Claudio Ranieri now favourite to be next Premier League manager to leave

Claudio Ranieri now favourite to be next Premier League manager to leave

Will Claudio Ranieri be the next manager sacked?

It was another difficult night in the Premier League for Fulham on Wednesday as the succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Southampton. It was the Cottagers 19th league loss of the season and leaves them staring an immediate return to the Championship full in the face.

The game was a crucial six-pointer at the bottom of the table, but the West London side never really turned up in truth. They now sit 10 points adrift of safety with just 10 games left to play including clashes against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, so it will take an absolute miracle for them to survive.

Following their defeat to the Saints, bookmakers have now slashed the odds on Claudio Ranieri being the next Premier League manager to leave. Prior to that fixture the former Leicester City boss was 3/1 in this market, with Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri odds-on favourite to go next with most bookmakers. But the pendulum has now swung and Ranieri’s odds are now 2/7 with Sky Bet.

Asked whether he believed his job was safe after the game, Ranieri simply replied: “My job? I don’t know, ask the owner.” However many, including the bookmakers, believe that he will not be at the club much longer.

Fulham fans have lost faith in Ranieri

When he was appointed back in November, Tony Khan described the appointment of the Italian has “risk free”. Ranieri was sacked by Leicester a couple of years ago, but still arrived with an excellent reputation in England having led to the Foxes to their miracle Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season.

That statement has been heavily scrutinised by the Fulham fans recently though after some disappointing results, with a banner being held up at St Mary’s on Wednesday which said: “Risk free? Are you watching Tony Khan”.

In fairness to the 67-year-old he started quite well, winning his first match in charge by a 3-2 scoreline at home against Southampton. But that was one of just three Premier League wins in 17 matches and he has failed to drag Fulham out of the relegation mire. The Cottagers have now lost seven of their last eight and their relegation odds are as low as 1/80 with Paddy Power which suggests that there is no way back.

The fans now seem to be totally against Ranieri, with chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ being directed at the Italian when making his substitutions. Most now want him to go, with some even calling for Slavisa Jokanovic, the man he replaced, to be re-appointed.

Fulham Ranieri

Fulham fans with a banner aimed at Tony Khan during their game against Southampton.

Who would Fulham replace Ranieri with?

If the Cottagers do choose to dismiss Ranieri, the question then is who do they bring in to replace him? As mentioned earlier, the Italian is their second manager of the season having already sacked Jokanovic and with such little time left it may be time for Fulham to start preparing for the Championship.

With that in mind and also taking into account the fans feelings towards him, re-appointing Jokanovic could well be an option for them if he is willing to return. He is experienced in the Championship, won promotion with them last season and perhaps most crucially knows the club and squad inside out.

Another option would be an interim manager until the end of the season. Sam Allardyce remains available and of course is a specialist at survival, but would he fancy it given the dire situation they are in?

Next Premier League manager to leave odds:

(All odds with Sky Bet)

Claudio Ranieri – 2/7

Maurizio Sarri – 9/4

No Manager To Leave – 12/1

Marco Silva – 16/1

Neil Warnock – 20/1

Rafa Benitez – 33/1

Roy Hodgson – 33/1

Chris Hughton – 40/1