Frank De Boer

Slaven Bilic fired as West Ham United manager

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Slaven Bilic is the fourth manager fired this Premier League season, joining Craig Shakespeare, Frank De Boer, and Ronald Koeman.

It’s been widely speculated that West Ham United will hire David Moyes to take the reins of the Premier League outfit, and the Irons have cut ties with Bilic’s entire staff aside from longtime Moyes assistant Chris Woods.

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Bilic responded to the move:

“There are no hard feelings. I can be very proud of my work here,” Bilic said. “We didn’t start this crucial season well. As in many clubs across Europe, the manager is the one who pays the price. It’s a very logical move.”

West Ham lost 4-1 to Liverpool on Saturday, and ended the weekend in the relegation zone when Everton came back to beat Watford.

Bilic led West Ham to the Europa League in his first season in charge, but the Irons dipped to 11th last season. He finished with a record of 42W-30D-37L

Premier League roundup: Managers under fire

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Before Saturday’s Premier League action, we had already seen Ronald Koeman, Frank De Boer, and Craig Shakespeare fired from managerial posts claimed before the season’s start.

[ MORE: Pulisic pulls nasty move in Der Klassiker loss ]

Several others will be feeling serious heat following home losses on Saturday, as Slaven Bilic‘s West Ham was smoked by Liverpool, Paul Clement and Swansea lost to Brighton, and Southampton’s Mauricio Pellegrino slumped a shutout loss versus Burnley.

West Brom’s Tony Pulis limped through a loss at Huddersfield Town, but the location won’t likely soothe the fury of Baggies’ fans, who already prefer their club play free-flowing almost regardless of results.

West Ham United 1-4 LiverpoolRECAP

In a match which, sadly for Slaven Bilic, had a similar feel to Koeman’s last match in charge of Everton, Liverpool ran rampant over the hosts at the London Stadium.

Mohamed Salah scored twice and Joel Matip scored, but the nail in the coffin may have been Liverpool’s third goal, which came within moments of Manuel Lanzini‘s lone marker for West Ham.

Just look at Joe Hart:

Huddersfield Town 1-0 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP

Rajiv Van la Parra‘s remarkable goal from outside the box propelled Huddersfield Town to a long-sought win, and sank Tony Pulis deep into the bad graces of West Brom fans. The Baggies are officially in a relegation scrap.

Newcastle United 0-1 BournemouthRECAP

Rafa Benitez warned that Newcastle would have to deal with a slump at some point this season, though perhaps he didn’t mean, “Hey, boys, lose to Burnley and Bournemouth immediately.” The Magpies wilted after Dwight Gayle‘s seemingly onside goal was ruled off, and the Cherries used a strong second half to pick up a huge win which boosts them outside the drop zone.

Swansea City 0-1 Brighton and Hove AlbionRECAP

Glenn Murray is red hot, as the Seagulls veteran striker scored for the third-straight match to give Chris Hughton‘s men a deserved win on the road and put Paul Clement’s Swans in a bind.

Let’s put it this way:

Southampton 0-1 BurnleyRECAP

Sean Dyche‘s remarkable Burnley tenure may be coming to a close should keep up performances like this (cough, Everton, cough). Sam Vokes scored a goal in what was admittedly a bit of smash-and-grab at St. Mary’s. Is Mauricio Pellegrino in trouble already?

Stoke City 2-2 Leicester CityRECAP

This one snapped to life late in the first half, as Xherdan Shaqiri equalizer after Vicente Iborra nabbed his first Leicester goal. Riyad Mahrez put Leicester back ahead in the second half, but super duper sub Peter Crouch did what Peter Crouch does to earn Mark Hughes‘ men a share of the points.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Manchester City 10 9 1 0 35 6 29 4-1-0 5-0-0 28
 Manchester United 10 7 2 1 23 4 19 5-0-0 2-2-1 23
 Tottenham Hotspur 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 2-2-1 4-0-1 20
 Chelsea 10 6 1 3 18 10 8 2-1-2 4-0-1 19
 Arsenal 10 6 1 3 19 13 6 5-0-0 1-1-3 19
 Liverpool 11 5 4 2 21 17 4 3-2-0 2-2-2 19
 Burnley 11 5 4 2 10 9 1 2-2-1 3-2-1 19
 Brighton & Hove Albion 11 4 3 4 11 11 0 2-2-1 2-1-3 15
 Watford 10 4 3 3 15 18 -3 1-2-2 3-1-1 15
 Huddersfield Town 11 4 3 4 8 13 -5 3-2-1 1-1-3 15
 Newcastle United 11 4 2 5 10 10 0 3-1-2 1-1-3 14
 Leicester City 11 3 4 4 16 16 0 2-1-2 1-3-2 13
 Southampton 11 3 4 4 9 11 -2 2-2-3 1-2-1 13
 Stoke City 11 3 3 5 13 22 -9 2-2-2 1-1-3 12
 West Bromwich Albion 11 2 4 5 9 14 -5 1-3-1 1-1-4 10
 Bournemouth 11 3 1 7 7 14 -7 1-1-3 2-0-4 10
 West Ham United 11 2 3 6 11 23 -12 2-0-3 0-3-3 9

