Man U’s Solskjaer, Arsenal’s Arteta among Premier League managers in hot seat

Rick Olivares ( – December 19, 2020 – 2:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — At the start of the Premier League 2020-21 season, some of the chatter about which manager would be on the firing line, Jose Mourinho (Tottenham) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) were among those mentioned.

As it is, Mourinho’s Spurs are currently second in the 20-team league while Solskjaer’s Red Devils are in sixth.

Mourinho is fine for this season as for the Red Devils’ manager, not quite so.

Solskjaer’s name continues to crop up in discussions by pundits and fans alike if he is the right man to take Man United back to the top. 

In fairness, he has brought back United from a bottom six spot early in the season to the Top 10. After finishing fourth last season, anything less, more so after getting bundled out of the UEFA Champions League a few weeks ago, will find him in an untenable spot 

Meanwhile, Slaven Bilic was fired from his job as manager of West Bromwich Albion after their 1-1 draw with Manchester City last Wednesday, December 16.

The Croat, who played for West Ham and Everton towards the end of his career, previously coached the Hammers from 2015-17 to some acclaim as they beat Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man City at their home fields. He led West Ham to a Europa League campaign but were eliminated in the qualifying rounds. After a poor start to 2017, he was shockingly let go.

He returned to England in 2019 where he led West Brom to a Premier League promotion. And yet, Albion is at 19th in the relegation zone with only seven points form 13 matches. 

The timing is shocking given it’s after a draw and West Brom doesn’t really have all that machinery to compete. And right before Christmas too.

Now, another journeyman manager in Sam Allardyce who averages two years with every club he coaches is at the helm for the next 18 months. 

Another one who is surprisingly on the hot seat is Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder. Sheffield finished the previous season at ninth place with a 14-12-12 slate. As of this writing, they are dead last in the PL with a 0-1-12 record and only one point.

That they would be here no one saw coming. 

It sure doesn’t help that he is picking a fight with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (at which the German got in the last word by taking a jab at his squad’s measly one point).

Another manager walking on thin ice is Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta. The late season gains of last year and the Community Shield win are long forgotten. The Gunners, one of the “Big Six” clubs in the PL, hasn’t really looked like its old top side in years now.

They are at the bottom six at 15th spot with a 4-2-7 record. Their 1-1 draw with Southampton at their home field of Emirates Stadium is their first point in four matches, and second point in their last six matches.

It isn’t like this team is lacking in talent. They have been underwhelming scoring only 11 goals while conceding 16. 

And surprisingly, you wonder if Pep Guardiola will find himself in this conversation. His Man City side is currently at ninth spot. 

Granted it is early in the season and they have a game at hand, pundits point out his squad hasn’t really performed since last season when Liverpool finally overtook them. Man City will definitely not fall into the relegation zone barring some bizarre bad luck.

But anything less than Top Three will not be looked upon well.

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