It has been a bad week for Steven Gerrard, and it's about to get worse for the Aston Villa manager. With his struggling team in the bottom three following four defeats in five league games this season, Villa must now face Manchester City and Erling Haaland as they attempt to stop the rot.
Gerrard is under mounting pressure at Villa Park, and his reputation as one of the biggest stars of the Premier League era will offer no protection to the former Liverpool and England captain if results continue to go against his team.
Scott Parker has already lost his job at AFC Bournemouth, four games into the campaign, having guided the club to promotion from the Championship last season. Losing 9-0 at Liverpool on Saturday was the final straw for the Bournemouth owners, who had grown tired of Parker's public criticism of the club's player recruitment.
"In order for us to keep progressing as a team and a club as a whole, it is unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably," Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin said. "We must also show belief in and respect for one another. That is the approach that has brought this club so much success in recent history, and one that we will not veer from now."
Parker's concern about a lack of investment was understandable given that Bournemouth had spent just £24 million this summer, with only free transfer Ryan Fredericks adding proven Premier League experience to a promoted squad. As the smallest club in the top division, the former Fulham manager would also have known that finances would be tight and combining bad results with criticism of the owner's blueprint was never going to make for a positive outcome.
Every manager knows their grip on the job is directly linked to what happens on the pitch. Bad results are the most corrosive factor, but it also doesn't help when proven managers such as Mauricio Pochettino and Sean Dyche are out of work and ready to offer an unhappy club owner the chance to make a change.
Pochettino and Dyche may appeal to clubs at different ends of the table with contrasting objectives, but their availability means that managers might be given less time than they would expect to turn a difficult situation around. That reality, and the uncertainty of the impact of a winter World Cup on this season, means that managers are anxiously looking over their shoulder earlier than ever before.
Gerrard, who earned his move to Villa last November by winning the Scottish Premiership with Rangers in 2021, is not the only Premier League boss feeling the heat at this incredibly early stage of the season.
Thomas Tuchel is inviting scrutiny at Chelsea, not only with indifferent results that see the club sitting in midtable with two defeats and a draw from their five games, but also because the former Paris Saint-Germain coach has continued to question the performances of his players having initially raised concerns during preseason.
Chelsea's £240m summer spending spree under their new owners has also increased the expectancy and pressure on Tuchel to deliver.
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Brendan Rodgers is another high-profile manager who will be worried about results and performances with Leicester City. Ahead of Thursday's clash with Manchester United, the Foxes sit bottom of the table, with one point from four games. Rodgers has seen key players Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana leave the King Power Stadium this summer, and until deadline day not a single senior outfield signing had been made (Wout Faes has since joined from Stade de Reims), but despite the financial restrictions that have made his job so much harder, the former Liverpool and Celtic boss is the one in the firing line if results fail to improve.
How Gerrard, Tuchel and Rodgers handle their respective recruitment issues this summer may be crucial to their own job expectancies in the weeks ahead.
Villa have spent just under £50m and have already lost summer signing Diego Carlos to a long-term Achilles tendon injury. With Gerrard getting his wish to complete an £18m deal for Philippe Coutinho, he really needs the former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder to deliver to avoid questions over his judgment, especially with a record that now shows Villa to have lost exactly half of their 34 games under his management.
Tuchel might seem to have won the transfer window by convincing new owner Todd Boehly to commit a record investment, but despite Chelsea's massive outlay, the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner have left the team short of goal scorers, and that is already being borne out with the team scoring just five goals in six games so far.
Tuchel has never been shy in expressing his opinion about matters on and off the pitch, so watch this space if Chelsea fail to find some consistency.
And Rodgers faces a tough period ahead with a depleted squad that is suffering from injuries to key players. Leicester's owners have always been regarded as some of the most sensible and supportive in the Premier League, but even Claudio Ranieri, the man who secured their incredible Premier League title in 2015-16, was fired less than a year later because the club were battling against relegation. If Rodgers is unable to quickly steer the team out of the bottom three, his prospects will be bleak.
But with Bournemouth already claiming the unenviable distinction of being the first Premier League club to dismiss their manager this season, it will make it an easier conversation in other boardrooms when a manager is under pressure.
Winning is the only way to stay in a job, but managers must also avoid looking for excuses if things go wrong because losing and complaining are a guaranteed route to finding yourself out of a job.