Premiership Football – Curbishley Leading ‘Sack Race'
Only two games into the season and Alan Curbishley, the manager of English Premiership soccer club West Ham United, is leading the pack as far as who bookies think will be the first to get fired.
Online bookmakers BlueSq.com have the former manager of Charlton Athletic as its 2/1 favourite to get the sack while VictorChandler.com has shortened its odds recently from 7/4 to 6/4. Fans of the London-based club booed Curbishley on Wednesday after his team needed extra time to beat League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town in the Carling Cup competition at home while the sale of defender Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland this week and persistent rumours that striker Craig Bellamy is off to Manchester City have not helped the job prospects of the 50-year-old London native.
Filing the number-two position is new Manchester City boss Mark Hughes, who is 11/2 with VictorChandler.com and 8/1 with 888Sport.com. The former Manchester United and Chelsea player only moved to Eastlands in the summer from Blackburn Rovers but is now picked to walk away as the club is beset by financial problems and uncertainty over the future of owner Thaksin Shinawatra.
Everton boss David Moyes could also walk way rather than be fired as the Liverpool-based club struggles to provide him with the cash he needs to strengthen the team that finished in fifth spot last season. The Scot is 7/1 with Ladbrokes.com while 888Sport has him at 10/1.
One of the biggest surprises in the sack race is Liverpool manager Raphael Benitez, who is 9/1 with 888Sport.com, 10/1 with VictorChandler.com and 11/1 with BlueSq.com. The Merseyside club needed a late extra-time goal against Standard Liege this week to book their place in the Champions League group stages and have not been playing well.