MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 00:25:09

Premier League merry-go-round remains quiet despite Hughes' departure

Premier League merry-go-round remains quiet despite Hughes' departure
© Reuters
Hughes is the second top-flight boss to lose his job this season.

Southampton have parted company with Mark Hughes but this season is still on course to be a quiet one for managerial changes in the Premier League.

Hughes becomes the second top-flight boss to lose his job this season, following Fulham's sacking of Slavisa Jokanovic last month.

That represents a quiet start compared to recent years and stands in marked contrast to last season, when six managers had left their roles – matching a 10-year high in the competition.

Premier League managerial changes
(PA Graphic)

Two more in January matched 2007/08's record by that stage of the season and a late-season flurry led to a record season total of 15 changes.

December has often been a busy month for changes, with multiple changes in seven of the 10 seasons before this and a peak of four in 2013/14 when Fulham, West Brom, Tottenham and Cardiff all pulled the trigger. That took that season's tally to six by the new year – the same as 2008/09 and matched again last year.

But with most managers seemingly secure in their roles for the time being this season looks set to remain a reassuringly quiet one for the men in the hot-seat.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has defied his critics (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Manchester United's indifferent form has brought scrutiny on Jose Mourinho's position at various times but the club have stood firm up to now.

Newcastle's recent three-match winning run shifted the focus away from Rafael Benitez, although Saturday's dismal defeat to West Ham left them just one win above the relegation zone while the Spaniard's fractious relationship with club owner Mike Ashley will put pressure on their January recruitment.

Fulham and Saints occupy two of the relegation places – sandwiching Burnley, whose seventh-placed finish last season earned Sean Dyche Europa League qualification, credit in the bank and a pub named in his honour.

The Royal Dyche in Burnley
Sean Dyche has credit in the bank at Burnley (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Huddersfield and Cardiff are just above the drop zone, with their respective managers David Wagner and Neil Warnock having led them to promotion and arguably over-achieved with the squads at their disposal.

Crystal Palace are the other team within three points of the bottom three but there has been little discussion of Roy Hodgson's position, while Manuel Pellegrini has overcome a slow start to lift West Ham to 13th.

The 2016/17 campaign had seen just one change by this date – Francesco Guidolin sacked by Swansea – but his successor Bob Bradley lasted only until late December by which point Palace had also axed Alan Pardew.

The 2014/15 season was similar while 2015/16 saw three changes in October alone, with two more in December.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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