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Which Premier League manager is most likely to get sacked next? Lampard at Everton? Potter at Chelsea?

Are the two main candidates to get the sack really that bad?

Are the two main candidates to get the sack really that bad?
ANDREW BOYERSAction Images via Reuters

At some point in a bad run, the meaning of things breaks down, wins don’t become wins anymore, they merely serve as a skip button to head past GO, collect $200, and move onto the next round. Then the game starts again, always waiting for that dice roll to land you on the GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL spot on the board.

OK, Monopoly stans among you will be rightly saying that it is in fact a card that sends you to jail, not a place on the board, but the point stands. In football, events reach a certain point in which there can be no looking back, like the event horizon of a black hole, or saying yes to watching a romcom film with your partner. No turning back now.

The Premier League currently has a couple of candidates on the precipice of entering past the fatal mark in the sand, where wins stop becoming wins, the three points appear on the board to everyone but the fans, the shirt you bought at the start of the season is beginning to look a little uglier than when it was first released, now inextricably intertwined with feeling of suffering and anger.

Potter's Chelsea were crushed by Manchester City in the FA Cup Third Round.
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Potter's Chelsea were crushed by Manchester City in the FA Cup Third Round.MOLLY DARLINGTONREUTERS

Who are the main candidates to get sacked?

Frank Lampard and Graham Potter are the two names that spring to the top of any leaderboard in terms of who would be next to go. Because of course, in the Premier League, irrelevant of whether or not you’re at the top or bottom, the single and only appropriate solution to having a struggling manager is to let them go. Pay them millions, sever the contract they signed and push their piece off the board and onto the floor. They’ll be fine.

The World Cup gave clubs across the UK and Ireland to have a unique opportunity for a genuine breathing period in the middle of the season: winter breaks happen across Europe (or at least, they used to until other league bosses got jealous of the Premier League hogging the Christmas TV Guide) and it was a chance for boardrooms to plan whether they wanted a continuity project or a clean break after the festive period. Potter and Lampard survived, but the odds suggest they are, once again, close to leaving the game.

Is Graham Potter really that bad?

In a word, no. Graham Potter has a fantastic track record of success, taking Swansea City within touching distance of the play-offs in the Championship before launching Brighton to heights previously unseen, establishing them as a Premier League team and developing the squad into one that can compete with the best in the league, playing a fluid, attacking style of play that enamoured football fans across the country.

His football made Chelsea come calling, after Todd Boehly acquired the club following the departure of Roman Abramovic. Since then, however, it is fair to say that the manager has not yet become used to his new surroundings, and was booed off after Chelsea fell to a lacklustre 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup third round on 8 January.

His time at Chelsea has not yet been a success, but it is a step up for Potter, who had not managed a top club in a major European league before his move to Chelsea. In such a cut-throat business, aspiring coaches need time at the top level, and especially ones who have worked their way up the pyramid to get there - otherwise, what the point?

Frank Lampard vs Graham Potter Chelsea statistics
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Frank Lampard vs Graham Potter Chelsea statisticsAS English

What about Frank Lampard?

Speaking of working your way up the pyramid, Frank Lampard was born on top of it, and he took his first managerial job with Derby County back in 2018 where was for one season, taking them from 7th to 7th. He dipped into his phonebook and recruited players who are now major names across Europe such as Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, but did not succeed in getting Derby, who are now in League One, England’s third tier, promoted.

From there, he moved to Chelsea, where, after 84 games, he was sacked following a run of results that saw their defence be split open on countless occasions. Thomas Tuchel took over the club midseason and Chelsea went on to win the Champions League.

Everton are now under the reigns of Lampard, but the pressure is growing for him to deliver. A 1-4 loss to Brigton at home, the team with many of the same players Potter had under his spell there, sealed the deal for many fans, who showed their frustration at Goodison Park, although admittedly the anger was also aimed at the board as well as the general situation.

Time will tell if these two managers will keep their jobs and turn things around or if the dice will roll a bad number and that will be game over. Given it’s the Premier League, I know where I’d lay my money...


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