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We are only two weeks into the new season but already the Premier League sack race is heating up, as Jason Pettigrove explains.

The pressure was always going to be on Mikel Arteta (8/11) this season after Arsenal performed so poorly throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

It wasn’t just the fact that the Gunners were toothless in attack and porous in defence either. The North Londoners were, and still are, too easy to play against.

For a club of Arsenal’s evident standing in the game, that just isn’t acceptable.

Whilst the Chelsea result could’ve been predicted, an abject showing at Brentford meant that their 2021/22 campaign began in the worst possible fashion.

Two games, two defeats, no goals and second from bottom. Once again, the Gunners are playing catch up, and Arteta just doesn’t appear to be the man to lead them out of their funk.

Both first-half goals against the Blues came down Arsenal’s left-side, the Spaniard didn’t address the situation and the visitors raided incessantly down that channel.

The fact that the club have backed him in the transfer market would suggest that they’re willing to hope he gets through the current malaise, but he’s certainly on borrowed time.

If they’re unable to get even a point against Man City, they could play Norwich in their first game after the international break propping up the table.

The Canaries currently sit bottom, and have a game against Leicester City before they face the North Londoners.

Daniel Farke (20/1) is another who might be looking at his P45 in the not too distant future.

For all of the German’s excellent tactical tweaks and expansive play, Norwich just aren’t equipped for the top-flight, and yet appear too good for the Championship.

They are fast becoming the ultimate yo-yo club.

If, however, the Canaries are able to hold their own in some of the games against the ‘bigger’ sides (with respect) in the division, there’s a chance that they can haul themselves into mid-table and not face a season of battling relegation.

Difficult, but not impossible.

Patrick Vieira (8/1) has a lot to prove at Crystal Palace, given how many players have been brought in or shipped out at his behest.

The Frenchman has done nothing, managerially speaking, which speaks to him becoming an unqualified success at Selhurst Park, and the Eagles results in their opening 6-10 games will tell us much about where they’re likely to be positioned later in the season.

Bruno Lage (14/1) at Wolves hasn’t got off to the best of starts with two losses from two, though he remains a mystery in many respects.

Not as well known as many of his contemporaries, there isn’t perhaps the same amount of focus on him as there are on others. That could well work in his favour, at least initially.

The one manager whose side find themselves down at the wrong end, and who really should be panicking at this point, is Newcastle United’s Steve Bruce (10/1).

He has never been a popular appointment at St. James’ Park, and his demeanour doesn’t inspire.

He hasn’t had much luck in the transfer market at present, which will be a real hindrance to the Magpies ambitions, and there’s enough off-field activity for this Geordie soap opera to suck the life out of the playing staff.

Against that backdrop, it’s a wonder that Bruce can keep them on anything like an even keel in any event.

And yet, it’s the manager that’s always the fall guy when the going gets tough and the tough don’t get going.

As with Arsenal, Newcastle are far too big a club to be inhabiting the lower reaches of the Premier League.

They were down there for most of last season until a late surge saw them escape relegation with ease.

That can’t be the sum total of their ambitions again because with supporters coming back into stadiums, the Toon Army just won’t stand for it.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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