Each week, ‘In On Goal’ co-hosts Colin Murray and Dion Dublin give your their expert reaction and analysis from the weekend’s Premier League football. Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.
West Ham have finally put Slaven Bilic out of his misery by giving the beleaguered boss the boot after weeks of speculation over his future.
The Hammers made the announcement on Monday morning following the 4-1 weekend loss to Liverpool at the London Stadium. That result proved to be the final nail in the coffin after torrid run of form that has seen the club drop into the Premier League relegation zone.
In what every manager fully understands is a results based business, his results affected his business. With Saturday’s putting his balance very much in the red.
David Moyes is the name mentioned as most likely to take over from Bilic, although Moyes will presumably be biding his time and waiting to see what happens regarding the vacant manager’s position at his old club Everton, before deciding his next move.
The manager situation at Everton now becomes more difficult to figure out than their ownership arrangements, which even a Panorama investigation couldn’t conclusively decipher.
What we do know is that, if Everton had lost at home to Watford yesterday, which they very nearly might have done, then it would have seen the curtain come down on caretaker manager David Unsworth’s audition for the job full time. However, an Unsworth inspired half time team talk and some clever substitutions worked well for him, and the long suffering Goodison Park faithful were treated to a gutsy and spirited comeback from 2-0 down.
It was refreshing to see, and while they rode their luck with Tom Cleverley missing a late penalty for Watford which would have seen them share the points, David Unsworth will know that whatever happens, he’s done himself proud and is still a consideration for the job full time.
One of the men linked with the vacant manager’s position was actually there at Goodison Park yesterday. Watford head coach Marco Silva is the name on the lips of many to be the long term successor to Ronald Koeman, but the Portuguese manager swerved any questions concerning a link to the vacant role. Even if he was interested in the job, it’s unlikely that he’d leave Watford so early into his contract, and one would assume that the earliest he may be ‘available’ would be next summer.
That presumably leaves Bill Kenwright and Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri with the decision to make this morning of whether to stick with David Unsworth until the end of the season or bring somebody else in.
Sean Dyche is a front runner with the bookies for the job, but whether he’d leave Burnley is a question only he can answer. The man thought even more likely to be offered the job on a permanent basis is the Red Adair of football management, Sam Allardyce. If Everton are genuinely in for a relegation fight this season (and let’s not let yesterday’s win against Watford mask that fact) then Big Sam is the man to strip things back to basics, and grind out the results.
Could Slavin Bilic now be a consideration for the vacant manager’s job at Everton? In any other business, his record with his current employers would suggest no, but football is like no other business.
It will be interesting to see which way the Everton board go, but it’s expected that a decision will be made during this international break, with the seat filled on a permanent basis ahead of Everton’s next match away to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace a week on Saturday.
As the Premier League managers merry-go-round delivers another spin, we all must wait to find out who will be in charge at Everton, West Ham, Burnley, Watford and even West Brom when the season resumes in just under a fortnight.
Elsewhere Manchester City now sit 8 points clear at the top after beating Arsenal with a 3-1 victory over the North Londoners at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola’s side certainly had a sterner test this weekend, but passed with flying colours. With neighbours Manchester United dropping points at Stamford Bridge, City are moving away from the chasing pack and are without doubt playing the best football in the league at the moment.
Granted, 3 quarters of the season still remain and a lot can happen in the next 27 games, but Manchester City show no signs of slowing up, and are really going to take some stopping. Who out of Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea will be best equipped to keep up with City remains to be seen. In many ways the race for second place already looks like the most fascinating battle in the Premier League this season.
Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.