With the sacking of Gary Abbott at Carlisle and the more recent departure of Paulo Di Canio at Sunderland, the managerial merry-go-round is now in full swing. The Football League tables are now beginning to take shape, and for many clubs it’s a case of act now or regret the consequences. Here at The72 we prefer more positive news, but we can’t help but feel another managerial change is just around the corner so we’ve put together a few Football League managers who could face the sack.
Dave Jones – Sheffield Wednesday
Jones is one of just a few on the list whose club is above the relegation zone but that might not be enough to keep him at his job. The former Cardiff manager did wonders in the 11’/12′ season when he guided Wednesday to promotion ahead of city rivals Sheffield United, but never managed to get his side going last campaign. At one stage The Owls endured one of the worst runs in the league, winning just 2 in 18 matches. After a strong finish, relegation was avoided but many feel that Wednesday actually have a worse squad this time round. Having failed to win any of their first 7 matches, Jones and his team are in danger of replicating last years horrendous run and should they do, chairman Milan Mandaric may just be a little more ruthless second time round.
Possible replacements: Paulo Di Canio, Gary Megson
Dougie Freedman – Bolton Wanderers
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The chances are Dougie Freedman has looked back at what might have been a few time already this season. Last year, as manager of Crystal Palace, Freedman guided The Eagles to the top of The Championship in November but swapped Selhurst Park for a shot at promotion with Bolton at The Reebok. Wanderers were 20th in February but a strong second half of the season saw Freedman’s side come within a couple of minutes of getting into the play-offs. Having been one of the pre-season favourites for promotion this year, most would have been shocked to see Bolton lie rock bottom of the table after 8 games. There’s no doubting Dougie Freedman’s potential as a Football League manager, but if Wanderer’s continue their awful form, it won’t be long before who loses the support of The Reebok faithful.
Possible replacements: Tony Pulis, Gus Poyet
David Weir – Sheffield United
David Weir’s recent appointment at Sheffield United was greeted with a wave of optimism from the Blades fans. Although his first job as a Football League manager, Weir brought youth, contacts and the aim of attractive football to Bramall Lane, something that had perhaps been missing for quite some time. A solid 2-1 victory over Notts County on the opening day of the season, left fans feeling excited for the new campaign, but the transfer of Kevin McDonald to League 1 rivals Wolves, was an unexpected blow to everyone at the club. Seven games later, United have failed to win taking just one point and scoring a mere three goals. Automatic promotion was in no way a certainty for Sheffield United this season, but lie in 20th place after 8 games is unacceptable for a club that is big enough to challenge for promotion to the top tier. Weir has a case to be given more time, but with the new Saudi owners on board, time may be of the essence if The Blades’ current form continues.
Possible replacements: Tony Pulis, Chris Wilder
Chris Kiwomya – Notts County
When a manager starts talking about his future, you know he’s probably in a spot of bother. That’s exactly what Notts County boss Chris Kiwomya finds himself in at the moment. Since achieving promotion to League 1 in 2010, County fans have had the luxury of watching solid attacking football with players such as Lee and Jeff Hughes and Alan Judge at their forefront of their play. But having let all go in recent times, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the club find themselves towards the lower echelons of the league. A recent 2-0 win over Tranmere was County’s first of the season, lifting them off the bottom of the League 1 table, but a cautious Kiwomya will be wary that he could become the second Football League manager to be given the boot should fail to capitalises on last weekends results.
Possible replacements: Steve Cotterill, Gary Rowett
Mark Yates – Cheltenham Town
Having suffered succesive play-offs defeats to Crewe and Northampton respectively, Cheltenham Town were hoping go one step further and make it third time lucky in an aim to get back into League 1. However, after just one win in their first 8, away at fellow struggles Accrington, Yates is beginning to come under some pressure. Whilst relegation is most probably not a worry at Whaddon Road just yet, Cheltenham will have to act quickly if they are to salvage their season and aim for promotion. Whether that is by getting rid of the man who has already taken them into the play-offs in successive seasons or not remains to be seen, but either way, things are not looking good for The Robins.
Possible replacement: Steve Cotterill
Aidy Boothroyd – Northampton Town
Another manager to suffer recent play-off agony is Northampton’s Aidy Bothroyd. The former Watford and Coventry boss was one of the Football League manager’s of the year last season doing an exceptional job with The Cobblers as he guided them to the play-off final. But this year Northampton, who haven’t scored an away goal since May have really struggled and find themselves in the League 2 relegation zone. After a somewhat tempestuous relationship with top club goalscorer Adebayo Akinfenwa, Bothroyd sold the striker to Gillingham but has failed to successfully replace him. The Cobblers’ latest result, a 2-1 loss to Mansfield sparked a wave of defensive comments from Bothroyd. He told the BBC: “I’m not one for resigning or giving up. These are my players. I’ve got backing from everyone within the club. I’m the man to put this right.”
Possible replacement: Colin Calderwood
After masterminding Barnsley to survival in The Championship last season, David Flitcroft had hoped to steady the ship at Oakwell. But yet again The Tykes find themselves lurking in the relegation zone. Crisis talks ensue. Another manager who is failing to replicate his recent successes is Martin Allen. The Gills are winless in League 1 having been promoted last season. Finally, James Beattie at Accrington Stanley who’s had a nightmare start to his managerial career. Following a successful loan period at the club, Beattie became a fans favourite and even paid the tax bills from his own pocket. Stanley have taken just one point from a possible 24 this term but talks of Beattie coming out of retirement to play for the club could give him the time he needs to get some more points on the board.