Erik ten Hag has come under fire just two games into his Manchester United reign.
While everyone knew that the Ten Hag revolution was going to take time to come into effect at Old Trafford, nobody expected them to lose their opening two Premier League games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.
But alas, here we are, living in a world where United were stapled to the bottom of the table on zero points having followed up their opening day defeat with a 4-0 capitulation at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Ten Hag’s nightmare start
And although the vast majority of the blame is being laid at the feet of the club owners, United fans are also acutely aware that Ten Hag isn’t completely free of blame amidst the two defeats.
After all, the experiment with Christian Eriksen as a number six proved to be disastrous against Brentford, while the persistence with Harry Maguire above Raphael Varane has left everyone scratching their heads.
Marry that to sticking with Fred and Scott McTominay in the Brighton defeat as well as the decision to keep David de Gea as number one and it’s easy to see why Ten Hag has come in for criticism too.
Paddy Power pay out on Ten Hag
In fact, the pelters have rained in to such an extent that Paddy Power caught everybody off guard on Twitter by paying out on Ten Hag to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.
Now, while we’re acutely aware that publicity will have played a role in that mid-Brentford-defeat decision, it’s nevertheless a damning indication of just how quickly Ten Hag’s stock has dropped in such a short period of time.
Bear in mind, for example, that when we looked at the odds for the first manager to go back in June that Ten Hag was ranked as the joint-fifteenth-most-likely departure at long odds of 66/1.
“Ten Hag QUIT! Neville SLAMS Ten Hag Recruitment!” (Football Terrace)
Ten Hag is now third-favourite
However, once we touch base again with the Paddy Power odds on the back of their publicity stunt, the change in fortunes is drastic with only two coaches deemed more likely to leave their current role first.
So after such a seismic shift in the world of Premier League managers just two games into the new season, check out the fresh odds – correct at the time of writing – on the first coach to leave their job below:
=19. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) – 66/1
=19. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) – 66/1
18. Thomas Frank (Brentford) – 40/1
=14. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) – 33/1
=14. Eddie Howe (Newcastle United) – 33/1
=14. David Moyes (West Ham United) – 33/1
=14. Antonio Conte (Tottenham Hotspur) – 33/1
=12. Graham Potter (Brighton & Hove Albion) – 25/1
=12. Marco Silva (Fulham) – 25/1
=7. Steve Cooper (Nottingham Forest) – 20/1
=7. Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea) – 20/1
=7. Scott Parker (Bournemouth) – 20/1
=7. Patrick Vieira (Crystal Palace) – 20/1
=7. Jesse Marsch (Leeds United) – 20/1
6. Bruno Lage (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – 14/1
5. Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa) – 9/1
4. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City) – 15/2
3. Erik ten Hag (Manchester United) – 13/2
2. Frank Lampard (Everton) – 10/3
- Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton) – 2/1
From an unlikely first casualty amongst the likes of Howe and Moyes to breathing down the necks of Hasenhuttl and Lampard as they feel the pressure, Ten Hag must be getting a pretty clear idea of just how brutal the Premier League really is.
Would Man Utd actually sack Ten Hag?!
Now, as ever with bookies’ odds, do be sure to take them with a pinch of salt because it would be pretty baffling for United to call short their new project before it’s even started no matter how bad things get.
But every club has their limit and with clashes against Liverpool and Arsenal on the horizon, it’s not totally not without the realms of possibility that United could lose their nerve if results continued to evade them.
The mere idea of Ten Hag being sacked feels all sorts of wrong… and dirty… and generally ugly, but we can’t be so idealistic as to brand it completely implausible if United remained beached in the relegation zone.
And that’s despite the fact that even the most ardent of Ten Hag skeptics would all likely point to the boardroom as the source of United’s woes, and not the technical area.
Who would be a football manager, huh?