Tim Sherwood may have kept hold of his job at Aston Villa during an international break that saw two of his Premier League counterparts depart the scene, but a guillotine blade still dangles ominously from his office ceiling.
Ladbrokes make the under-pressure boss the 2/1 joint favourite, along with Newcastle’s Steve McClaren, to be the next top-flight manager to lose his job. Media reports have suggested in recent days that both David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers are in line to take over.
A run of five games against top-eight quality teams – Chelsea, Swansea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton – isn’t an ideal schedule for a side that is winless since the opening day of the season. Continued poor performances in that time could well seal Sherwood’s fate.
Should the club turn to Plan B, Moyes and Rodgers represent two equally alluring white knights. The former, himself struggling in La Liga with Real Sociedad, has a reputation of cajoling clubs to outperform their means, while Rodgers was a Premier League runner up just two seasons ago.
There is a feeling around Villa Park that Moyes is the preferred choice. His work at Everton with little funding is a closer representation of the task at hand at Villa than Rodgers’ albeit committee-agreed splurges with Liverpool.
The stability Moyes provided at Goodison Park is a quality Aston Villa pine for too. In 11 full seasons in charge of the Toffees, the Scot only finished outside the top-10 twice. His appointment would be low risk.
The same cannot be said for Rodgers, who likely holds ambitions above a relegation scrap having tasted the Champions League on Merseyside. Villa couldn’t be sure of the Northern Irishman’s loyalty as soon as a higher-profile position (the England job, for instance) became available.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.