At the beginning of the season, each of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United would have expected to build on their respective efforts of the last campaign. Arsenal - buoyed by several high-profile additions - were hoping to be in contention for the top four, Spurs had just hit the unprecedented heights of reaching the Champions League final and West Ham should be challenging for a Europa League spot given their financial outlay since Manuel Pellegrini's arrival. However, the Chilean, as well as counterparts Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino, have all failed to deliver since the start of August, throwing up the question of which club will act first in parting ways with their manager?
Just like you can bet on the Irish Lotto at Lottoland, Spurs would be taking a calculated gamble if they chose to end the long reign of Pochettino. On one hand, the Argentine has played an integral part in developing numerous players, young and experienced, into world-class stars, and their market value is considerably higher than it was five years ago. However, the progress made both on and off the pitch has not resulted in trophies, while Pochettino suggested in the days around the Champions League final that he may have taken the team as far as he could. With Spurs down in 14th position in England's top flight and already 11 points adrift of the top four, he may be correct, but the majority of people associated with the club may argue that Pochettino deserves more time to turn things around, especially with the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon now nearing full fitness.
Many feel it is a different story when it comes to Emery's situation at Arsenal. Signing the likes of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe was supposed to take the Gunners closer to challenging for the Premier League title in years to come, but there is a feeling that Arsenal have made no progress under the guidance of the Spaniard. As shown after Sir Alex Ferguson's departure at Manchester United, it is not easy replacing a legendary figure in the dugout, but the club's supporters would have expected much more when Emery was introduced in place of Arsene Wenger. Arsenal have a much more favourable fixture list after the November international break, but not taking advantage of that will surely result in Emery heading for the exit door, regardless of the club's hierarchy allegedly being prepared to show faith in the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss.
While the general consensus is that Emery should be the first of this trio to be sacked, Pellegrini cannot be far behind him at the London Stadium. Many are pointing to the absence of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski as the main reason for their recent demise, but his deputy Sergi Roberto, who has proven to be a disaster, was signed by Pellegrini in the summer. The Hammers manager must take full responsibility for that piece of business, and there can be no arguments that he has not been provided with transfer funds since his appointment in 2018. Like with Emery at Arsenal, there has been no progress in terms of league position or runs in cup competitions, leaving the West Ham hierarchy with a decision to make regarding his future. Ironically, the east Londoners face Spurs and Arsenal in their next two home encounters in the Premier League, and a negative result for any of these managers could ultimately lead to their dismissal.