Mikel Arteta early favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave
The new Premier League season is only one gameweek old but already a top-flight manager is feeling the heat in the Sack Race.
Mikel Arteta, priced at 10/1 before the big kick-off, has now been installed as the new 5/2 favourite in the first Premier League manager to leave odds after his young side suffered a 2-0 defeat at new boys Brentford.
Steve Bruce is available at 6/1 after Newcastle lost 4-2 at home to West Ham, alongside the new Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira who got off to a losing start against Chelsea, and the ante-post frontrunner Xisco Munoz. However, the Hornets boss whipped up a cracking 3-2 victory against Aston Villa in his first ever Premier League outing.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl can be backed at 8/1, ahead of Dean Smith at 10/1.
Arteta would have been keen for a fast start following an inconsistent 2020/21 campaign in which Arsenal finished 8th for the second successive season under the Spaniard.
The 39-year-old was dealt a damaging double blow before a ball was even kicked as two of his key players, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, withdrew due to illness.
Yet there was simply no excuse for what was a thoroughly underwhelming performance which severely contrasted to the high-energy, high-intensity style of Thomas Frank’s Brentford, who bagged their first top-flight win in 74 years.
Arsenal, 17th, now face a daunting run of league fixtures in which they tackle Chelsea, Man City, and Spurs within their next five games. Yikes.
There are reports that Aubameyang and Lacazette are unlikely to feature against Thomas Tuchel’s European champions Chelsea on Sunday, and there are even rumours that the pair could be set for transfers away from the Emirates.
Arteta, who has spent £72 million so far this summer, undoubtedly has a number of talented young players at his disposal but the same old thorns continue to puncture an Arsenal side lacking leadership, characters, and intensity, while they lacked ruthlessness in attack and solidity in defence. Their strength in depth, or lack of, is also a concern.
Last season Arsenal registered only 14 points from 14 games before Christmas. Despite the Brentford set-back it is extremely early days and Arteta will hope he can inspire a swift turnaround in fortunes. If he doesn’t, then serious questions will be asked.
Meanwhile, the out-of-work former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager, Antonio Conte, has been handed odds of 9/2 to become the next Arsenal manager - see full odds below...