20. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Klopp brought Liverpool their sixth European Cup last season, as well as their all-time record points tally in the top flight. That wasn’t quite enough to win the Premier League title ahead of Manchester City, but it was sufficient to cement his position at Anfield.
Adored by the fans and supported by the owners, it’s almost impossible to see the German leaving Merseyside this season.
19. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Just as Klopp aches for the Premier League title, Guardiola won’t leave Manchester City – at least, not with any satisfaction – unless or until he wins the Champions League. It borders on baffling that he hasn’t even reached the final since 2011, and he’s desperate to correct that.
It’s up for debate whether another failure to slay that dragon would tempt Guardiola into 2020/21, an unprecedented fifth season managing one club, but it might not come to that. For now, he’s staying put.
18. Daniel Farke (Norwich)
Norwich rarely sack managers in haste. Sometimes it’s to their detriment: in 2013/14, they waited until April to dismiss Chris Hughton, leaving Neil Adams with only five games to save them – those games being a six-pointer against Fulham followed by meetings with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. This time, their patience is to the club’s credit – immensely so.
Farke had a poor 2017/18 but Norwich’s board recognised it for what it was: a season of rebuilding, cutting their cloth accordingly after their parachute payments had ended. In the space of 12 months, the Canaries slashed the wage bill and won the Championship. Farke should be given plenty of time this term.
17. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Dyche has done a wonderful job at Burnley, who are beginning their fourth consecutive campaign in the top flight for the first time since the early 1970s. Even during their wobbly patch in the first half of 2018/19, there was little question of the Clarets handing Dyche his P45.
There may come a time where the ex-Watford boss decides he’s taken Burnley as far as he can, but that almost certainly won’t be until next summer at the earliest.
16. Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Howe and Dyche are the Premier League’s two longest-serving managers, but the former has actually been in charge of the Cherries for 10 years – three more than Dyche – across two spells.
Having taken the club from fourth flight to first, Howe has already attained legend status at Bournemouth. He’ll surely see out the season at the Vitality, no matter what happens.
15. Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
It’s improbable but not impossible that Pochettino could leave Spurs. Their slow transfer business frustrates him, while he did also talk before the Champions League final of ‘closing this chapter’.
Nonetheless, Poch is safer than any previous manager has been under Daniel Levy, and after turning down Real Madrid and missing out on Manchester United, he won’t take just any old job.
14. Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
Although his new contract and pair of club-record signings should put any exit rumours to rest, Wilder is from the Brian Clough school of brinkmanship and he doesn’t mind dropping the occasional hint about quitting.
Still, you’d think it’s unthinkable that Sheffield United could part with a boyhood fan who has coached them to two promotions in three years… right?
13. Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)
Nuno could hardly have done a better job at Molineux since assuming control in 2017. After leading Wolves to the Championship title in his debut campaign, he then took them into Europe last time out.
The club’s owners are highly ambitious, though, so it’s not entirely out of the question that they remove the former Porto manager from his position should things go badly. That’s difficult to envisage, though.
12. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester)
Rodgers looks a good fit at Leicester, who have put together an exciting, youthful squad that could break into the top six this season.
The Northern Irishman began to get his ideas across in the final few months of 2018/19, and has now had a full pre-season to further that process. He should still be in place at the King Power in nine months’ time.
11. Javi Gracia (Watford)
We were a bit glib last year in declaring Gracia a likely candidate for departure, even if it was based on Watford’s employment history and a parsimonious summer in the transfer market.
In fact, the FA Cup finalists seem committed to a manager at last. That said, incomings are scarce once again, and Watford’s owners are no strangers to pulling the trigger when things aren’t working out.
10. Graham Potter (Brighton)
It’d take a disaster of Frank de Boer proportions for Potter to leave so soon after arriving at Brighton. But when your predecessor was fired having expected a meeting about transfers, you know that your bosses have the ruthless streak that’s required.
Still, Chris Hughton spent five years in the Amex hot seat before getting the bullet, and the Brighton board will surely show some patience to Potter given that he’s been tasked with evolving the team’s playing style.
