Bruce hangs on, while Munoz goes but is sacking a manager early in the season the right way to go?

Newcastle often act early when it comes to under-performing bosses but were beaten to the punch by Watford. Planet Sport looks back to see whether acting early pays dividends in the long run.

Since being taken over by the Pozzo family in June 2012, Watford have had a vacancy in their dugout no fewer than 14 times.

What's more, there have been 11 Premier League managerial sackings since 2019, with four of them coming at Vicarage Road. That might sound surprising, but not shocking… until you remember that Watford weren't even in the top flight for half that time.

Gino Pozzo has become the epitome of the trigger-happy owner, but will his decision to act early be rewarded?

And will it work for Newcastle? For despite having pots of cash at their disposal, whoever they choose to replace Steve Bruce will have to wait until January to spend it.

Planet Sport recalls six occasions when clubs took the bold step of sacking their manager early in the season, and looks at how it worked out for them.

Kenny Dalglish - Newcastle United (1998/99)

Kenny Dalglish Newcastle boss Sep97

The unwanted record of fastest Premier League departure belongs, perhaps surprisingly, to Dalglish, who was dismissed from the St James' Park hotseat after just two games of the 1998/99 campaign.

Having finished 13th the season before, the Magpies began the new term with back-to-back draws, beginning with a 0-0 at home to 10-man Charlton, before taking another point with a 1-1 away to Chelsea thanks to Andreas Andersson cancelling out Celestine Babayaro's opener for the Blues.

However, despite being unbeaten, Newcastle removed Dalglish from his post with August not yet even complete, and replaced him with Ruud Gullit. The Dutchman did lead the Magpies to the final of the FA Cup, where they lost to Manchester United, but he managed only an identical league finish of 13th.

Frank de Boer - Crystal Palace (2017/18)

Frank de Boer Crystal Palace boss Sep17

If Dalglish holds the record for fastest dismissal, then de Boer certainly has another unwanted tag upon him - the worst start ever to a Premier League season.

Having replaced Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park in summer 2017, hopes were high, but the Dutchman was soon shown the door after his Eagles side failed to score even a single goal. Four defeats in a row, to Huddersfield, Liverpool, Swansea, and Burnley, had left Palace rooted to the foot of the table.

Palace chairman Steve Parish was forced to sack his shiny new imported manager and replace him with a well-known English face in Roy Hodgson. It ultimately proved to be the right decision, as despite three more defeats after the change, the Eagles righted the ship and avoided the drop, finishing 11th.

Paolo di Canio - Sunderland (2013/14)

Paolo Di Canio Sunderland boss Sep13

Di Canio became known for his somewhat - let's be kind - confrontational approach when playing, and the Italian continued his firebrand approach in the managerial hotseat.

However, that ultimately led to his downfall, with rumours that a group of players approached chief executive Margaret Byrne to complain about the Italian's conduct shortly before he was dismissed with the 2013/14 season just five games old.

Following a previous season in which he had kept the Black Cats in the top flight, he had overseen four defeats and one draw, with his final game in charge being a 3-0 reverse at West Brom.

He was replaced by Uruguayan Gus Poyet, in a largely successful appointment as Sunderland finished 14th and reached the League Cup final.

Brendan Rodgers - Liverpool (2015/16)

Brendan Rodgers Liverpool boss Oct15

Just sometimes, a candidate for a job becomes available who is such a perfect fit that you feel compelled to relieve the incumbent of his duties to get your man.

That's exactly what happened to Brendan Rodgers in 2015, with the Northern Irishman sacked just eight games into the season to aid the Reds' pursuit of a rather charismatic German.

Rodgers' record at Liverpool was not unenviable; in three seasons, the Reds finished seventh, second and sixth, but when Jurgen Klopp is on the market, only serious silverware will save you. His departure was handled with good grace by Liverpool, so much so that he allowed the incoming Klopp to move into his Merseyside house as a tenant.

Perhaps it was the smooth transition that allowed Klopp to begin weaving his magic. A new golden era at Anfield was born in what has to go down as one of the most inspired managerial appointments ever.

Bobby Robson - Newcastle United (2004/05)

Sir Bobby Robson Newcastle manager Aug04

Oh, Newcastle. The Magpies have always seemed to be in one crisis or another over the past two decades, and they make their second appearance in this list with the departure of Robson.

In the latest of an extremely long line of examples of soccer fans and chairmen having short memories, Robson was dismissed from his role after just four games in 2004/05. That was despite overseeing a fifth-placed finish and a march to the UEFA Cup last four in the previous campaign.

Even with that on his record, no wins in the Magpies' opening four games proved too much for then-chairman Freddy Shepherd, who fired Robson before the end of August. He was replaced by Graeme Souness, but the Scotsman failed to build on Robson's showing, mustering only a 14th-placed finish.

Roberto di Matteo - Chelsea (2012/13)

Roberto Di Matteo Chelsea boss nov12

If Watford's Pozzo is attempting to become the most trigger-happy owner in the Premier League, he has a way to go to beat Chelsea's Roman Abramovich. Despite leading the Blues to their first ever Champions League title the previous season, Di Matteo was dismissed just 12 games into 2012/13.

Having himself joined as a replacement for another sacked manager, Andre Villas-Boas, partway through the 2011/12 season, Di Matteo wrote himself into Stamford Bridge folklore with the European triumph. He then began the following season perfectly respectably, with seven wins from eight games.

Working for Roman Abramovich always keeps a manager on their toes, however, and a 3-2 loss at home to Manchester United saw the results begin to dry up. The Russian oligarch eventually acted after four games without a win saw the Blues slip to third, replacing di Matteo with Rafael Benitez.

It was hardly a popular departure, nor a popular arrival, with the fanbase, but Benitez oversaw a successful remainder of the season. He guided the club to third place, and delivered more continental silverware with victory in the Europa League thanks to a 2-1 win over Benfica in Amsterdam.

READ MORE: Five Manchester United managers who were far worse than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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