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The Premier League sack race: Managers under pressure

The Premier League sack race
© PA Photos
Reportedly, October is the month that most clubs part company with their manager. So, which Premier League bosses are currently sweating on their futures?

A report from the League Managers Association last week claimed that more bosses lose their jobs in October than any other month of the year.

We've already seen the likes of Steve McClaren, Keith Millen and Peter Reid part company with their respective Football League clubs in recent weeks.

Now, the general feel within the game is that a Premier League manager could be next for the chop. So with that in mind, here are five of the leading contenders in the top flight sack race.

Steve Kean

Many believe that had Kean's Blackburn Rovers side not completed a comeback victory over Arsenal last month then his spell as manager at Ewood Park could well have been over. In truth, the 44-year-old has endured a bumpy ride since he took over from the popular Sam Allardyce in December 2010. The Scot has received numerous votes of confidence from the club's Indian owners, but with the club languishing second from bottom in the table and the signs of improvement looking bleak, his days at the helm are surely numbered.

Odds: 5/4

Steve Bruce

When a new chairman takes over a club it more often than not leads to questions about the manager's future (see Allardyce above). That is the situation in which Bruce currently finds himself at Sunderland. Granted, the new chairman is owner Ellis Short, a man with whom the 50-year-old boss has built up a reportedly good working relationship. However, football is a results-related business and big-spending Bruce is yet to deliver this season. Six points from seven matches has not been deemed good enough in the North East, a point highlighted by the large number of empty seats at the Stadium of Light.

Odds: 11/4

Owen Coyle

Currently propping up the other 19 teams in the Premier League are Coyle's Bolton Wanderers. The Scottish boss will point to the fact that his team have faced Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in their opening seven matches as the main reason behind their slow start. Fair point, but coming up for Coyle's side is a run of fixtures against the likes of Wigan Athletic and Swansea City. Failure to pick up some positive results in those matches may prompt the notoriously patient chairman Phil Gartside to wield his axe.

Odds: 10/1

Neil Warnock

A few more results like the 6-0 hammering from Fulham last weekend and Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock could soon be heading down the job centre. So far new owner Tony Fernandes has backed his boss, both in the transfer market and in public interviews. Survival is the name of the game for Rangers this season and Warnock's record at achieving that feat doesn't bode well. The last time he managed in the Premier League, his Sheffield United side were demoted on the final day. Some believe that Warnock has made his job harder by bringing in ego-driven players like Joey Barton and the injury-plagued Kieron Dyer. Expect Fernandes to re-assess the situation in a month's time.

Odds: 12/1

Arsene Wenger

If any other manager of the 'Big Four' went six years without winning a trophy, then they would be shown the exit door, with the possible exception of Sir Alex Ferguson. Not since 2005 has Wenger guided Arsenal to a trophy and it now appears that this statistic is catching up with him. His inability to replace the departing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri hasn't helped his cause either, while currently lying two places above the relegation zone has left many supporters disillusioned. Previously unthinkable, certain sections of the Gunners faithful are said to be planning a protest against the Frenchman before Sunday's match with Sunderland.

Odds: 16/1

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