 Swansea City 11 2 2 7 7 13 -6 1-0-5 1-2-2 8
 Everton 10 2 2 6 7 20 -13 2-0-3 0-2-3 8
 Crystal Palace 10 1 1 8 4 21 -17 1-1-3 0-0-5 4

PL Sunday preview: New bosses battle; Brighton vs. Saints

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images
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The battle of Leicester City and Everton’s newly installed managers is the highlights of Sunday’s slate of Premier League fixtures, but not before PL new boys Brighton & Hove Albion host Southampton in a south-coast derby.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Man City’s historic start; Man United, Arsenal win ]

Brighton vs. Southampton — 9:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

All three of this year’s newly promoted sides — Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town — entered the 10th weekend of the season as a top-12 side. On Sunday, it’s Brighton, who finished a close second to Newcastle in the Championship last season, who reunite an old rivalry with a fellow south-coast side, Southampton, at Falmer Stadium. Through sheer consistency, the Seagulls have established themselves as a functional top-flight side.

“What we have done over these nine games is we have been in every game,” Brighton boss Chris Hughton said this week. “Even the games against Manchester City and Arsenal, both games we have lost 2-0, but we were in the game. If there is any statement, it is that we should not be frightened of the challenges we have and I think we have got enough quality and desire in the squad to make a good account of ourselves in any games. Whether that wins you enough games, that is different. It is goals that win you games and at the moment we are doing OK.”

Saints, meanwhile, are still adjusting to life under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, as they’ve won just one of their last four in the PL and the goals still aren’t coming. The lack of scoring is a trend that carried over from last season under Claude Puel, when Southampton scored just 41 times en route to an eighth-place finish. That lone victory came on their last outing, though, courtesy of Sofiane Boufal’s brilliant individual effort, so perhaps brighter days are indeed on the horizon.

INJURIES: Brighton — OUT: Steve Sidwell (back), Beram Kayal (fitness), Sam Baldock (fitness) | Southampton — OUT: Mario Lemina (ankle)

[ MORE: England top Spain, win U-17 World Cup ]

Leicester City vs. Everton — 12 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com

First went Craig Shakespeare on Oct. 17, followed in short order by Ronald Koeman six days later. Leicester and Everton, respectively, were second and third to fire a manager during the 2017-18 PL season (more than a month after Crystal Palace sent Frank De Boer packing), and now the two sides face off on Sunday. Former Saints boss Puel is the new man in charge at the King Power Stadium, site of Sunday’s clash, while David Unsworth hopes to impress Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri during game no. 1 of his trial run as interim manager.

After nine games played, both sides are nearer to the relegation zone than they would have imagined this season, as Leicester currently sit 15th, a point ahead of 18th-place Everton.

“It is not about me or any individual, it is about us as a team and club coming together and showing the fighting spirit and commitment we had throughout that 90 minutes,” Unsworth said this week. “Even at 2-0 we kept going and got the goal. You could see the work rate, spirit and commitment — that is what we are looking for. We can iron out issues and problems and it is a great start, something to really build and work on.”

Leicester were victorious in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, knocking of Championship side Leeds United 3-1 on Tuesday. 21-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first goal (to go with an assist) for the Foxes after arriving from Manchester City in the summer to give Puel something more to consider when he picks his first starting lineup on Sunday.

INJURIES: Leicester — OUT: Robert Huth (foot), Matty James (achilles) | Everton — OUT: Ross Barkley (hamstring), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), Seamus Coleman (leg), Yannick Bolasie (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Morgan Schneiderlin (illness)

Premier League Playback: Hope for the new boys

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NEW BOYS IMPRESS

This has flown under the radar so far this season but you know what, the new boys, they’re good.

After a perfect weekend for the newly-promoted teams Newcastle United sit in seventh place, Huddersfield in 11th and Brighton in 12th in the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Combined they have 37 points so far this season, which is the highest points tally between three newly-promoted teams after nine game for 12 years and only twice have the three new boys fared better at this point of a season. The best-ever points tally after nine games came in the PL’s debut campaign in 1992-93 when Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Ipswich tallied 44 points.

