And so it begins. The first sacking of the Premier League season.
Not even 48 hours after the generosity and niceties inherent to this time of year and it’s back to the ruthless and unsavoury business of judging employees on the standard of their work.
Neil Warnock was judged and has been told his services are no long required by Crystal Palace – the second time the club has sacked him.
Warnock never convinced the fans he could make the club an established Premier League one – many questioned his reappointment in the first place. It didn’t help that his predecessor Tony Pulis managed the phenomenal feat of not only dragging the club from certain relegation, but achieving their highest ever Premier League finish – eleventh.
It was going so well. After 14 matches of this campaign, no manager had been handed his P45. But, with the January transfer window just days away, owners and chairmen of clubs near the bottom begin to reflect on their standing, where they expect to be and whether or not further investment on new players is needed.
Moreover, they begin to reflect on whether or not their current manager is the right man to spend that money.
Warnock won just three of his 16 Premier League games in his second spell in charge. That gave him a win percentage of 18.8 per cent, while his predecessor managed 42.3 per cent. One win in nine games is relegation form and the Crystal Palace owners have ambitions that make survival a must.
The assistant manager Keith Millen will be in charge for the trip to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. But England Under-21 manager and former Crystal Palace captain Gareth Southgate, as well as former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood are reportedly being thought of as potential long term replacements. And Tony Pullis has been mentioned as a shock candidate for a return, with a reputation for keeping teams in the Premier League.