpool (Liverpool fans rejoice) in 4th place, although not out of reach, Moyes surely must know he faces a battle on his hands in order to secure a top four finish, with Liverpool, Everton, Spurs and possibly even Newcastle United battling for the coveted fourth spot which brings the much needed financial backing to the modern day football club. Even though some may argue that the squad that Moyes inherited was not his own and he needs to be given time to put his own squad together before he can mount a serious challenge at the title. The question remains without Champions League football in the 2014/2015 season and the financial support that comes with Champions League football will the Glazers be so patient?