Another Premier League gameweek, another manager sacked. Tony Pulis has fallen on his sword after West Brom’s 0-4 defeat at the hands of Chelsea – their fourth straight loss – and now the Baggies will be looking for a replacement at a key juncture in the campaign.
Others are also on thin ice as far as their job security is concerned, whereas for others a solid weekend result has strengthened their resolve.
Here are the pick of the Premier League’s winners and losers from the weekend:
Winner: Arsene Wenger
A rare appearance for Arsene Wenger in the ‘winner’ column! And why not, with the much-maligned Arsenal manager finally getting some bragging rights over his Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino.
The Spurs boss was unbeaten in six league games against Arsenal up until Saturday’s encounter, but the Gunners were full value for their 2-0 victory as the likes of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi showed a rare glimpse of how good they actually are.
Tottenham looked shaky at the back, with Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies particularly culpable for being too easily beaten. Perhaps the absence through injury of Toby Alderweireld will hit the Londoners more than first feared.
But for once, Wenger can enjoy his Monday morning commute to work; let him enjoy the moment while it lasts.
Loser: Tony Pulis
A run of ten games without a win for West Brom has ultimately cost Tony Pulis his job, although you wonder if a complete lack of interest in entertaining his fans has also had something to do with it.
A leopard never changes his spots, as the old saying goes, and Pulis will never be anything more than a footballing firefighter; a brilliantly pragmatic presence in the changing room and the overseer of a perfectly dogmatic brand of the beautiful game.
But at a club desperate to make the leap to top-ten contenders, you’d have to say that Pulis is not the man for the job. He has somehow managed to attract the likes of Grzegorz Krychowiak and Nacer Chadli to the Hawthorns, and now a new manager will come in to get the best of their undoubted talents.
As for Pulis, well, he has since gone favourite with the bookies for the vacant Wales job, who reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals playing conservative, defensive football. It’s a match made in heaven!
Winner: Callum Wilson
What an awful couple of years it has been for Callum Wilson, who has lurched from one injury woe to another in recent times.
The Bournemouth striker tore his anterior cruciate ligament in February, and has barely kicked a ball in anger since.
So what a joy it must be for the young man to even be on the pitch – let alone bagging a hat-trick, as he did against Huddersfield on Saturday in a 4-0 win.
Wilson’s return is a timely fillip for Eddie Howe, who was just starting to feel the pinch on the south coast after an ordinary start to the campaign. He, and Wilson, can now dream of bigger and better things.
Loser: Paul Clement
While Wenger and Howe will have has a spring in their step heading into work this morning, Paul Clement might just have been feeling rather jaded after a couple of sleepless nights.
His Swansea side are in free-fall, losing six of their last seven games, with their goal tally of seven the second-lowest in the division.
They were well beaten by Burnley on Saturday, and had to watch on is dismay as top scorer Tammy Abraham was stretchered off with an apparent back injury.
It’s a long old season, and you suspect that the Swansea fans are only just heading into a winter of generous discontent.
Winner: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
It’s rare to get a smile out of Jose Mourinho these days, but the Special One could be forgiven for flashing his gums after a convincing Manchester United win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Most pleasing for Mourinho will have been the performance of the returning Paul Pogba, who found the net in the 4-1 win.
But the loudest cheer of the night was reserved for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who made his own long-awaited return following a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The Swede will have a crucial role to play in United’s season, particularly during the Christmas and New Year period when the games come thick and fast. He will take some of the goal-scoring pressure off of Romelu Lukaku, and you wonder how far can the Red Devils go from here?
Loser: David Unsworth
After his side’s rousing comeback win over Watford just prior to the international break, Everton’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday had the feel of an audition about it for caretaker boss David Unsworth.
With Sam Allardyce, Sean Dyche and Marco Silva all allegedly turning down the chance to talk to the Toffees, Unsworth has once again been thrust into the limelight as a potential long-term replacement for Ronald Koeman.
So the Palace game gave him a great chance of nudging his way to the front of the queue….but unfortunately his players were not on the same wavelength.
They were comprehensively outplayed by the Eagles, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek capping a fine week in which he made his England debut with another excellent performance. Everton twice came from behind to equalise, and this was not the showing of a side fighting hard for Unsworth’s future.
It seems almost impossible that he will be offered the job on a full time basis, with Louis van Gaal the big market mover today.