The Premier League sack race is a competition that frankly no one wants to win.
Xisco Munoz took last season's dubious honour on October 3 – but Bournemouth boss Scott Parker has managed to top that by a whole month and a half. Parker wasn't even the favourite, either, suggesting that there could be plenty more managerial swaps even before the World Cup begins in November.
As far as the bookies are concerned, we're just getting started...
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1. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City): 6/5 (opens in new tab)
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From being the model to copy for smaller sides everywhere, Leicester City have strangely stagnated, failing to make a single signing in the summer transfer window. Brendan Rodgers has cut a rather frustrated figure on his touchline and hasn't been flashing those pearly whites nearly as much this season.
Losing out on Champions League football twice on the final day of the season feels like the pinnacle now for Rodgers. Last season was a crash down to Earth – relative, really: try telling Foxes fans that eighth and a European semi-final would be failure, back in the League One days – but it seems like something will give sooner rather than later between these two.
There's an argument that the Midlands outfit have got worse every season under Rodgers. Maybe it's time…
2. Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa): 3/1 (opens in new tab)
Steven Gerrard arrived with all the promise of a former whirlwind superstar set to transform a sleeping giant and have Aston Villa punching well above their weight once more. For a while, they looked like the sharp, muscular side that Villans had waited for: Philippe Coutinho further fluttered claret hearts.
But the start of the 2022/23 season has been a tough slog so far for Gerrard, following a dreary slump in towards the end of last season. The Tyrone Mings debate has overshadowed the start of this, while assistant Michael Beale's departure to QPR has robbed the Villa chief of his tactical right-hand man.
Has this job become too big for Gerrard? He was long considered the ultimate replacement for Jurgen Klopp but even those shouts have quietened – and Villa fans don't seem so sure in their general anymore. A few more weeks this directionless and the board may turn, too.
3. Frank Lampard (Everton): 5/1 (opens in new tab)
Frank Lampard arrived at Everton wanting to play the expansive, front-foot football that Rafa Benitez was never going to deliver. No, but seriously, he's had to scale back his ambitions.
Everton have gone three-at-the-back, employed long balls and had precious little to invest this summer in comparison to the Indian summers of investing in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison. The former's long gone, the latter flogged to Tottenham – and there doesn't seem to be consistent reinvestment into quality in the side.
The Premier League is tougher than ever and if Lampard can't get a tune out of this side, he might be the one to pay. It'll be difficult for any manager at Everton, right now…
4. Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton): 6/1 (opens in new tab)
Southampton have gambled massively this summer, going full Career Mode. Romeo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu and Armel Bella-Kotchap are the headliners in a transfer window in which the Saints have invested in wonderkids – and it's an exciting time to be a fan.
But less exciting to be Ralph Hasenhuttl. If the Austrian doesn't meld together these talents fast, he's going to be under scrutiny from the new ownership, who may have a different view of him than the last board. Ralph Rabbit Hutch was lucky not to have been sacked from two 9-0s and winless runs literally stretching months in the past: he may not be again.
Saints are in the same boat as so many right now. Every point is precious to Hasenhuttl.
5. Bruno Lage (Wolverhampton Wanderers): 20/1 (opens in new tab)
The feel-good feeling of this time last year is dissipating for Bruno Lage, who hasn't got the goodwill that he built up in his first few Molineux months. The Portuguese had a cracking start to his Wolves career but looks stuck in treacle, now.
Lage wanted a free-flowing, fluid attack but was caught in the trap of employing a back three like his predecessor, Nuno Espirito Santo, eking out results and underwhelming with a handbreak-heavy playing style. Well, he's taken that step this time around, banishing captain Conor Coady for a proper four-man backline and bringing in Goncalo Guedes and Matheus Nunes to help realise his vision.
It's coming together… just slowly. Patience with Lage isn't hugely long, however, given the aforementioned gloomy football.
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