Premier League Sack Race Betting: Scott Parker Becomes First to Be Fired, Will Brendan Rodgers Be Next?
In terms of active outright markets in relation to Premier League betting, the sack race is one that certainly attracts a great deal of interest. The premise is to predict which top-tier manager will be the first to be fired from their position or leave for another more amicable reason, and four games into the new season, we already have our first casualty.
Quite what AFC Bournemouth were expecting from Scott Parker is hard to comprehend. The Cherries boss secured promotion for the south-coast club last July and secured an immediate return to the Premier League, finishing second in the EFL Championship behind Fulham.
The club started with a horrendous set of fixtures which followed an opening day win over Aston Villa. Parker’s side, unsurprisingly, lost to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool (the defeat at Anfield being a dispiriting 9-0 reverse), and it led to the termination of his contract and therefore meant that the 41-year-old had been fired just weeks into the new season.
Many have responded negatively to the sacking, and it’s unclear whether the decision may end up costing the south-coast club in the long run. Now that the first sacking of the season has been made, you can expect others to follow in due course; here’s a look at the current favourites to join Parker at the Job Centre.
Brendan Rodgers 5/4
Things are starting to fall apart at the King Power Stadium. It seems a million years since the shock Premier League title win in 2013-14 and there is growing pressure on the former Liverpool and Celtic boss.
Rodgers took over at Leicester City back in February 2019, and in his first full season in charge, he took the team to a fifth-place Premier League finish and two strong domestic cup runs. In 2020-21 the Midlands club finished fifth again and won their first-ever FA Cup, with a Youri Tielemens goal seeing them home against Chelsea.
The cracks started to show last season, but a strong late run saw them finish a healthy eighth place in the table; however, things have definitely turned sour in 2022-23. There is constant talk of player exits, with Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel leaving for Nice and Chelsea, respectively.
Leicester City have one point from their first four Premier League matches, and with that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that Rodgers is the favourite to be fired next.
Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa) 2/1
The former Liverpool legend did a great job in charge of Scottish giants Rangers, but Premier League management is proving more problematic for the Villa boss. Gerrard took over at Aston Villa after the club somewhat harshly fired Dean Smith, and it’s not as if he made much of an impression last season.
Villa were 16th in the table when Gerrard took the job last November and they finished the campaign in 14th place, so not exactly a marked improvement. This season they’ve won one game, against equally faltering Everton, and lost to Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and at home to West Ham in their last fixture.
The total of three points from a very average opening set of fixtures means that Gerrard is under pressure, and arguably a lesser-known boss may already have been given their marching orders.
Frank Lampard (Everton) 13/2
Gerrard and Frank Lampard were often compared in their playing days, with both players occupying similar roles at Liverpool and Chelsea, respectively. They also played alongside each other at England national team level, and now their managerial spells at their latest teams are also startlingly similar.
Lampard, who did an average job at Derby County before an up-and-down spell as Chelsea boss (which included being in charge when Rodgers saw his Leicester City side win their maiden FA Cup trophy) led to a year out of a job.
He took over at a struggling Everton side in January that was 16th in the table and he collected just four Premier League wins from his 18 games in charge but managed to keep them up in the top tier.
The current season has begun in a similar fashion, with the Goodison Park side still without a win after five games, and therefore it’s hardly surprising to see Lampard is in danger of seeing the door.
Thomas Tuchel (12/1)
Of the managers at the top end of the list of possible managerial casualties, this one is the most surprising. The German boss won the Champions League within months of taking over at Stamford Bridge, and last season he achieved a third-place finish (behind two teams, Man City and Liverpool) that are a country mile ahead of the rest.
He also led the West London side to both the EFL and FA Cup finals, only losing both on penalties (both to Liverpool). So the idea that his job would be on the line is very hard to comprehend unless, of course, the club’s new owners felt the need to freshen things up.
Chelsea were thumped by Leeds United and then lost away at Southampton, so obviously, things are not as they should be for a team of their calibre. However, it is very early days, and the club are set to make further additions before the transfer window slams shut on Wednesday night, so it’s still very unlikely that Tuchel will be out on his ear.
Ralph Hasenhuttl (14/1)
It feels as if the Austrian boss has always been on the sack race list but always manages to keep hold of his job. Perhaps this is because those making the decisions at St Mary’s are well aware of their standing in the Premier League and, as such, feel that just staying up is an achievement.
To be fair to Hasenhuttl, his Southampton side have been pretty good this season and they currently sit seventh in the table, having won two of their five games thus far. The former Red Bull Salzburg isn’t exactly backed well in the transfer market, and his young squad is battling manfully to keep up with the rest, and it’s unlikely that his job is in the balance right now.
A few weeks down the road, who knows? Such is the life of a Premier League manager.