Just four weeks into the new season and the division’s annual sack race is already heating up, the pressures of the Premier League leading to boardrooms considering their options.
It’s the age-old dilemma of whether to stick or twist, as patience is tested by continued poor performances and the pressure continues to rise on both managers and the club’s hierarchy.
The axe will inevitably fall on unfortunate casualties at some stage this season, but there are currently a host of big name managers waiting in the wings for an opportunity at Premier League level.
We’ve decided to profile some of the coaches who could be coveted in the coming months, here are five big name managers Premier League clubs will be interested in:
Mauricio Pochettino remains a leading name currently out of work after leaving Tottenham last year, though one which is repeatedly linked with Europe’s biggest clubs amid speculation of managerial change.
The Argentine failed to win major silverware during his time in north London but helped to turn Spurs into title contenders and Champions League regulars, playing an entertaining brand of football during the peak years of his reign.
His guiding of the club to the Champions League final in 2019 was a huge achievement for a side that has failed to win a major trophy in more than a decade, though the swift unravelling following that success will be a concern to potential suitors.
Manchester United are reportedly long-term admirers and the club’s disappointing start to the season has only intensified the speculation surrounding potential change, the shadow of Pochettino looming large over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at present.
A serial winner during spells at two of Italian football’s biggest clubs, there are few managers currently available who can boast a résumé as impressive as Max Allegri.
Allegri guided AC Milan to the Serie A title before winning five in succession with Juventus, in addition to guiding the latter to four Coppa Italia trophies and the Champions League final on two occasions.
Allegri’s style is typically pragmatic and Italian in its approach with a preference for his side to drop into shape out of possession, rather then press high and aggressively as seen commonly amongst some of Europe’s leading sides.
Whether that pragmatism has prevented clubs outside of Serie A from pursuing his services remains unclear, but he undoubtedly has the trophy-winning pedigree and disciplined style that may attract Premier League offers.
Another Italian with a proven-record of trophy success in recent seasons, Maurizio Sarri has brought silverware to both Chelsea and Juventus without much appreciation over the past two campaigns.
Sarri remains an enigma amongst management circles and his unrelenting faith in his approach has drawn criticism in times of poor results, but his track-record in transforming Napoli and lifting trophies with that aforementioned duo deserves credit.
The chain-smoking former banker’s famed ‘Sarri-ball’ style also provides an often aesthetically pleasing watch, a fast-tempo possession-based tactic that brings an attacking verve to Sarri’s sides.
He has, however, been deemed unapproachable by past players and it is a trait which is difficult to see working for an extended period of time within modern dressing rooms.
His tactical inflexibility and willingness to go out on his shield for his methods also count against him in his pursuit of another leading position.
The cumbersome presence of Sam Allardyce continues to linger around English football like a bad smell, with the Premier League’s most renowned firefighter always prepared to step in when the threat of relegation looms large.
Big Sam invariably achieves what he sets out to do, but that – and we can’t stress this enough – does not mean we want his dogged defensive play and direct approach back in the Premier League.
Modern football has moved on from hopeful punts towards a brutish presence and educated gambling on second balls, and with the Premier League currently enjoying a goal-glut it would hardly be welcomed to see any side press the panic button and throw a Big Sam-sized cat amongst the pigeons.
A Big Sam-sized cat? We really dread to think.
Amongst a succession of damned Barcelona managers in recent years, Ernesto Valverde at least brought success to the Camp Nou during his two-and-a-half year reign, winning back-to-back league titles including a domestic double during the 2017/18 campaign.
Those successes were eventually overshadowed by two stunning Champions League capitulations, whilst his style of play was also unpopular despite his title success.
After a disappointing start to his third season, Barcelona swung the axe on the Spaniard, who remains without a job despite a career that has seen successful spells at the likes of Athletic Bilbao and Olympiakos before heading to Catalonia.
Valverde helped the former to a first major trophy in four decades and into the Champions League, his record with sides below the financial elite potentially appealing to Premier League clubs seeking to push upwards in the division.