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THE FIRING LINE: Carlo Ancelotti's uncertain future at Chelsea means he's our favourite for the axe

03 Dec 2010 03:12:20

THE FIRING LINE: Carlo Ancelotti's uncertain future at Chelsea means he's our favourite for the axe

An air of uncertainty has hung around Chelsea ever since Ray Wilkins made his shock departure from the club. Combine that with a slump in the league and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that all is not well at Stamford Bridge. Carlo Ancelotti did the double last season and is just two points off the top of the pile this term but it doesn't seemed to have stopped speculation over his future, whether he walks before he is pushed or if Roman Abramovich decides on a new flavour of the month. Should I stay or should I go? Carlo Ancelotti's future hangs in the balance Elsewhere an excellent week in the league and cup for Avram Grant sees the pressure lift ever so slightly on the West Ham boss who may have finally got the kick-start he has needed in the Hammers hot-seat. Each week we bring you our latest chart of the managers underpressure, and those on Easy Street. Here's Sportsmail's sack-racerankings - otherwise known as the Firing Line... 1Chelsea- Carlo AncelottiWhat is happening at Chelsea? One win in five has seen them drop behind Manchester United having threatened to run away with the title only a few weeks ago. Struggling Everton next. UP ONE 2West Ham - Avram Grant Won the battle at the bottom then followed it up by inflicting Manchester United's biggest defeat in nearly 10 years. Not bad for a man who has been under fire in recent weeks. DOWN ONE 3ManCity - Roberto Mancini An injury time equaliser from Stoke leaves City five points off the pace in the League. But in the Europa League they are cruising as they progress to the last 32 without breaking sweat. NON-MOVER 4Wigan- Roberto Martinez No team is more out of form than Wigan who have taken just four points from six games. Martinez's side lack confidence and it is coinciding with their plummet down the table. UP TWO 5Liverpool- Roy Hodgson Granted Liverpool's away form was awful before Hodgson took over, but the latest last gasp defeat at White Hart Lane was a bitter pill to swallow for Reds fans. But into last 32 in Europa League. UP TWO 6Wolves- Mick McCarthyGoing a goal down with 15 minutes to go is enough to make any team drop their heads. Not McCarthy's side who staring another defeat in the face turned it around to grab a vital win. DOWN TWO 7Newcastle - Chris Hughton Talks of sackings finally looked to have gone quiet at Tyneside with the board realising just what a top job Hughton is doing especially after earning a tough draw off Chelsea. NON-MOVER 8Fulham - Mark Hughes Just two wins all season and only their many draws are keeping Fulham's heads above water. Trouble is those draws are turning into defeats and they may be heading for a relegation scrap. UP TWO 9BirminghamCity - Alex McLeish Has immortality for a few days at least after overseeing Carling Cup win over bitter rivals Villa. But just three points from the drop in the league means he can't rest on his laurels. DOWN ONE 10WestBromwich - Roberto Di Matteo Made big changes as his side crashed out to Championship side Ipswich in the Carling Cup, but his full strength side are back on it after a  4-1 win at Everton. Who saw that coming? DOWN ONE 11Blackburn- Sam Allardyce Annihilated 7-1 at Old Trafford last time out but given the nature of the fixture many will turn a blind eye, but how will that effect the player's confidence? Wolves at home next. NON-MOVER 12Sunderland- Steve BruceWent through a manager's nightmare after seeing his side throw away all three points in the last 15 minutes at Wolves. But Bruce will take heart that his side are still going strong in the top-half. UP ONE 13Aston Villa - Gerard Houllier Tough week, Arsenal ran rings around his side at Villa Park while an improved performance against Birmingham in the Carling Cup still couldn't stop his side falling to another defeat.  UP ONE 14Blackpool - Ian Holloway So close to a stunning win before conceding a late equaliser at Bolton. The fact that he will be disappointed at not being in the top-half speaks volumes of how well he has done. DOWN TWO 15Everton - David Moyes Very worrying times for Moyes. Two straight home defeats are included in a run of just three points from a possible 15. He will have strong backing but he must improve on recent showings. UP TWO 16Bolton - Owen Coyle Still gunning for Europe with a trip to Eastlands next. Win and they will go level with Manchester City, defeat and they could lose touch of the top five. A double-edged sword. NON-MOVER 17Stoke City - Tony Pulis Have struggled on the road this season but Pulis has made the Britannia Stadium a very difficult place to go and win. The Potters are in the top half and may have one eye on Europe. DOWN TWO 18Tottenham- Harry RedknappNot for the first time, Spurs came from behind to grab all three points against Liverpool. Under Redknapp Spurs just do not know when they are beat. Birmingham away next. NON-MOVER 19Arsenal- Arsene Wenger Only played in the quarter-final of the Carling Cup but given the round's results, Wenger must feel he already has one hand on the trophy, that just a few days after a fine win at Villa. NON-MOVER 20Man United - Sir Alex FergusonUnited are top of the table for the first time this season but he didn't look at all happy as he watched his side crash and burn in the Carling Cup at West Ham. You can't win them all. NON-MOVER  Barcelona rush to see off Chelsea's Guardiola interest with five-year dealMartin Samuel: Pep Guardiola would have to be crackers to join Roman armyKenny Dalglish: Ancelotti is the real Special One, not manipulator MourinhoThe Firing Line: Avram's aggro - Grant continues to top our list for the chop  Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Chris Hughton, Ian Holloway, Steve Bruce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Harry Redknapp, Mick McCarthy, Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, Alex McLeish, Roy Hodgson, Roman Abramovich, Roberto Mancini, Owen Coyle, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Martinez Places: Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Europe


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