Not much to celebrate for Premier League managers

Managers have such little time in the Premiership these days and it seems crazy that two managers, new to the top league, are fighting for their jobs by Christmas.

Paul Ince and Gianfranco Zola were given a chance to manage in the Premiership by Blackburn and West Ham, but it seems that less than halfway through the season their clubs could be giving up on them already.

The Christmas period is always intriguing and this year things could become a lot clearer at the bottom of the table. Blackburn are 19th with 13 points and are 2/1 to go down but they have some winnable games before the New Year, as they travel to Wigan and Sunderland and face Stoke and Manchester City at home. The league is so tight that three wins could see them comfortably in mid-table by the start of 2009. Ince could well be breathing a lot easier as the second half of the season gets underway.

Zola, however, has tougher fixtures – on paper at least. West Ham go to Chelsea and Portsmouth and welcome Aston Villa and Stoke to Upton Park. The Hammers have plummeted down the table lately and currently sit 16th with 18 points, but are third favourites to go down at 15/8.

Tony Mowbray’s team may be favourites to be relegated straight back to the Championship but the board at West Brom are not in a hurry to replace their manager. The Baggies are 1/6 to go down and could find themselves further adrift at the foot of the table after a Christmas programme that sees them take on Sunderland, Manchester City , Chelsea and Spurs.

Stoke may seem fairly comfortable in 13th place in the table but they’re still odds on to go down at 1/2. Their games against Fulham, Blackburn, Manchester United and West Ham could well make or break their season. Tony Pulis, however, is not under anything like the same pressure as Ince and Zola.

The two big name former Premiership stars will not be relaxing too much over Christmas and could find themselves festive victims of the big league’s need for instant success.

Also See: The 08-09 Manager Sack Race.

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