Odds Plummet on Mikel Arteta Being Sacked

By Martin Green20 December 2020
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Odds Plummet on Mikel Arteta Being Sacked

Arteta Faces the Axe

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is now the odds-on favourite to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job this season. The Spaniard has presided over a disastrous run of form for the Gunners, who slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Everton last night. Arsenal have now lost eight out of 14 games so far this season, making it their worst campaign since 1974/75.

They have taken just one point from their last five matches, and they are now marooned in 15th place. Arsenal are four points above the relegation zone, but most of the teams below them have games in hand.

Despite their woeful form, Arsenal remain significant outsiders in the relegation betting. Boyle Sports cut them to 16/1 to go down, but Betway still has a market leading 25/1 on the Gunners being relegated. Arsenal have not been relegated since entering the top flight in 1919, and they have not finished in the bottom half of the table since they ended up 12th in 1994/95.

Yet they appear to be running out of ideas, bereft of confidence and poor at both ends of the pitch, so a managerial change could prove necessary. Paddy Power has made Arteta the 8/11 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave.

Slaven Bilic was sacked by West Brom in midweek, despite leading the Baggies to a 2-2 draw with the mighty Man City, and the bookies think Arteta could be next on the chopping block. Sheff Utd manager Chris Wilder is the second favourite at 2/1. His club sit bottom of the table, with just one point so far, and it will be interesting to see if Arteta and Wilder retain the backing of their respective clubs.

Former Juventus Boss Lined Up

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is the favourite to take over as Arsenal manager if Arteta is axed. The Italian led Juventus to five consecutive Serie A titles before leaving the Bianconeri in the summer of 2019. He has been out of work since then, and he was previously linked to the Arsenal job.

“It’s an open secret among football agents that Max Allegri, the Italian coach who enjoyed great success at Juventus, is being recommended as Arsenal’s next manager,” said former Gunners striker Alan Smith. "Not by the club I should stress, but by outside forces who want to capitalise on a difficult moment for the young manager.

“They seem to think Allegri would stand more of a chance, what with his years of experience in Serie A. To survive situations like this, Arteta needs unequivocal bac

king from those above. The management structure, led by chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and possibly including Stanley Kroenke’s son Josh, must take decisive steps to publicly support their manager to avoid his authority getting undermined.”

Paddy Power makes Allegri the 23/10 favourite, followed by Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers at 3/1 and PSG boss Thomas Tuchel at 11/2, but it is hard to imagine them leaving their current roles. Club legend Patrick Vieira is next at 10/1, but he has hardly coated himself in glory at Nice, and the same is true of 12/1 shot Thierry Henry, who flopped at Monaco. A more sensible option could be Premier League veteran Rafa Benitez at 10/1. Arsene Wenger is priced at 40/1 to make a comeback.

Salah Favourite to Win Golden Boot

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was installed as the new favourite to win the Golden Boot after he came off the bench to score twice in the Reds’ 7-0 victory over Crystal Palace. He has now scored in five consecutive matches, and his tally for the season stands at 13 in 13 games.

That leaves him two clear of Son Heung-Min and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who both came flying out of the blocks this season. Son’s teammate, Harry Kane, is the second favourite to finish the season as top goalscorer. He is on nine so far, which leaves him four behind Salah.

Betfair has 2/1 on Salah, 4/1 on Kane and 11/2 on Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, who has already hit 10 goals. Calvert-Lewin is priced at 9/1, Son is 9/1 and Sadio Mané is a 25/1 outsider along with Leeds forward Patrick Bamford.

Kane won the award twice in a row in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaigns, before Salah won it with a record-breaking 32-goal haul for a 38-game season. Salah shared the award with Mané and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018/19, and Vardy won it last term.