Like a primary school sports day, the sack race is well and truly on.
We’re at the point in the Premier League season when teams start to work out what the rest of the campaign has in store for them, and when those forecasts are bad, it usually ends up in a head or two rolling.
Here are the six most likely managers to be given the boot next.
Key stat: Burnley are the Premier League’s lowest scorers (9)
Having just welcomed new owners at Turf Moor, it might be time for a change.
Burnley find themselves flirting with a relegation battle this season, and it’s hard to see the new chiefs accepting a drop to the second tier in their first year with the club.
Sean Dyche definitely needs to prove he should be kept on for the future, but fortunately, it’s not hard to see him doing that.
While Burnley are horribly inconsistent, they are capable of getting results when they are at their best. A good string of results would work wonders for Dyche, but things could just as easily go the other way.
Key stat: Wolves have not won in their last six Premier League outings
Wolves have been on a real rollercoaster in the last few years, and Nuno Espirito Santo has been there every step of the way.
They finished seventh in both 2018/19 and 2019/20, but this year, they’re down in 14th. No longer the plucky underdogs, Wolves have found themselves struggling to assert themselves, and results have not been easy to come by.
With the amount of money invested in the playing squad, Wolves clearly believe they should be towards the top of the table, so a run of one win in nine games probably won’t sit well in the Molineux board room.
He’s not hitting the high standards set of him this year, and he’ll start to feel worried if that trend continues.
Key stat: Sheffield United are currently on course for the worst points total in Premier League history (<11)
A tricky one here. Ordinarily, if you’re the manager of a team bottom of the Premier League by January, you’re definitely going to be sacked – especially if you’re only on five points.
That’s the situation Chris Wilder finds himself in with Sheffield United, just one year after leading the Blades to within five points of a Europa League spot.
If he was anybody else, he’d be gone by now, but Sheffield United’s loyalty to Wilder, who helped guide the club from the bottom of League One all the way to the top flight.
Wilder is in a perilous position, but his bond with the club might just save him.
Key stat: Allardyce has won just one of his first four games as West Brom manager
Sam Allardyce has only just come in to try and stop West Brom from getting relegated, but it’s not really working just yet.
To Allardyce’s credit, he has led the Baggies to good results against Liverpool and Wolves, but he’s balanced that out by some humiliating losses against Leeds and Aston Villa.
If you can’t win against the so-called smaller teams, those big points mean nothing. West Brom won’t escape the relegation zone with that kind of inconsistency.
Club officials don’t want to get relegated, while Allardyce will want to avoid tarnishing his perfect record of never being relegated. If things don’t get better, expect a mutual termination here.
Key stat: Chelsea are as close to 14th as they are to 1st
Frank Lampard spent over £200m during the summer, and while he warned Chelsea weren’t going to win the title, he promised that fans would see some improvement.
Where is it?
Chelsea have still struggled to match up with their rivals – they haven’t beaten any of the traditional ‘big six’ – but results against smaller teams haven’t always been there either. There have been good moments, but they’ve been balanced out by some awful ones.
You get the feeling that Lampard would be long gone by now if he was anybody else, but even loyalty to the club’s greatest-ever midfielder can only go so far.
Key stat: Newcastle have lost seven of their last 11 Premier League games
Newcastle fans have always been split on Steve Bruce, but it seems like things have taken a real nosedive recently.
Without a win in nine games, Newcastle have dropped to 15th in the table, but it’s the performances during those games which have been more concerning than the results.
Newcastle have been abysmal and uninspired far too often, prompting Bruce to describe the team (via The Times) as ‘frigging hopeless’. He said he wanted to do things his way, and immediately followed that up with a tame 3-0 loss to Arsenal.
Everything’s going downhill at an alarming rate, and Bruce needs to find a solution quickly, or else he’ll find himself out of a job.