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Premier League managers who suffered a Christmas axing: Pellegrini, Warnock and more...

Good will to all men didn’t stretch to these under-performing top-flight bosses who lost their jobs over the festive period.

Manuel Pellegrini and Neil Warnock may not on the face of it have much in common but one thing they do share is a Premier League Christmastime sacking.
Never the most gregarious of characters, the two were even shorter on festive cheer after being handed festive P45s by West Ham and Crystal Palace, respectively.
They are not alone, with Santa's sack and managerial sackings almost going hand in hand.
Planet Sport looks back on six Premier League managers for whom Christmas was definitely not the most wonderful time of year.

Malky Mackay

Mackay was appointed Cardiff City boss in 2011 after leaving Watford for an undisclosed compensation fee.

In his first season, the club reached the League Cup final for the first time, losing out to Liverpool on penalties before exiting the Championship play-offs at the hands of West Ham.

The next season they improved further, winning the Championship to gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

Despite Cardiff sitting 15th in mid-December, controversial owner Vincent Tan wasn't about to send his boss a Christmas card. Instead, he demanded Mackay resign, listing a series of grievances centred around signings, transfer budgets and style of play in an email to the bemused boss.

Mackay stood his ground but following a 3-0 defeat to Southampton, his fate was sealed.

Following a meeting with the club's directors, Mackay was out on his ear on December 27.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was subsequently appointed manager and the Bluebirds slid out of the top flight, finishing rock-bottom.

Les Reed

In 2006, Les Reed managed to combine THE shortest full-time tenure in charge of a Premier League club and one of the worst dates to be sacked.
Reed was assistant manager at Charlton when Iain Dowie was sacked in the November following just two wins from their opening 15 games.
Reed was in the right place to take over the reins.

His six-week spell contained just one win, a League Cup defeat to League Two side Wycombe and ended with a 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough. With the club in 19th place, 'Santa Clueless', as he was referred to by the media, was replaced on Christmas Eve by Alan Pardew.

Author of a book on management, The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching, his decision to give the players Christmas Day off was reportedly the last straw for the Addicks board.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with rumours of him handing out his own book as Christmas presents.

Neil Warnock

Veteran manager Warnock was handed the Crystal Palace job for a second time in August 2014.

"He is the right appointment," said chairman Steve Parish. "He did a great job when he was here before and he understands the club."
Nevertheless, despite Parish's confident appraisal, appointing Warnock was a huge risk, given his best days were considered behind him even then. He was also replacing Premier League manager of the Year Tony Pulis who had pulled off an heroic escape the previous season, lifting a relegation-bound Eagles up to 11th.

The worst fears were realised as Warnock lasted just 122 days.

The Sheffield-born manager, known for his sharp tongue and passionate post-match interviews, was sacked on December 27 with Palace in the relegation zone.
Just three wins from their opening 16 matches did for him and he, like Reed, was replaced by Alan Pardew.

Warnock claimed the sacking gave him a chance to catch up with Downton Abbey but he was soon back in management, with temporary roles at QPR and Rotherham followed by longer stints at Cardiff City and Middlesbrough.

Bob Bradley

After making his name in MLS in his native America and impressing in a five-year stint with the US men's national team between 2006 and 2011, Bobley ended up in the Premier League via Egypt, Norway and France.
He became the first American to manage in the Premier League when he was appointed Swansea City boss in 2016. His appointment was viewed negatively by fans and pundits - and as it turned out, rightly so.
Bobley lasted less than three months in the Swans hotseat and took charge of only 11 league matches.

Of those 11, he lost seven, conceded a crazy 29 goals and saw the Welsh side drop into the relegation zone in the process.

The only highlights were a crazy 5-4 victory over Crystal Palace and a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Sunderland.
A 4-1 defeat to West Ham on Boxing Day saw the fans chanting for his dismissal. Their Christmas wish came true as Bradley was sacked the next day.

Manuel Pellegrini

The Chilean who had already led Manchester City to the Premier League title when he was handed the West Ham job in May 2018.

After a slow start to his first season in London, results picked up and he was able to guide the Hammers to a tenth-placed finish, an improvement of three places on the previous campaign.
West Ham backed him in the transfer market and he signed Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller for a combined fee of over £80million.
He went on to spend £155million during his time in charge, which provided added pressure for a club who had only recently moved to the London Stadium.

With only five league wins and with the Irons in 17th place, he was sacked on December 28, 2019.

David Moyes took over from Pellegrini for a second spell at the club and, following the Irons' fine start to this season, he will be able to rest a little easier this Christmas.

Jim Jefferies

Musselburgh-born Jim Jefferies took over at Bradford City in November 2000.
After winning two promotions to the Scottish top flight with Falkirk and lifting the Scottish Cup with two different clubs, Jefferies looked like a decent appointment.
However, he inherited a Bradford side who had only recorded one victory and were three points adrift at the foot of the table.
Suffering financial difficulties, they were forced to sell key players including Dean Windass, David Hopkin, Andrew O'Brien and Stan Collymore, who described Jefferies in 2013 as "one of the most useless managers (he) worked under".
They finished the season eight points adrift at the bottom with just five wins to their name.
Nevertheless, Jefferies was allowed to remain at the helm for the following season.
However, with City 16th in Division One, Jefferies decided he'd had enough, resigning on Christmas Eve.

Not technically a Premier League manager and not a sacking either, but worthy of inclusion nonetheless.

READ MORE: Gomez, Van de Beek and Barkley among 10 Premier League players in desperate need of a January move

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