Manager Watch: AVB's great escape but Moyes and Hughton feel the heat

Chris Hughton

Two late goals saved the day for Andre Villas-Boas but David Moyes and Chris Hughton were not so lucky.

No less than 18 managers from England's top leagues have left their job so far this season.

Three of those have been in the Premier League.

But has that satisfied axe-wielding chairmen up and down the country? Probably not. And something tells us there will be more managerial casualties on the way.

After yesterday's results, however, one man can count himself under less pressure than he would have been had two late goals not gone in.

Two others were not so lucky, though...

Andre Villas-Boas

A goal down to struggling Fulham after 70 minutes, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas may have been staring down the bottom of a barrel.

Defeat at Craven Cottage would have left Spurs without a win in five league games, increasing the pressure on Villas-Boas ten-fold after his torrid recent run.

Tottenham's 6-0 hammering at Manchester City is still fresh in the memory and the Spurs hierarchy would hardly have taken well to defeat against a side without a win in their five previous league games.

As it was, a wondergoal from Vlad Chiriches and a late winner from Lewis Holtby turned the match on its head, lifting Spurs up to sixth. Finally, some luck for AVB and his charges - but they left it late.

David Moyes

For Manchester United boss Moyes, though, yesterday was a day to forget. Everton had not beaten United at Old Trafford in 21 years yet did so last night, as a second-half Bryan Oviedo winner gave Roberto Martinez's side all three points at the expense of his club's former manager.

Moyes' title bid is now in serious jeopardy, with United down in ninth place - 12 points off Arsenal and five off the top four.

It is hard to gauge just how long one of the biggest clubs in the world will put up with such a mediocre start. After all, Sir Alex Ferguson was given years of second chances before he got things right.

But football has changed immeasurably over the years and questions will be asked of Moyes' capabilities after such a rotten Premier League defence.

United are now without a win in their last three league games and fans will be looking for a response against Newcastle on Saturday.

Chris Hughton

If anyone is under pressure in Premier League, however, it is Norwich boss Chris Hughton. Yesterday's 5-1 defeat at Anfield has intensified the scrutiny the 54-year-old is under and the bookmakers are pulling no punches with their assessment.

Hughton is the overwhelming favourite to be the next boss to leave his post, while - of the managers who started the season at their clubs - only Sam Allardyce at West Ham sits below Norwich in the table.

Allardyce, too, is under pressure but the manner in which Hughton's side surrendered to Liverpool - and not for the first time - will fill fans and officials alike with worry. Norwich now boast the second-worst goal difference in the league.

The Canaries face West Brom on Saturday and a good performance, at the very least, will be needed to keep the hounds off Hughton. But, even then, they will be back at the next sign of trouble.

image: © blenky64

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