9. Ralph Hasenhüttl (Southampton)
Things look reasonably rosy at Southampton. While a meagre two signings (not including the pre-agreed purchase of Danny Ings) implies a hesitancy to back Hasenhüttl, the truth is that Saints have a bloated squad that’s at odds with their popular gaffer’s enthusiasm for playing youngsters.
Once again, however, the club won’t be slow to make Hasenhüttl their fourth managerial victim since 2017 if things do go south on the south coast. December’s schedule offers good opportunities for points… he just has to get there first.
8. Unai Emery (Arsenal)
Arsenal did some smart business in the transfer window, even if they left it late to capture some defensive reinforcements. With doubts over Chelsea and Manchester United, fourth spot could be theirs for the taking.
Arsenal fans had their grumbles last season, though, charging Emery with a failure to implement a clear, defined style of play. If results don’t go to plan in the first half of the season, the Spanaird could find himself looking for another job.
7. Steve Bruce (Newcastle)
You may think Bruce is likelier to get the chop than most managers in the league. You may be right. But Mike Ashley plays by his own rules, and it isn’t hard to imagine him taking a perverse pleasure in retaining the former Sunderland boss even in the face of poor results.
The Geordie was his choice, not the fans’, and Ashley appointed him to prove a point. Nobody knows what that point is, but it could keep him in the St James’ Park dugout longer than many expect.
6. Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
His 13-year playing career at Stamford Bridge will afford Lampard more time than most Blues managers. That still isn’t much time, however: Maurizio Sarri would have been pushed had he not jumped, despite winning the Europa League, reaching the League Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League, all in his first campaign.
Lampard will be under pressure any time Chelsea are fifth or below. He’s inexperienced and coaching a team that was incredibly reliant upon Eden Hazard. An easy autumn fixture list will either help Lampard or, if his probationary period brings setbacks against weaker teams, put the spotlight firmly on the new manager.
5. Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
We’re not saying Villa have ‘done a Fulham’, and we’re not saying Smith won’t succeed. We’re saying he has a difficult task and Aston Villa’s owners won’t sit idly by if a relegation battle follows their £130m summer investment in playing talent. And that’s net spend. And just upfront transfer fees.
Smith is a canny manager and Villa’s season could go well. He’s also a stranger to this level, with an almost entirely new squad. If things do go wrong, they stand to go very, very wrong.
4. Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham)
Contrary to appearance, Pellegrini isn’t a dead man walking. He has a lot of support from within the club, and did a decent job in his first campaign at the helm in east London.
However, you’d better believe that if his Hammers start as slowly as they did last year, having assembled a fine collection of playing staff, the Brady bunch will pull the plug.
3. Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
As brutal as it would be to kick a Croydon boy out of Crystal Palace, especially one who saved them in 2017/18, Steve Parish didn’t show any mercy towards George Burley, Ian Holloway, Neil Warnock or Frank de Boer.
Hodgson’s squad is, improbably, ageing faster than everyone else’s. The average age of Palace’s starting XI is 29. Max Meyer is the only first-team player under 26. The retention of Wilfried Zaha is a positive, but no one knows what frame of mind the winger will be in after handing in a transfer request less than 24 hours before the transfer deadline.
2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
In needlessly freezing out Romelu Lukaku (currently training with Anderlecht), aligning himself with the Glazers and spending nearly £150m on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James, Solskjaer is taking risks – and not all of them necessary.
Three-year contract or not, this could go very Moyesian. He may be loved by the fans but Solskjaer has very little managerial experience outside of the Norwegian league, and United are unlikely to sit idly by if the club’s top-four chances are essentially over by Christmas.
1. Marco Silva (Everton)
“I look at the table and 11th is not good enough, but we need to be patient.” Speaking in January, Farhad Moshiri was right on both counts. Silva’s Everton recovered to finish eighth, yet that wouldn’t be enough in 2019/20. This is crunch time.
Everton have retained Andre Gomes, gone big on Moise Kean, found Fabian Delph in the sales and replaced Idrissa Gueye with Jean-Philippe Gbamin, talented and young yet experienced. This season, Silva must show his doubters in England why he deserves the jobs he’s been given, following success abroad.
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