Steve Kean walking on thin ice: The Firing Line

05 January 2012 11:00
So Christmas has come and gone but although we are into a new year it is the same old story at Blackburn.

Steve Kean may be able to pick up wins against Arsenal and Manchester United - as well as draw at Liverpool - but he isn't getting many points elsewhere.

As Rovers continue to struggle at the bottom of the table, fans remain unsatisfied and aim to step up their recent protests against the board and Kean to an 'increased intensity'.

Each week we bring you our latest chart of the managers under pressure, and those on Easy Street. Here are Sportsmail's sack-race rankings - otherwise known as the Firing Line.

 No 1: Steve Kean - Blackburn Rovers

Just when it looked like Kean had found the solution to Blackburn's problems by beating Manchester United he finds himself back at square one after the Stoke defeat. Still just three points off safety though but a tricky cup game at Newcastle next. NON-MOVER

No 2: Andre Villas-Boas - Chelsea

Bounced back well to win at Wolves (with some luck here or there) following the shock defeat against Aston Villa but the Blues are already long odds to win the title and Villas-Boas faces a scrap to secure even a Champions League spot. UP FOUR

No 3: Owen Coyle - Bolton Wanderers

For the first time this season Bolton picked up points in successive games after an impressive comeback to win at Everton. It could be the turning point for Coyle even if it was also possibly the last appearance of Gary Cahill. Macclesfield away next. DOWN ONE

No 4: Alex McLeish - Aston Villa

Like Kean, the euphoria of winning away at a title contender was too much to take and his side ultimately imploded on their next home outing to Swansea - a team with the worst away record. Must avoid another disaster at managerless Bristol Rovers next. DOWN ONE

No 5: Neil Warnock - Queens Park Rangers

No Premier League wins in two months leaves QPR dangling one place above the relegation zone. Despite overhauling the squad in the last transfer window, Warnock may have to add further additions to a side that has lost six of its last eight games. UP THREE

No 6: Mick McCarthy - Wolverhampton Wanderers

McCarthy has spent most of Christmas biting his tongue over crucial refereeing decisions that have gone against his team. Without a win in over a month as Wolves languish on the cusp of the bottom three but his side are picking up helpful draws along the way. DOWN ONE

No 7: Roberto Martinez - Wigan Athletic

Wigan are within two points of safety so the 4-1 home defeat to Sunderland won't have caused mass panic but Martinez has to be alarmed about the amount of goals his side are shipping. The Latics have the worst goal difference in the division. DOWN ONE

No 8: Martin Jol - Fulham

Late goals and Fulham have been a common sight this season but it was the Cottagers who had the last laugh after scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to defeat Arsenal. It leaves Jol's team 14th but a healthy seven points above the bottom three. DOWN ONE

No 9: Roy Hodgson - West Bromwich Albion

Defeat was without disgrace at Tottenham as an injury hit West Brom played a highly organised defensive game that frustrated a normally free-scoring Spurs side. Hodgson will want to save face at home to Cardiff next in the FA Cup though. NON-MOVER

No 10: Alan Pardew - Newcastle United

It looked like the momentum had gone from Newcastle's season following a poor run, but their hunt for European football is back on after a first win against Manchester United in 11 years. Has Pardew made the signing of the season with Demba Ba? NON-MOVER

 No 11: Brendan Rodgers - Swansea City

The goals conceded column may be starting to go up at home but crucially Swansea have now started to win away after their first victory in England this season at Aston Villa. Past the halfway-mark and the Swans are well on course to hit 40 points. UP ONE

No 12: Harry Redknapp - Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs have not been at their best in recent weeks as they continue to deal with injuries but crucially they are grinding out results that keeps them in the hunt for the title. The club's pride is likely to be trusted with fringe players at home to Cheltenham next. DOWN ONE

No 13: David Moyes - Everton

You know your striking situation is bad when your goalkeeper (Tim Howard) has scored the same amount of league goals as your supposed top marksman (Louis Saha). Moyes needs to add more firepower into an attack, with or without Landon Donovan. NON-MOVER

No 14: Tony Pulis - Stoke City

After reaching last season's FA Cup final, Pulis has big squad decisions to make trying to go one better in the competition based on Stoke's Europa League run and strong league position. Gillingham away will likely feature many of his Europa League stars. NON-MOVER

No 15: Arsene Wenger - Arsenal

Despite crippling injuries, Arsenal are still competitive at the business end of the table but the collapse at Fulham hints at a side lacking mental belief from Wenger's glory years, and goals outside of Robin van Persie. Enter stage-left, Thierry Henry. NON-MOVER

No 16: Paul Lambert - Norwich City

An up-and-down Christmas for Paul Lambert but he will be delighted his side hold a top 10 spot going into the second half of the season. The Canaries are still conceding goals for fun but crucially are still scoring a healthy amount too. Burnley in the cup next. UP ONE

No 17: Martin O'Neill - Sunderland

Sincehe has taken over at Sunderland no Premier League side has picked up more points. An incredible turnaround considering beforehand the Black Cats were in turmoil and struggling with injuries. Even Nicklas Bendtnerlooks a half-decent player now. DOWN ONE

 No 18: Roberto Mancini - Manchester City

Brushed aside the defeat at Sunderland by taking Liverpool to the cleaners. Big test for Mancini comes when Yaya Toure leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations, it could prove pivotal for City's title ambitions with rivals Manchester United and Spurs on their tail. NON-MOVER

No 19: Kenny Dalglish - Liverpool

Has a big seven games ahead as he prepares to find a solution on how to temporarily replace Suarez. On the plus side, Steven Gerrard is back and his influence on the squad should help make up for the loss of the talented Uruguayan striker. NON-MOVER

No 20: Sir Alex Ferguson - Manchester United

Terrible start to the year for Ferguson as his side flopped on a grand scale at Newcastle, failing to score for the first time this season. All will be forgotten though if bragging rights can be reclaimed in the FA cup match at Manchester City next. NON-MOVER

 Mr Agent: So it all begins again. but believe me, we've been very busy!Enough is enough! Blackburn fans to 'increase' protests against Kean and Venky's

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