Value in opposing Pardew with Jol in Premier League sack race

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The never-ending circus that occurs behind the scenes at Newcastle United football club ensures that whoever their manager is, he’s never far from the front of the queue in the next manager to leave betting stakes.

Unsurprisingly, Alan Pardew finds himself occupying the favourite’s spot in this market, backable as short as 2/1 to be the first Premier League manager to have the axe wielded upon him this season. However, a punt on likeable Dutchman Martin Jol at 8/1 could prove the way to go here instead.

The former Tottenham and Ajax coach came under increasing pressure last term when his team found themselves spiralling towards the top flight’s nether regions after managing just one win in the 12 games leading up to Christmas. They didn’t exactly close the campaign on the front foot either, losing five of their last six.

Despite these two lengthy barren patches, the Cottagers still managed to record a respectable 12th-place finish but, such was the nature of the relegation beast last time around that it threatened to swallow up almost every side in the bottom half at various stages, they ended up just seven points clear of 18th-place Wigan.

Now, under the ownership of billionaire mechanic Shahid Khan, Jol must oversee much smoother on-pitch proceedings, with a challenge for a top-half finish likely to be his remit. His side are currently priced up at 11/4 to meet this target with Ladbrokes.

Given their current squad, this looks to be beyond their capabilities, though this could be rectified should they draft a striker in.

They’re believed to leading the chase to procure Darren Bent’s services from Aston Villa and, should they succeed, this will spread the responsibility of scoring all of the club’s goals from Dimitar Berbatov’s notoriously lackadaisical shoulders.

Bent has been linked with numerous Premier League rivals though and, if Fulham miss out on their number one target, it could easily spell doom for Jol in the not-so-long term.

Away days at Sunderland and Newcastle to balance home clashes with Arsenal and West Brom isn’t the most friendly openers to the season, so expect the Dutchman’s odds to tumble in the campaign’s early exchanges.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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