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Mikel Arteta Given 2-1 Odds As First Premier League Manager to Be Sacked with Arsenal 15th in EPL

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in Soccer

Dec 15, 2020 · 9:09 AM PST

Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta
Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta watches the play during an English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates stadium in London, England, Sunday Dec. 13, 2020. (Laurence Griffiths/Pool via AP)
  • Mikel Arteta is the betting favorite to be the first Premier League manager sacked in 2020-21
  • Chris Wilder and Slaven Bilic are second and third in the odds at +275 and +300 respectively
  • Where does the betting value lie?

Matchday 13 of the Premier League season is upon us and no manager has been sacked. It’s a rare position to be in, but that could suggest the first manager will be sacked in the near future. The latest betting makes Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta the favorite to be the first Premier League boss to lose his job in 2020-21.

With the transfer window opening in just a couple of weeks’ time, underachieving teams will be getting anxious to make a change. Boards need to decide whether to stick or twist in the dugout.

The table below has the latest odds on the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season with Arteta, the current favorite, ahead of Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and West Brom boss Slaven Bilic.

First Premier League Manager to be Sacked Odds

Manager Odds to be Sacked First
Mikel Arteta +200
Chris Wilder +275
Slaven Bilic +300
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer +500
Scott Parker +1200
Frank Lampard +2500
Nuno Espirito Santo +2500
Roy Hodgson +2500
Sean Dyche +2500
Steve Bruce +2500
David Moyes +3300
Graham Potter +3300
Marcelo Bielsa +3300
Brendan Rodgers +4000
No Manager To Leave +4000
Dean Smith +4000
Jose Mourinho +5000
Pep Guardiola +5000
Ralph Hasenhuttl +5000
Carlo Ancelotti +6600
Jurgen Klopp +10000

Odds taken on Dec 15 from William Hill

Arteta’s Arsenal

Arsenal are 15th with one point and one goal scored in their last five league matches. Arteta has received the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from the club’s hierarchy as reports appear that he has lost the dressing room. The Gunners are a team in turmoil on and off the field.

The stability that made Arteta’s first few months so impressive has become a problem. Arsenal are one of the worst attacking teams in the Premier League – only five teams have a lower expected goals tally per Understat. The successes against Manchester City and Chelsea to lift the FA Cup are no more than a distant memory for the north London club, who are closer to 19th-placed West Brom than they are to fifth-placed Chelsea.

As bleak as the outlook is for Arsenal, and as poor as the performances have been, this isn’t a club that makes rash managerial decisions. They gave Unai Emery much longer in the job than other big clubs would have done, and Arteta was hired to carry out a project. It will take something drastic for Arsenal to fire the Spaniard.

Potential Replacements

The other major roadblock to firing Arteta is the lack of feasible replacements. Would they move for Lucien Favre so soon after he was fired by Dortmund? Having been linked with Max Allegri in the past, would Arsenal pay the big bucks to appoint the former Juventus manager?

Ralph Hasenhuttl, Nuno Espirito Santo and Brendan Rodgers would all be touted as potential successors to Arteta. They would likely all jump at the chance to manage the Gunners even with the club’s obvious problems.

It’s understandable that Arteta is the favorite, particularly with Southampton, Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea to come in their next four. Unless relegation becomes a realistic possibility, though, the Gunners will probably stick with the Spaniard until the end of the season.

Baggies Make a Change

Despite picking up one point from 13 matches so far this season, and already looking doomed for relegation, it’s hard to see Sheffield United sacking Chris Wilder. He has meant, and achieved, so much for that club. Their underlying numbers suggest misfortune.

Champions League elimination put yet more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the team continues to put in underwhelming performances. Yet, they are still only five points off the top with a game in hand. The quality in the squad has rescued Solskjaer on more than one occasion this season, and the club clearly feels great loyalty to their former striker. Solskjaer is just about doing enough to keep his job despite the disappointing performance in Europe.

The third favorite with William Hill, Slaven Bilic, looks like the best bet. West Brom has six points so far, and they have been overmatched throughout. Understat’s expected points tabs West Brom as the worst team in the league, and by a considerable margin. Bilic has his work cut out with a squad short on Premier League quality, but that is unlikely to stop the board from making a change.

For over a month there have been reports that West Brom has been eyeing up potential replacements. Nigel Pearson and Lee Bowyer are thought to be candidates if the Baggies sack Bilic. With a tough run over Christmas, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bilic lose his job before 2021.

Best bet: Slaven Bilic (+300)

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