As football clubs the world over take stock of where their club may be positioned in their domestic league come Christmas, surely Santa won’t be the only high flyer in a suit carrying a sack before the year is out.
While managers who are fighting it out for title honours have the luxury of making a list and checking it twice for transfer targets come the January window, it is managers who find themselves in a relegation scrap that will be hoping the fat lady doesn’t like carols when it comes to keeping their jobs.
The fabled “vote of confidence” has already been issued to a couple of managers in the Premier League as Reading’s Brian McDermott, Southampton’s Nigel Adkins and QPR’s Mark Hughes have all been forced to pucker-up for this ultimate kiss of death.
Such is the precarious nature of a manager’s job, last weekend’s game between the latter two sides was dubbed “El Sackico” as the losing manager of the match between the EPL’s bottom two sides would surely face the chop.
I liken this “vote of confidence”, where footballing hierarchies speak out in support of their managers to a Trojan horse. It seems like a just reward for doing your best to keep the opposition out but unfortunately overnight it can lead to your slaughter.
These days however it seems to be Russian billionaires instead of the Greeks who have taken to wheeling out these spoils of war as they seek to write Odysseys of their own with their toy football teams.
Unfortunately for Mark Hughes the guillotine blade now hangs precariously overhead. Surely anything but a win against Manchester United, ironically the side he struck so many goals for, will ensure Santa’s sack is delivered early by the Red Devils.