Lee Davy gets out his crystal balls, gives them a good spit wash and predicts the sacking of five more Premier League managers by the end of the season.
Swansea has announced the appointment of Paul Clement on a two and a half year deal. The 44-year old has left his position as Assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, at Bayern Munich, to take over from the beleaguered Bob Bradley.
Clement beat out bookmakers favourites Ryan Giggs, Chris Coleman and Alan Pardew to earn his first top flight opportunity as a manager. He has served as a gaffer in English football before, but with Derby County. His other appointments include coaching roles at Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain, and Chelsea.
They like a new coach in West Wales. Clement is the fifth permanent Swansea coach to be appointed in the past two years and the third this season.
Last season, I predicted that eight managers would fall (at the time Brendan Rodgers and Dick Advocaat had left positions at Liverpool and Sunderland), and I got the number spot on. I was also mightily close to predicting all the managers who left.
I predicted that:
1. Jose Mourinho would leave Chelsea
2. Aston Villa would give Tim Sherwood the boot
3. Ronald Koeman would be prised away from Southampton
4. Watford would lose patience with Quique Flores
5. Newcastle would wave bye-bye to Steve McClaren
The only prediction I got wrong was Tony Pulis leaving West Brom. Instead, Everton got rid of Roberto Martinez.
So who will join Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley and Alan Pardew in the dole queue:
1. Walter Mazzarri (Watford)
Watford may seem comfortable, sitting in 12th position, seven points clear of the drop zone, but there are tough times ahead. They have won only two of their previous nine Premier League games; have an injury list of M*A*S*H proportions, and have two misfiring forwards in Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo.
And the Watford board are not known for their patience. If Quique Flores’s performance was deemed as insufficient, Mazzarri is in strife. And he can’t even speak the lingo. I am afraid Mazzarri will be the ninth Watford manager to be axed in six seasons.
2. David Moyes (Sunderland)
Sunderland is garbage.
Take Jermaine Defoe out of the side, and they will sink quicker than a gangster in concrete. They even lost to Swansea. When I watch David Moyes in his post-match press conferences, he looks like he has aged 20-years since his Everton days.
Since leaving his post at Man Utd, he has won 18 games in 65 matches while in charge of Real Sociedad and Sunderland. His current success rate at Sunderland is 26.09%. The Black Cats will go down, and Moyes will not be around when it happens.
3. Mike Phelan (Hull)
Hull has been a mess from the very beginning of this Premier League campaign. They began without a manager and with a threadbare squad, so it’s no surprise to see them in the bottom three.
They started well, with back-to-back wins over Leicester and Swansea, but have only won once in the following 18 games conceding 44 goals and only netting 17 times.
The Hull board appointed Phelan on a permanent basis on the back of those two opening wins, but he has cut an increasingly forlorn figure in recent weeks, shifting the blame onto individual errors. I see that as the first sign of losing your dressing room and when that happens not even Jose Mourinho is safe as he found out to his peril last season.
4. Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough)
I can see Middlesbrough getting sucked into the relegation dogfight by the end of the season and when that happens, Aitor Karanka will not be equipped to deal with it.
He would have learned many things under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho during his time at Real Madrid, but one doubts, preventing your side from being relegated from the Premier League is one of them.
As Boro inch closer to the bottom three the board will look for a more experienced figure to keep them in the top flight of that I am sure.
The Long Shot
5. Paul Clement (Swansea)
I considered both Mark Hughes and Pep Guardiola for my long shot. Stoke are such a strange side, and their inconsistency leads me to believe that Sparky doesn’t have a great hold on team morale. Guardiola is clearly not a happy bunny and told Spanish reporters that the Man City job would be his last. He hasn’t experienced the intense scrutiny like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just walked.
In the end, I went for Clement. It seems a little strange selecting a man for the chop before he has even taken charge of a single match, but I think Swansea have made a mistake with this appointment.
Clement has worked at some of the best clubs in the world, and with some of the greatest stars, but he has always been in the role of assistant. To give him the reins of a top flight club deep in the mire and with a team who don’t seem to know their heads from their asses, I can see Huw Jenkins losing patience with him by the end of the season and then in a move of desperation try to appoint someone else.
Now it’s your turn?
Who do you think will end the season looking for a new job?