Marsch to Southampton after Leeds sacking shows manager carousel has gone crazy
Who would be a manager? Sacking season has really gone silly this year; it’s feels more likely your club has fired their boss than not.
Well, that’s very nearly true, anyway. Of the 20 Premier League managers to begin the season, nine have now left their posts. Seven of them (Scott Parker, Thomas Tuchel, Bruno Lage, Steven Gerrard, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Frank Lampard and Nathan Jones) are gone and don’t appear to be coming back anytime soon.
Graham Potter was nabbed from Brighton by Chelsea to replace Tuchel, while Jesse Marsch – who left Leeds little more than a week ago – is now on the verge of taking the Southampton job.
A penny, then, for the thoughts of those who’ve been harshly jettisoned and for David Moyes, who is the only manager of a club in the league’s bottom six to have been in the job for more than six months. Only four (Moyes, Brendan Rodgers, Patrick Vieira and Steve Cooper) of the bottom 11 can consider themselves anything but new appointments.
The case of Marsch, in particular, is a peculiar one. Southampton clearly believe the American is still a half-decent manager – better than the disastrous Jones, anyway – whereas Leeds clearly did not. Yet the Elland Road club failed to input any kind of contingency plan for Marsch’s sacking – to the point where they had to face Manchester United twice in four days with a caretaker in charge.
Will Marsch be able to keep Saints in the league? He definitely has the toughest task of any new appointment this season, not just because Southampton are rooted to the foot of the table, three points adrift and four away from safety.
He will also feel he’s got a point to prove – and how he’d love to escape relegation at the expense of Leeds. A lot can happen in the 16 remaining Premier League matches – we might even see another couple of sackings before the chequered flag comes down.
Latest reports suggest Leeds are now considering Nuno Espirito Santo and Steven Gerrard among the candidates to replace Marsch, having failed to attract their preferred choices so far. Again, Nuno and Stevie G not long ago were sacked by mid ranking Premier League sides for not being up to scratch. Could they really answer Leeds fans’ prayers?
Only Jones, Lage and Lampard truly felt out of their depth managing their clubs this season – in particular the beleaguered Welshman, who must be rueing his decision to leave the comforts of his beloved Luton Town for the snake pit of the Premier League. Parker, Tuchel and Hasenhuttl were certainly treated harshly and were discarded too hastily.
You suspect, however, that many of these names will reappear on the manager carousel at some point soon. In a week when Neil Warnock came out of retirement (again) to save his former club Huddersfield from relegation from the Championship aged 74, maybe the likes of Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce – Premier League managerial stalwarts of yore – will yet come out of the woodwork.
For now, Bournemouth’s Gary O’Neil is the new name atop the bookmakers ‘next Premier League manager to leave their post’ list. He’s 6/4, if you’re interested. Moyes is 6/1, Potter is a worrying 9/2. According to the odds, only Mikel Arteta, Erik ten Hag and Eddie Howe can sleep sound, at 100/1 apiece.
In the words of Peep Show’s Alan Johnson: “The scythe is remorseless. I hope the scythe’s remorseless swing can bring you some comfort.”