London (AFP) – Arsenal’s decision to sack Unai Emery turns a harsh spotlight on Everton boss Marco Silva and West Ham’s Manuel Pellegrini, who are running out of time to save their Premier League jobs.
Emery was dismissed after a winless run of seven games, with a 2-1 Europa League defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday proving to be the final straw.
The Spaniard was the third Premier League manager to lose his job this season after the dismissals of Watford’s Javi Gracia and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.
But who is next in line for the chop?
Everton, according to reports, have held board-level discussions about Silva’s position while Pellegrini has gone two months without a win in any competition for his misfiring Hammers.
Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores may be in trouble just weeks after returning to the club while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could come under pressure if Manchester United fail to climb the table.
Here, AFP Sport looks at the managers fighting for their lives in the Premier League this weekend:
Everton search for Silva lining
Silva’s Everton are just two places above the relegation zone with seven defeats from their opening 13 Premier League fixtures — and they have a hideous run of matches coming up, starting with a visit to Leicester on Sunday.
Everton splashed the cash in the close season, recruiting Fabian Delph from Manchester City, Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Moise Kean from Juventus, but they have struggled, scoring just 13 goals all season.
There have even been suggestions of a possible return to Goodison Park for former boss David Moyes.
Former Everton player Michael Ball tweeted this week that there was no way back for 42-year-old Silva, with games to come in the next few weeks against Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs.
“Silva knows he’s going, Players do, the fans do,” he wrote.
“Yes it’s difficult to bring someone in with that nightmare run of games but the fans need hope. Players need a fresh start & ideas to give us a slight chance to pick up points.”
Pellegrini’s Chelsea test
Pellegrini’s side have not won in any competition since September and have plummeted down the Premier League table after a bright start.
The fourth-bottom Hammers face a challenging test this weekend against in-form Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s young side have won six of their past seven league matches.
“We don’t talk about that,” the 66-year-old former Manchester City boss said on Thursday when questioned about his future. “You have to very clear what you must do, game by game.
“Football changes all the time. We are working to try to beat Chelsea and after that, we will see the result.”
Watford are rock bottom of the Premier League table following a 3-0 home defeat by Burnley.
It was a club-record 11th consecutive home league game without a win as well as a seventh league defeat of the season.
Flores finds himself under scrutiny despite having only returned to Vicarage Road at the start of September, but remains determined to focus on the bigger picture.
The Spaniard, who has enjoyed just one Premier League win since his return, against fellow strugglers Norwich, maintains there is a regular dialogue with the club hierarchy.
“We are making a big mistake talking about me and about my job, my position. Finally, the situation is not about my position, a coach.
“You are talking about the happiness of a lot of people. This is the most important thing. The happiness of the fans, the future of the club, the future of the squad, (we should be) talking about that.”
Solskjaer at risk?
Is Solskjaer safe at Manchester United?
The Norwegian has overseen a moderate revival at Manchester United but the team are languishing in ninth spot in the Premier League, nine points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
United’s rollercoaster 3-3 draw at Sheffield United last week brought to an end a run of five wins out of six games in all competitions.
But United look short of quality and ill-equipped to close the gap on the top four despite their desperation to qualify for the Champions League again.
Saturday (1500 GMT unless stated)
Newcastle v Manchester City (1230), Burnley v Crystal Palace, Chelsea v West Ham, Liverpool v Brighton, Tottenham v Bournemouth, Southampton v Watford (1730)
Norwich v Arsenal, (1400), Wolves v Sheffield Utd (1400), Leicester v Everton (1630), Manchester United v Aston Villa (1630)
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