Premier League managers feel heat as they move near the transfer window


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Premier League chairmen will start feeling anxious as November arrives this week. The chance to bring in a new manager who can spend money in the January transfer window is a popular option for many struggling teams. It is rare to have a season without it.

Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers' Association, said that the prospect of the transfer window "definitely" has an impact on clubs' thinking on managers.

"The transfer window was brought about many years ago to bring about stability but has probably done the opposite," Bevan said. "I'm sure directors of clubs probably look at managers and think, 'If I am going to be spending in the January window do I need to make a change?' and that often causes a problem."

Aston Villa's Paul Lambert, Mark Hughes of QPR, Southampton's Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott at Reading will certainly be aware of this. Those four have won two Premier League games between them this season and are all at clubs owned by men rich enough to make a difference in January.

Every season there tends to be at least one winter dismissal towards the bottom of the Premier League. Last season it was Steve Bruce from Sunderland and Neil Warnock at QPR. The year before it was Chris Hughton from Newcastle and Sam Allardyce at Blackburn. Gary Megson was dismissed by Bolton Wanderers in December 2009. Paul Ince lost his job at Rovers the year before. Chris Hutchings, at Wigan, and Lawrie Sanchez (Fulham) were sacked in late 2007 and their teams avoided relegation.

On Saturday at Villa Park, Lambert's players looked short of quality and unity. Villa have had their worst start in 43 years. Next month they face both Manchester sides and Arsenal. Randy Lerner has the capacity to make an impact.

Tony Fernandes made the change last January, bringing in Hughes and new players, and Rangers stayed up. Although QPR are currently bottom, performances suggest their players might be starting to gel.

Less is known about Reading's owner, Anton Zingarevich. He has backed McDermott since his takeover but they need more quality, and Zingarevich has the means. Reading play QPR, Norwich, Wigan and Villa next month, after which it should be clearer whether McDermott is the right man.