Leeds United are facing a momentous decision which could decide whether they stay in the Premier League this season.
Leeds are still pondering their next move after sacking Jesse Marsch on Monday. The American was relieved of his duties after a run of seven Premier League matches without a win – and there were immediate signs of life, as the team picked up a creditable point in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
As well as his side did on Wednesday, interim boss Michael Skubala is unlikely to be given the reins full-time. Instead, the Leeds hierarchy are still searching for their perfect fit after Rayo Vallecano blocked an approach for Andoni Iraola and Carlos Corberan signed a new deal at West Brom.
Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani is the man charged with finding a new boss ahead of the visit of United to Elland Road on Sunday. He doesn’t need reminding just how important his decision is, but a look over the other managerial changes in the Premier League demonstrates the high stakes game he’s playing.
Here Mirror Football casts an eye over all the changes and assesses whether they have been successful.
Sacked: Scott Parker
Hired: Gary O’Neil
The earliest change in the Premier League came on August 30. Parker lasted just four games and was given his marching orders after openly questioning his players’ commitment following a 9-0 thrashing by Liverpool and criticised the lack of backing from the hierarchy above him.
The Cherries waited until November before confirming the official appointment of interim boss O’Neil. After going unbeaten in his first six games in charge, results have tailed off alarmingly. Bournemouth have won just one of their last 12 league games and are in 19th position, two points from safety.
The new owners splashed the cash in January in the hope that O’Neil will be able to turn things around. The jury remains out on his leadership.
Sacked: Thomas Tuchel
Hired: Graham Potter
One of the most contentious sackings of the season. Todd Boehly’s ruthless call to sack Tuchel came on September 7 after a 1-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb.
Tuchel had been hugely successful with the Blues, winning the Champions League and 60 of his 100 games in charge altogether, but was unceremoniously dumped by the new owners just 100 days into their time at the club. Boehly wanted a new manager to fulfil his vision and quickly moved for Brighton ’s Potter.
It has been far from plain sailing since. While Boehly has continued to be extremely busy in the transfer window, the team has continued to struggle on the pitch. Potter has won just nine of his 22 games in all competitions so far and has Chelsea ninth in the Premier League. He has the difficult job of making a team out of the huge collection of players the club has gathered.
Lost: Graham Potter
Hired: Roberto De Zerbi
The loss of Potter to Chelsea looked to be a huge one for Brighton, but they have continued onwards and upwards thanks to a seamless transition to De Zerbi. The Seagulls are a well-run club from top to bottom and that showed when Potter was poached by the Blues.
De Zerbi has proven to be a perfect fit for Brighton’s style of play. The Italian has them sixth in the Premier League – three places better off than Chelsea – and has lost just five of his 18 games in all competitions so far.
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Sacked: Bruno Lage
Hired: Julen Lopetegui
Lage was sacked on October 2, with Wolves in the relegation zone following defeat by West Ham. They had won just one of their opening eight Premier League games and scored three goals. The Portuguese boss was never convincing at Wolves, who acted to change direction well before the World Cup break.
Lopetegui arrived on November 5 after a month of caretaker Steve Davis being in charge. The Europa League-winning boss was seen as a major coup for Wolves, who had been trying to hire him for some time.
Results have picked up under the Spaniard, who has the club 15th, two points above the relegation zone. There is a pervasive feeling of positivity following an impressive 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool last weekend which was built on January additions.
Sacked: Steve Gerrard
Hired: Unai Emery
Gerrard arrived at Villa from Rangers with a decent reputation behind him. He lasted less than a year in the hot seat, sacked on October 20. With Villa sitting 17th, with just two wins from their 10 Premier League games, he could hardly argue with the decision.
It took just four days for Villa to confirm the arrival of Emery, who returned to the Premier League with a point to prove following a spell at Arsenal. He has made a good start, guiding Villa to 11th with a run of five wins from his eight league games so far.
Sacked: Ralph Hasenhuttl
Hired: Nathan Jones
Southampton ’s owners, Sport Republic, toyed with the idea of sacking Hasenhuttl in the summer, but held off in part due to the World Cup break, knowing it would give them time to reconsider. They pulled the trigger on November 7, releasing a manager who had given almost four years to the club.
Hasenhuttl was well-liked at Saints but was undoubtedly presiding over a worrying run of form, with three wins from 14 in the Premier League. While many supporters grudgingly agreed with the call to move on, they are almost unanimously united in their opinion that Sport Republic got his replacement all wrong.
Jones has unified the supporters against him through some bizarre press conferences, while he has failed to turn around the poor form, losing six of his seven league games. Saints are bottom of the league and in real danger of playing in the Championship next season. Jones could be sacked if Saints lose to Wolves on Saturday.
Sacked: Frank Lampard
Hired: Sean Dyche
Lampard was sacked on January 23 after a 2-0 defeat by West Ham. Goodison Park has been a miserable place all season, with the former Chelsea and Derby boss unable to turn things around.
Everton had gone eight games without a win in the league since October 22. In came Dyche and he made an immediate impact, picking up a surprise 1-0 win over league leaders Arsenal in his first match.
The former Burnley manager has the task of galvanising the squad and avoiding relegation after the club failed to bring in any new players in January.