Five Premier League fixtures aren’t nearly enough to make a judgement on a team or manager are they? WRONG. It’s the perfect time for rash assessments – let’s take a look at who needs a win sooner rather than later.
1. Jose Mourinho – Manchester United
Perhaps unfair, but all is not well at Manchester United. Despite a quite frankly obligatory 3-1 EFL Cup win against Northampton, there are rumblings in Manchester, where the manager’s position is beginning to resemble the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts – can anyone do it?
Usually it takes a year or two before Mourinho’s bitterness comes to the fore, but he seems to have arrived in Manchester with his sleeves rolled up and his fists raised. A loss against reigning champions Leicester City could ramp the pressure up another notch, and with the Foxes hitting form with three wins in a row, that’s a distinct possibility.
2. Francesco Guidolin – Swansea City
The Swansea manager arrived at the Liberty at the beginning of 2016, and has yet to convince. Following successful managers Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk, Guidolin guided the Welsh side to a respectable 12th last season, but the Swans’ feathers are a little ruffled after four games without a win.
With Ryan Giggs looming large in the gossip pages, Guidolin’s side sit 15th and are treading water thanks mainly to the goals of Leroy Fer. They say a swan can break your arm. Can these swans break their winless streak against Manchester City? Unlikely.
3. Mark Hughes – Stoke City
There’s a beautiful irony about Stoke City: the more they try to improve themselves, the worse they become. With players like Bojan Krkic, Wilfried Bony and Xherdan Shaqiri in the side, Hughes should be looking at a top 10 finish, as he has done for three seasons running with the Potters. As it stands, his side are bottom after five games.
With Jack Butland injured, Stoke are leaking goals and have conceded four in three of their last four fixtures. And with just three goals scored, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that’s a recipe for failure.
4. David Moyes – Sunderland
Moyes must spend nights wishing he’d stayed put at Everton. After disappointing spells with Manchester United and Real Sociedad, the man who spent more than a decade at Goodison Park is surely finding the lack of stability unsettling.
Sunderland are without a win, and subsequently 19th after five games. They face Crystal Palace next, where Moyes will hope his side play more like Black Cats and less like fluffy kittens.