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THE FIRING LINE: Hammer time! After Phil Brown's departure Gianfranco Zola looks hot for the chop

18 Mar 2010 23:31:41

THE FIRING LINE: Hammer time! After Phil Brown's departure Gianfranco Zola looks hot for the chop

'This is the best trip, I've ever been on,' sang Phil Brown on the final day of last season just after Hull City had staved off relegation by a single point. We reckon he's probably singing a different tune now after becoming the fourth Premier League manager to vacate his position so far this season. It was a run of four defeats which cost the former Tigers boss his job and with the season coming to a climax, more bosses could be heading for the exit. The question is, who? No again: Zola shows the pressure is mounting after topping the Firing Line again Each week we bring you our latest chart of the managersunder pressure, and those on Easy Street. Here's Sportsmail's sack-race rankings - otherwise known asThe Firing Line. 1West Ham - Gianfranco Zola The Hammers are on a bad run, they've lost thelast three and Zola is running out of games to stave off relegation.There's eve worse news as to come as they face Arsenal on Saturdayevening. UP ONE 2Burnley - Brian Laws Laws received the dreaded vote of confidence from his chairman this week after one win in his 11 games in charge. Is he set to be the next manager out? The Wigan game is a must-win. DOWN ONE 3Wigan - Roberto Martinez The encouraging win over Liverpool wasfollowed by two demoralising defeats and they've won just one of thelast six. It's going to the wire and the game against Burnley is a mustwin. UP FIVE 4Wolves - Mick McCarthy Wolves have scored just two goals in the lastfour games and one of those was an own goal. If McCarthy's side go downit'll be failure in front of goal that is to blame. Aston Villa next. UP THREE 5Sunderland - Steve Bruce A win and two draws in their last three games,results which may well save the Black Cats their Premier League statusand Bruce his job. They're not out if it yet and its Birmingham next. DOWN ONE 6Bolton Wanderers - Owen Coyle Things may well work out for Coyle yet, the 4-0drubbing by Sunderland was forgotten with the win of the same scoreagainst Wigan but they'll face a sterner test against Everton. NON MOVER 7Blackburn - Sam Allardyce Allardyce may have been to busy arguing with RafaBenitez to notice that his side are still a few points short of safetyand have a very tricky clash with Chelsea to come this weekend. UP TWO. 8Liverpool - Rafa Benitez Two very much needed resullts for Benitez this week. But victories over Pompey and Lille will pale into insignificance if they can beat Manchester United on Sunday. Can they? DOWN FIVE 9Stoke City - Tony Pulis Pulis will look back on this season with a real sense of satisfaction, mid-table mediocrity is much welcomed over at the Britannia. A big test at home to Tottenham next. UP ONE 10Portsmouth - Avram GrantThe nine point deduction has made Pompey's relegation a certainty but what effect will that have on the players? We'll know more after their clash with fellow strugglers Hull. UP ONE 11Man City - Roberto ManciniThe last two games have personified the Mancini era. A dynamic winover Chelsea was followed by the stumbling draw with Sunderland. Theyneed a win over Fulham to keep up fight for fourth. UP TWO 12Everton - David MoyesThrowing away a two-goal lead against Birmingham was disappointingafter some very decent results of late. Moyes' side can continue  fightfor European spot against Bolton. UP TWO 13Birmingham City - Alex McLeishAfter the fantastic season he's had, McLeish is in avery strongbargaining position in his current contract negotiations. A win away atSunderland will further strengthen his position. UP TWO 14Fulham - Roy HodgsonAre there enough plaudits in the world to describe just how good the result against Juventus was? Certainly one of Fulham's most famous nights. Manchester City clash next. DOWN TWO 15Aston Villa - Martin O'NeillCredit must go to O'Neill, his side haven't faded like they did last season and are still very much in the hunt for silverware, and that Champions League place. Derby with Wolves next. NON-MOVER 16Tottenham - Harry RedknappThe next four games will define Redknapps' season. Stoke, Pompey and Sunderland in the league and Fulham in the Cup. Can he guide his underachievers to greatness? NON-MOVER 17Chelsea - Carlo AncelottiIt will take time to know just how damaging the defeat to Inter has been. And the pressure is mounting on Ancelotti to deliver the league or he could face the chop. Blackburn next. NON-MOVER 18Arsenal - Arsene WengerArsenal have lost just three times in all competitions this year, a fearsome record but will his young side be able to hold their nerve during the run in?  Home to West Ham next. NON_MOVER 19Man United - Sir Alex FergusonFerguson'sheart must be racing as he moves towards unprecedented fourth league title. And his side look good for it at the moment.  Three points would be welcome against Liverpool. NON-MOVER XHull City - Iain Dowie Dowie has nine games to save the Hull or theirPremier League dream will come to a halt after just two years. Tigersfans will not be boosted by his record at Newcastle last season. NEW ENTRY


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