Like the current extended summer we've experienced in the UK, the fate of Premier League managers appears to be undergoing a similar process. Any day now the temperature is sure to drop ten degrees and the first managerial departure is expected to arrive with it.
At the same point last season, two managers had already vacated their positions after Paolo Di Canio was turfed out of Sunderland and Ian Holloway left Crystal Palace. The season before it wasn't until November when Roberto Di Matteo became the first casualty after leaving Chelsea and before that Steve Bruce left Sunderland in November 2011. Tony Pulis may have left Crystal Palace earlier, but that was before a football had even been kicked in the Premier League.
In fact, since the turn of the millennium the Premier League hasn't got to December without at least one manager leaving their post. Given the current situation for some clubs, this season looks like being no different and there are a few managers who will be lucky to receive a Christmas card from their chairman.
At the moment, Harry Redknapp is the bookies' favourite for the axe and it's easy to see why. Installed as manager nearly two years ago to help QPR avoid relegation as the club sat bottom of the table with no wins and four draws from 12 games, it proved too difficult a task. Under Redknapp they picked up 21 more points including just four wins and went down with little fight.
Having lost seven times in the league already, with one draw and their two victories coming against fellow strugglers Sunderland and Aston Villa (more on them later), QPR are currently on course to fare no better this time around. The return of Charlie Austin has added a little boost, but with Manchester City away next his presence alone looks unlikely to secure any points. Newcastle away could save Redknapp, but with an international break in between it could prove too late as England, the team he'd no doubt rather be managing, could once again pile more misery on him.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will also be hoping to still have a job in December. Three wins and a draw from their first four league games had many thinking he'd turned things around at Villa Park, but having lost their last six in a row they soon plummeted back down to where many predicted they'd be - hovering above the relegation places. They've not had the easiest run with four of those defeats coming at the hands of Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Everton, though.
The two most recent losses to QPR and Tottenham are what have fans most worried. With two seasons under his belt at Villa and the club appearing to have made little progress since his appointment, much like Redknapp at QPR, this month, let alone season, could be make or break for Lambert. High flying West Ham and Southampton are up next and it would surprise few if they turned those six into eight losses in a row.
As always, anything could happen to the managers of both North East clubs. Newcastle have picked up a bit of pace, but with the unpredictable nature of the club and Alan Pardew, any type of controversial incident could be right around the corner. Meanwhile Sunderland are doing a good job of faring even worse than their local rivals and the pressure continues to mount on Gus Poyet. At this rate the Tyne-Wear derby in late December could be a firing point for the loser.
Sean Dyche at Burnley would seem like a safe bet to be out soon, but with the Clarets already pretty much down, sticking with him to help another promotion push next year ala Harry Redknapp at QPR may be their best option.
As Sam Allardyce, and more recently Alan Pardew, have shown, however, teams always have rough patches and maintaining a sense of stability is sometimes a better option for long term success than a quick hire and fire approach. So, will this be the first season in over 15 years that reaches December without a managerial sacking? Probably not.
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