We’re approaching the midway point of November and still there has been no Premier League manager relieved of his duties.
In a world where the swish and thump of guillotine on neck is as regular a noise as birdsong and police sirens, the fact the no top-tier boss’ bonse has wound up in the basket to collect discarded heads is certainly noteworthy.
Paolo Di Canio and Ian Holloway were down the road at this stage last year, while four more would follow before 2013 was out.
This lack of P45 printing isn’t expected to last though, with the odds compilers at bwin towers going a mammoth 80/1 that no gaffer is binned at all in 2014/15.
Such an eventuality seems incomprehensible in an industry where the boundaries between success and failure are so delicately poised; a string of defeats often renders yesterday’s tactical mastermind today’s nitwit charlatan.
But looking at the current betting picture – Harry Redknapp, Mauricio Pochettino and Paul Lambert are joint 4/1 favourites to be the next managers to go – there’s a definite case to argue that this long shot could cop.
For starters, it’s hard to see any of the three frontrunners walking in the coming weeks.
QPR owner Tony Fernandes has made no secret of his support for Redknapp, whose R’s side have begun climbing the stairs out of the Premier League basement in recent weeks.
Aston Villa’s uninspiring form is nothing new, yet they always seem to survive and their decision-makers have never thought to dispense with Lambert’s services when they’ve recorded similarly dire results in the past.
It’s even harder to envisage Tottenham axing Pochettino inside his first season at the club with instant success never on the agenda.
Manuel Pellegrini – 5/1 to go next – could well get the boot at Manchester City, but if he is to be sacked, it’s unlikely to be until after the campaign has concluded so a world-class replacement can be sourced.
Gus Poyet and Steve Bruce (both 10/1) are in the most immediate danger, but their Sunderland and Hull sides have the quality to stem their respective slides down the division.
Universal adulation on the terraces will prove to be Nigel Pearson (16/1) and Sean Dyche’s (14/1) salvation at Leicester and Burnley, while it’s unlikely Crystal Palace and West Brom will pull the trigger as long as they’re ahead of the curve in the battle against relegation.
Liverpool’s tumble down the table has seen Brendan Rodgers come under fire, but his achievements at Anfield last term will keep the 20/1 shot in a job until the summer at least.
With the rest of the field currently untouchable, this logic suggests there are far worse 80/1 punts to invest your money in than this one.