Pardew under pressure but Rodgers could crumble
There has been no respite for Alan Pardew. After enduring a difficult season in which the Magpies struggled with injuries and flirted with relegation, the appointment of the bumbling Joe Kinnear as Director of Football has heaped further pressure on the ex-Palace man.
7/4 as the first Premier League manager to leave reflects the precarious nature of the Toon boss’s position, but with a huge long-term contract, which is reported to be worth £10 million, both Newcastle and Pardew could be reluctant to part ways.
The return of key players such as Yohan Cabaye should produce better results on the pitch too and so value-seekers may be tempted to look elsewhere as this year’s sack race gets underway.
In fact, it seems to have gone unnoticed that Liverpool, who have had four managers in as many years, approach this season arguably looking less likely to achieve a Champions League place than they did the previous, priced at 13/8.
It is worth considering then how patient the Merseyside giants will be with boss Brendan Rodgers, who is a huge 40/1 to be the first Premier League manager to leave, especially if January comes around and the Reds are all but consigned to another year of Europa League football.
Crucially, star man Luis Suarez wants away from the club. The crafty Uruguayan finished second in the Premier League scoring charts, netting 23 times and was surpassed only by Manchester United’s Robin van Persie. At times, he carried the Reds and such were the quality of his performances, although often laden by controversy, that he is 6/4 to join Real Madrid this summer and only 11/5 to remain at Liverpool.
Furthermore, Steven Gerrard is not the talismanic dynamo he once was and with Rodgers making Jordan Henderson heir apparent it must worry the most optimistic of Reds.
There is plenty of room for improvement at the back too. Despite the signing of the experienced Kolo Toure, he is not the centre-half he once was and has arguably never had the nous to rely on a game dictated by positional sense rather than pace. Daniel Agger is a terrific defender but whether he has an adequate partner next year remains to be seen.
So, while the board will be keen to build a legacy under Rodgers, if there is little to no sign of progress in the first few months of the new season, after spending plenty of money in his year at the helm already, they must pose the question: “Have we got the right man for the job?”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.