Tony Pulis became the 14th manager in the UK to be sacked in yet another year of manager departures. Teams are coming in to Christmas with a transfer window ahead and another half of the season to save whatever ambitions they had before the start of the year.
A change of manager during a season is always a contentious decision because managers are being judged on a weekly basis despite some of their tasks being a long-term job that requires a lengthy approach.
Owners are hoping for a fresh change, perhaps some insightful purchases in January and the possibility that the players will react to a new manager coming in with some quick wins.
While West Bromwich isn’t in the relegation zone they have been flirting with it all season. Tony Pulis is a master tactician and defender and will always build a team difficult to beat. The problem he has had this year is scoring at the other end. His strikers Solomon Rondon have not been finishing and signing Hal Robson-Kanu has not repeated the form that brought him so many plaudits at the Euros. While it is not a dire situation you can understand the owners were seeing the club starting to nosedive and decided to take evasive action. What they should be looking for with a new manager is a long-term choice though as it is not desperate enough to just grab a manager to save them from relegation. Because if they did that, Tony Pulis would be their top choice!
Slaven Bilic’s lore with West Ham and the fans had worn pretty thin by the time he was sacked this month. He was a fantastic choice, to begin with and early on showed promise. He was coming from international football into club management and looked to have found a match made in heaven with West Ham. Poor results and an even poorer transfer [policy with lots of money wasted was his downfall. The pressure was always going to be on too with this transitional phase for the Hammers as they move into the Olympic Stadium and lay claim to ambitions higher than their current station. Bilic is not the man to match these dreams at the moment. Or us, he definitely needs some more years in club football management to get behind him.
This will be one to forget for Simon Grayson. Despite all his hard work to get a job like the Sunderland Manager he could not have picked a worse time to join the club. It is toxic at the moment in the Stadium of Light and the club is plummeting down the league after years of mismanagement. The club picked up a hidden gem with Chris Coleman to replace him but he too is walking into the hornet’s nest.
Ronald Koeman road his luck for too long it seemed with Everton this season. Despite a promising time last year, Everton has struggled in 2017 and it was not helped by the loss of Lukaku to Manchester United. Koeman was never able to replace him. He apparently came close to getting Olivier Giroud but with no one to lead the line and a relatively young and inexperienced squad Everton were flirting dangerously with the relegation zone. Something they definitely weren’t expecting. Koeman got the chop but it will be tough to find a manager at the moment to match the task and ambitions at Everton.
Despite being one of the masterminds of Leicester City’s incredible Premier League victory Shakespeare was deemed surplus to requirements in October. It seems the board were understandably disappointed they didn’t at least get close to the efforts of the year before. To be fair to Craig Shakespeare they lost some massive players in Ngolo Kante and Danny Drinkwater. Riyadh Mahrez was also missing for the early part of the season. As they have done in the past the board made a surprise appointment with Claude Pel, but if they put the same high standards on Pel as they did to Shakespeare it might be another short-lived tenure.