Mikel Arteta, Zinedine Zidane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Which managers will be sacked in 2021?


Football management isn’t exactly enviable in the stress department.

Unless you’re coaching juggernauts like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, you can be pretty certain that any managerial appointment, regardless of the club or tactical mind, will end in the sack.

Besides, you only have to look at the first Premier League casualty of the season, Slaven Bilic, coming just hours after West Brom secured a 1-1 draw at Manchester City to get the point.

The tough world of management

So, as sad as it might be, it’s guaranteed that new coaches, managerial veterans and world-class tactical minds alike will all be given their marching orders at some point during 2021.

And that alarming fact about the beautiful game certainly wasn’t lost on the team at HITC Sport, who made a series of predictions on their YouTube channel about potential sackings this year.

Their presenter, the Irish Guy, named 12 managers that he thinks will be sacked in each month of 2021 and there are some big-name coaches being slated for the jobcentre, that’s for sure.


Managers who could be sacked in 2021

Be sure to satiate your curiosity by watching the full video down below or keep scrolling for our breakdown of the 12 coaches who, in the Irish Guy’s opinion, better get ready for redundancy.

January – Neil Lennon (Celtic)

Yup, it seems inevitable that Celtic’s domestic dominance since 2012 will come crashing down this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their manager bear the brunt of their downturn.

Lennon’s job seems to be hanging by a thread as the Glaswegians find themselves almost 20 points behind Rangers having lost both Old Firm derbies and been dumped out of the Europa League.


February – Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Hmm, February seems a little harsh by our estimations after Juventus secured a potentially season-defining win over table-toppers AC Milan this week, but all isn’t well at the Allianz Stadium.

Then again, there’s good reason to think that Pirlo – who, for our money, shouldn’t have been appointed in the first place – will be sacked at some point in 2021 as Juventus’ Serie A dominance looks set to end.


March – Javi Gracia (Valencia)

It’s no secret that Valencia have a knack for going through managers like dirty laundry at times and with the legendary Spanish club languishing in 17th place, Gracia’s death knell will be ringing soon.

Since their head-scratching 4-1 win over Real Madrid, which featured a hat-trick of penalties, Valencia haven’t won a single game in La Liga, so something’s got to give if they want to survive.


April – Christian Gross (Schalke)

No arguments here. Schalke are pressing every panic button under the sun as they plummet towards their first relegation in the 1980s just two years after playing in the Champions League.

And considering Gross hasn’t managed in Europe since 2012, plenty of eyebrows were raised when he was unveiled at David Wagner’s replacement, so don’t be surprised if he bites the bullet too.


May – Ronald Koeman (Barcelona)

Sure, Barca are getting more and more impatient with their managers these days, but I wouldn’t be so sure that Koeman’s head will roll quite so easily as the club slowly but surely regain their form.

To be fair, if it does happen, we agree with the Irish Guy that it would transpire later in the year; there’s just something telling us that Koeman will turn things around enough to save his bacon.


June – Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

Credit to you, Irish Guy, because this seems absolutely spot on. Such is the bond between Wilder and the Blades that it wouldn’t be surprising to see them stick together no matter what happens this season.

But even the most die-hard Wilder fan would admit that a summer shake-up would be on the cards when the Blades inevitably crash down to the Championship with a historically-poor points tally.


July – Xisco Munoz (Watford)

How do you even argue with this? Watford sack managers like they’re going out of fashion and there’s good reason to think Munoz will get whacked with a P45 regardless of whether he secures promotion or not.


August – Chris Hughton (Nottingham Forest)

Ah, Forest. They’re cut from the same cloth as Watford when it comes to sharpening their axe every 10 seconds, flitting through 26 coaches since 2004, so things aren’t looking good for Hughton.

With the two-time European champions collecting dust in 19th place barely six months on from competing for promotion, it seems inevitable that Hughton will be dismissed before 2022 rolls around.


September – Niko Kovac (AS Monaco)

Hmm… this seems unlikely right now with Kovac having done a solid job in the principality state, securing a historic 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain and steadying the ship in sixth place.

However, as the Irish Guy points out, if Monaco are impatient enough to sack Leonardo Jardim twice since 2018, then Kovac could be in serious bother if the wins eventually dry up in 2021.


October – Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

There can be no finer demonstration of the fickleness in English football than Arteta looking nailed on for the sack just a few weeks ago, only for three consecutive wins to paper over the cracks.

At the end of the day, all isn’t well at the Emirates Stadium, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see Arteta suffer the same fate as Unai Emery, but we can personally see him crawling into 2022 in charge.


November – Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

The theory here is that Zinedine will be entering the 2021/22 season on incredibly thin ice after failing to win either La Liga and the Champions League, barrelling towards his first-ever sacking.

It’s not from without the realms of possibility when you consider there were calls for his head in late 2020 and with Los Blancos failing to find any consistency, don’t be surprised if this comes true.


December – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)

Ah, yes, it couldn’t be a video talking about potential sackings with a mention of Solskjaer, would it? I’ve defended ‘OGS’ for months on end now, but even I’ve got to admit that this a real possibility.

Even if United mount a Premier League title charge, which will inevitably collapse, it’s easy to see the club continuing to fail in semi-finals and starting the season slowly despite major investment.


So, there you have it, some of the biggest clubs in world football are going to send their managers packing in 2020 if the Irish Guy is to be believed.

While, yes, there’s no way of telling whether that will really be the case, one thing is for sure: there will be far more than 12 coaches sacked before the year is out. 

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