Why West Brom boss is the rightful favourite in the sack race

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When West Bromwich Albion lost their fourth game in a row, at home to West Ham on Tuesday night, Alan Irvine was catapulted into the league’s hottest seat, with Ladbrokes making him the 2/1 favourite to be the next manager to leave.

After 14 games the Baggies are gearing up for a dog fight, sat in 16th position in the league and performing far worse than at this stage of the season than from the identical fixtures last term.

As the below graphic shows, Irvine’s side are 10 points worse off when compared to the last campaign, to add more weight to the calls to get rid of him:

managers-to-leave-points

There’s a very good reason why four measly losses make the Scot the most likely man to get the boot, while teams like Leicester and Hull endure far lengthier barren runs, and that’s because Albion have developed a reputation for pressing the panic button and axing their managers in recent seasons.

Starting with Roberto Di Matteo and, for whatever reason, running through Roy Hodgson, Steve Clarke, Pepe Mel and Irvine, the Baggies are on their fifth manager in as many years .

The last time they lost four games in a row, they sacked Clarke a year ago and while the commotion that caused may dissuade Albion from shoving Irvine out the back door just yet, unwanted results against Hull – who they are 11/5 to beat – Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers could force their hand.

Interestingly, Everton’s poor start to the season hasn’t lowered the axe anywhere near Roberto Martinez’s head, despite the Toffees accumulating 11 points less from the identical games last term. Meanwhile, some of the company Irvine is keeping at the top end of the next-manager-to-leave market are proving bigger hits than last term.

NB – Leicester’s results are compared to Norwich’s last season

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.