Being a football club manager in the English Premier League (EPL) has never been a tougher ask than it is today. If team performances fall below par and clubs are in danger of getting into the relegation area, the manager’s head is the first one on the chopping block.
Mark Hughes, manager of Stoke City is the latest casualty. He is the 7th football club manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season. Quique Sanchez Flores, current manager of the Spanish La Liga side, Espanyol, was being hotly tipped as his replacement.
However, in a recent statement the Spaniard indicated that it is his intention to stay on where he is. That put Irishman Martin O’Neill, who previously being considered, back in the spotlight for a while.
Martin O’Neill approached as replacement manager
Stoke City were keen to appoint Mr. O’Neill as the manager of the team. They were set on persuading him to step down from his current position as manager of the Republic of Ireland team after he has spent four years in the international football arena.
O’Neill is assisted in his management of the Ireland team by Roy Keane, one time Irish international player and a favourite of the Manchester United team in times gone by.
Both men are said to be enjoying the challenge of being in the process of developing a new young Republic of Ireland team.
They are preparing for the European Nations Cup which begins later on this year. It is this that has led O’Neill to his final decision to remain where he is.
Paul Lambert is Stoke City’s final choice
The latest news, hot off the press, is that Paul Lambert is to be appointed as Stokes new manager. He has signed a two and-a-half year deal which will take him through until the summer of 2020, if of course he lasts that long, given the pressures that are brought to bear on EPL club managers to achieve results.
Lambert has been out of football since the close of last season when he left Wolverhampton Wanderers as manager following a dispute regarding as to who has the final say about signing up new players.
He does have a good EPL pedigree, having managed several clubs including Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City. According to Stoke City Chairman Peter Coates, this previous experience is why they have decided to offer him the position.
Could Sam Allardyce be next to go?
Mark Hughes’ sacking as manager is hardly likely to prove to be the last in the Premier League this season. Everton may be the next club to look hard at their current manager. Sam Allardyce was appointed as manager of Everton at the end of November 2017. As is often the case, when a new manager is appointed, team players respond positively, and under his new management, Everton won their first seven games.
Unfortunately, that response now seems to have faltered after less than two months and they have now lost their last four games on the trot. The so-called “honeymoon” period is well and truly over, and unless Allardyce can bring about a rapid change in terms of the team’s attitude and results, he could well end up being the next managerial casualty in the EPL.