Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino find themselves in completely contrasting positions at their respective clubs. The former seems to be fighting game by game to keep his job at Manchester United, while the latter is regarded by many to have the safest position of any manager in the Premier League.
The work he has done at Spurs sees him held in high regard by the entire footballing world, and just suggesting the north Londoners should sack Pochettino would have you laughed out the room. However, there is not that much difference between Pochettino and Mourinho, according to a BetVictor study.
Data analysts have dug into the data to understand sentiment and emotion behind the comments fans post online, and they’ve discovered which managers have been negatively tweeted about the most during the early weeks of 2018/19. The worry for these managers is that last season there was a correlation between negative sentiment and being sacked, with three of the four managers with the highest percentage of negative sentiment losing their jobs – Ronald Koeman at Everton, Antonio Conte at Chelsea, and Mauricio Pellegrino at Southampton.
So who is being backed to lose their job this time around, based on the study?
Well, the most likely manager to be axed is Rafa Benitez of Newcastle. 27 per cent of all posts about the Spaniard are negative, with fans disgruntled by a poor start to the season that sees the Magpies in the bottom three without a win to their name, having also been knocked out the League Cup by second division opposition.
Jose Mourinho is second in the ranking with negative sentiment totalling 19 per cent of all tweets about him. The Manchester United boss is under fire after picking up just six points from a possible 12, with suggestions he could be out of a job should the Red Devils lose another game.
Pochettino is the shock inclusion in the list, coming in a close third – just one percentage point better off than Mourinho. The 18 per cent of tweets which are negative have focused on, to quote the report, Spurs’ ‘perceived lack of transfer activity, the problems revolving around the new stadium and the shock loss against Watford last week’.
Rounding out the top five are Cardiff manager Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes of Southampton, with both subject to 17 per cent of tweets being negative.
So, although it seems Pochettino is in a position of strength in north London, the experts at BetVictor have analysed the data to prove support for the Tottenham boss has started to diminish. Historic data shows that when fan support disappears the manager is generally fired, and another season of close calls and near misses that ends trophyless could see Pochettino become another statistic to back up the data.