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Douglas Costa playing for Juventus1

Friday's Paper Talk

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Premier League: Wenger, Conte and Pardew among managers under pressure

Last Updated March 06 2018, 15:12Football
Alan Pardew: Under fire Baggies boss
Alan Pardew: Under fire Baggies boss

Alan Pardew is odds-on to be sacked by West Brom, but with a host of managers under pressure, how many will see out the season?

As we head down the final stretch of the Premier League season there are more managers than ever on the hot seat at the top and bottom of the table, but who’ll be the next man to leave and who’ll be sticking around next season?

Alan Pardew is odds-on favourite to be the next Premier League manage to leave, with West Brom languishing at the foot of the table and with Baggies chief executive Mark Jenkins heading to China to discuss the manager’s future with the club’s owners.

There are plenty of other managers who look far from comfortable in their current positions though, and we could be in for wholesale changes before the start of next season.

Defeat at Brighton could be the final straw for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Antonio Conte seems to be looking for a way out of Chelsea, while Mauricio Pellegrino, David Moyes and Sam Allardyce are all on shaky ground.

So where have they gone wrong? Can they save themselves before the end of the season and, even if they do, will they still be in charge in 2018/19?

Alan Pardew

Five straight defeats leaves West Brom rock bottom, eight points from safety with nine games to go and talk of Pardew having just one game to save his job. The Baggies haven’t actually played that badly in recent games and can count themselves unlucky in some ways.

The only saving grace for Pardew could be if the owners have already resigned themselves to playing in the Sky Bet Championship next season – and they see Pardew as a long-term option to get them straight back into the top flight.

If there is no good option readily available to take over and try a rescue bid with just eight games to play, could West Brom trust Pardew to make amends next season? It seems a long shot but that’s his only hope.

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger: Can he survive yet another season?

Where do we start with Wenger? He’s been under pressure for years now, but the atmosphere seemed to have turned with defeat at Brighton coming hot on the heels of two listless defeats against Manchester City.

Wenger looks drained, the fans are angry, and they take on AC Milan in the Europa League this week in what could be Wenger’s last chance for survival – win that trophy and he could well eek out another year at the helm.

Sky Bet: Arsenal 5/1 to win the Europa League

Antonio Conte

The Conte situation is one of the most intriguing around – as it may be the manager himself who’s had enough of life at Stamford Bridge. The way he set up for their 1-0 defeat at City and the general attitude of his players suggested that even they knew he wanted out.

After masterminding their Premier League win last year, again the Blues are putting up a woeful title defence and facing Barcelona in the Champions League they could well end up with just the FA Cup to play for - they're 7/2 to lift that trophy.

There have been regular hints at an uneasy relationship between manager and owner at Chelsea, as is often the case, and with the Italy national team job possibly calling again, Conte may well be one of the summer departures.

Mauricio Pellegrino

The criticism heading towards the likes of Wenger, Conte and Pardew means that Pellegrino has gone largely under the radar but his side are hovering perilously close to the drop zone after just one league win since November.

Only West Brom have fewer wins than the Saints have managed all season (five) and Pellegrino is lucky to still be in charge given how consistently poor they’ve been – ironically they’re still in the FA Cup and have Wigan in the quarter-finals.

Cup wins have lifted league displays somewhat - they’ve lost just once in seven - but Saints desperately need a few more to pull away from trouble. They could be in the ‘too good to go down’ category, but make no mistake they're in trouble - and Pellegrino looks unlikely to be given another season in charge on current form.

Away games at Newcastle, West Ham and Arsenal coming up could define Southampton’s season – and Pellegrino’s reign in charge.

Sky Bet: Southampton are 8/1 to win the FA Cup

Sam Allardyce

Big Sam performed his usual solidifying role when he arrived at Everton after Ronald Koeman’s departure and David Unsworth’s unsuccessful audition for the job, and immediately sparked a reaction that dragged them away from relegation trouble.

The honeymoon soon ended though and just two wins since Christmas tell their own story – they’re seven points off the relegation zone so are not totally out of the woods, but should have enough to survive relatively comfortably.

The fans will have expected more though after Allardyce’s stellar start and now the talk is whether he’s the man to take them forward. He’ll see out the season but if they limp over the line without signs of improvement the board could decide to go in a different direction.

David Moyes

Moyes only has a six-month contract at West Ham, which expires at the end of the season, but it may even be a shorter stay than that if they produce more displays like their back-to-back 4-1 defeats in the league.

They’re only three points outside the relegation zone and face home games against Burnley and fellow strugglers Southampton – which could be a huge game in the fight against the drop and for the future of both managers.

There’s also fan unrest behind the scenes and it could be sparking some unhappy memories for Moyes after taking Sunderland down last year. He’s a 25/1 outsider to be the next manager to be sacked but a couple of bad home results could force the club’s hand early.

Regardless, more disappointing results towards the end of the season would mean they’ll be unlikely to extend his stay beyond the summer.

Sky Bet: West Ham are 9/2 to be relegated

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Manchester United are ready to pay £79m to grab Douglas Costa if Juventus don't keep him, according to the back pages.

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