Yet despite big wins for Brighton at West Ham, Newcastle edging Crystal Palace and Huddersfield’s incredible triumph against Manchester United, there is a word of warning: in PL history there have only been two occasions when all three promoted teams have survived in their first season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

That was in 2001-02 when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton survived the drop and in 2011-12 when QPR, Norwich and Swansea stayed up.

Although Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton know tough times are still ahead, their fine starts have given them a platform to build from and when you look at the stats from this summer it may suggest that the new boys are figuring out how to stay in the PL. In short, spend big.

Looking at the money spent on summer transfers, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton spent more than seven PL teams. Huddersfield spent $52 million on new signings, Newcastle $48 million and Brighton $45 million.

It is worth the investment and they have learned the harsh lessons from other clubs who came up and spent little in the last few seasons and were relegated at the first attempt. See: Middlesbrough and Hull last season.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A lot more goes into creating a team capable of survival other than spending, but these three clubs have shown that spending more and upgrading your squad is key to staying in the Premier League.

So far, so good.


THREE GONE: WHO IS NEXT?

Ronald Koeman‘s Everton exit made it three Premier League managers who have lost their job before the end of October and there are at least three others under pressure.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Koeman’s 16-month spell at the Toffees promised plenty after a seventh-placed finish last season and a huge summer spending spree of over $190 million, but the Dutchman’s main downfall was failing to bring in a new striker to replace Romelu Lukaku and the 25 goals he delivered last season.

With Craig Shakespeare out at Leicester and Frank De Boer gone at Crystal Palace, there is now a plethora of managers feeling the heat.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Slaven Bilic seems one bad defeat away from being fired at West Ham. Mark Hughes is under a little pressure at Stoke after a poor start. And even Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte are feeling more pressure after sloppy starts to the new seasons for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.

It seems like PL chairmen are being more ruthless than ever this season and many managers will be sitting uncomfortably in their dugout seat in the months to come.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES AT SOUTHAMPTON

We had the pleasure of being behind-the-scenes at Southampton on Saturday as Sofiane Boufal‘s incredible goal handed Saints a late win against West Brom 1-0 at St Mary’s.

[ MORE: Matchday experience at Southampton ]

From the pub to the stadium, to being on the pitch for walkouts and in the tunnel at the end of the game, we have you covered for the full matchday experience.

The video above gives you a taster of what to expect, while below is a clip of us speaking with Boufal after his amazing solo goal.

Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an alternative look at the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Everton’s Koeman hopes loss isn’t end: “I don’t think it’s too late”

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Will losing 5-2 at home to Arsenal and dipping into the early season Premier League drop zone be the end of Ronald Koeman at Everton?

He hopes not.

[ RECAP: Everton 2-5 Arsenal ]

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Koeman said. “I told the players that I believe in the commitment of the players but if you are negative thinking, and everyone is doing it at this moment, I can understand it. You take all the things in a negative way, not even we stayed with 10 men at 1-2. Again, once again all these decisions are not in my hand.

Koeman spoke in relatively relaxed tones after the defeat, clearly flustered but aware that freaking out wasn’t going to change anything.

“It’s difficult,” he said. “It’s not a time to start to be crazy because I’m responsible for this team. We lost 5-2 and it’s a big result even against Arsenal.”

Like fellow Dutch manager Frank De Boer at Crystal Palace, the move is not necessary yet somehow seems inevitable. Will Bill Kenwright and the Everton board be able to avoid itchy trigger fingers with a midweek trip to Chelsea in the League Cup and a visit to Leicester City next?

The League Cup match gives a little buffer, but a relegation six-pointer of sorts against Leicester is probably not the time for a shakeup. And all one has to do is look to the Foxes to see how a managerial change doesn’t fix everything.

If the Toffees squad hates Koeman, and we don’t know much about this, then yes, maybe a change for the sake of change could help before the trip to Leicester.

But there was a moment in the first half, when it was still 1-0 for the hosts, that showed just how slim the margins are for Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson, the mega money transfer, chipped a ball into the box that any top striker would’ve ran onto and belted home for 2-0.

But there was not a top striker there. Koeman did not sell Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. Everton, as Arlo White and Lee Dixon said during the broadcast, put all their eggs in Olivier Giroud‘s basket only to see him stay in London for family reasons. Sandro hasn’t done the trick, and the Toffees need January badly. Will they get there with Koeman?

Follow @NicholasMendola