By James McCann
Roberto Di Matteo | Chelsea
After achieving the seemingly impossible last season and finally guiding Chelsea to Champions League glory, as well as an FA Cup triumph, it was no surprise to see Roberto di Matteo installed at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are currently 9/2 to bring home the Premier League title but Di Matteo is 8/1 in the Sack Race betting to be on the receiving end of Roman Abramovich’s notoriously itchy trigger finger.
The European Cup win meant the blues also qualified for the Champions League at the expense of Spurs but the expectation on the Italian’s shoulders will be great. Abramovich has kept the revolving door in perpetual motion at Stamford Bridge with six managers have already been given their marching orders since 2004.
Most likely to say: “No, John Terry’s not picking the teams for me.”
Paul Lambert | Aston Villa
The biggest stories of the Premier League off-season usually concern the movement of players, but the 2012/13 season has been different, as the managerial merry-go-round has well and truly kicked into action.
After steering Norwich City to back-to-back promotions and then securing a mid-table spot in the Premier League, many suggested there was little left for Paul Lambert to do at the East Anglian club, and so it proved to be when he made the journey west to replace the sacked Alex McLeish at Aston Villa.
Amazingly for a modern-day manager, Lambert has never been sacked by his five previous clubs and will be hoping Villa chairman Randy Lerner is just as patient, with Paddy Power offering 25/1 that the Scotsman is the first boss to get the chop in their managers special Sack Race section.
Most likely to say: “Please accept my resignation.”
Brendan Rodgers |Liverpool
Another young manager taking a step up the career ladder this summer is Brendan Rodgers, who secured a dream move to Liverpool after guiding Swansea City into the top flight for the first time in 28 years and playing attractive football to boot.
However, unlike Swansea, Liverpool are not famous for giving their managers breathing space, with club legend Kenny Dalglish’s unceremonious exit at the end of last season demonstrating this. Rodgers is 12/1 to be the first manager to be sacked and follow in the footsteps of Dalglish, Roy Hodgson and Rafael Benitez through the Anfield exit door.
Most likely to say: “One-way ticket to Swansea, please.”
Andre Villas-Boas | Tottenham
The most sensational managerial twist of the summer was undoubtedly Harry Redknapp’s shock exit from Tottenham. At the start of 2012, Spurs were viable title contenders, but a slump in form that coincided with the vacancy of the England job and calls for Redknapp to take the role of national coach resulted in the north London club finishing fourth in the league.
Redknapp’s misery at Roy Hodgson landing the England job was compounded when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final to dump Tottenham in the Europa League for 2012/13 and many speculated the writing was on the wall for ‘Arry.
So it proved to be when the Spurs board refused to budge during contract negotiations, leading to Redknapp leaving the club after a taxing six months and paving the way for the return of Andre Villas-Boas to the Premier League.
After being sacked by Chelsea following a poor first half of the season in the last campaign, the Portuguese manager will feel he has a lot to prove, and will be hoping his second stint in London will be far more enjoyable.
Tottenham are currently 25/1 with Paddy Power to win this season’s Premier League marginally higher than the 20/1 offered on Villas-Boas being the first boss to get the boot next season.
Harry, meanwhile, is the 3/1 favourite to return to his old stomping ground at Upton Park and become the next West Ham United manager, should Sam Allardyce fall on his sword.
AVB Most likely to say: “Jose Mourinho? Never heard of him.”
Harry Redknapp Most likely to say: “Sorry, you’ll have to ask my dog about that one.”