Is Karanka on his way out at Boro?
The odds on Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka being the next Premier League manager to leave his post have been slashed, prompting intense speculation that the Spaniard may be set to depart the Riverside stadium. The news comes after Karanka criticised his own supporters after Boro lost 3-1 at home to West Ham.
Odds prior to the defeat to West Ham were around the 4/1 mark but after the game and the comments that followed, the 43-year-old became the odds-on bookies' favourite to leave his position next. The best odds available are at just 1/2 with a number of bookmakers including with William Hill if you do fancy backing this one, though Paddy Power have odds as short as 4/11.
The Teesiders have performed reasonably well in their first season back in the Premier League but recent form has been a concern. They are without a win in their last five games and now sit just four points above the relegation zone so pressure to get results is becoming more pressing. The issue of results is only half the story however especially when Karanka opted to lay in to his own supporters after the West Ham game. He described the atmosphere as "awful" and made the point that he felt he deserved more respect for leading the club to the Premier League considering they were struggling in the Championship when he took over.
However this is not the first time that Karanka has looked on the verge of departing the Riverside, after he appeared to have a major fall out with his players last season. Despite the club being second in the Championship, a training ground bust-up looked as though it would derail their season and he left the responsibilities for the club's match at Charlton to his assistan Steve Agnew. That issue was later resolved and the former Spanish international defender returned to lead the club to promotion but it appears as though those old wounds may now have been reopened.
Ladbrokes are another of the bookies who have slashed the odds on Karanka leaving Middlesbrough with their man on the pulse with news Dave Bruin stating that “We can’t see Karanka and Boro making nice after ‘awful-gate’, so don’t expect to see him barking out orders on the Riverside touchline again."
The next game for Karanka will be Accrington Stanley at home in the FA Cup before they take on West Brom at home in the Premier League. It's needless to say that should they suffer defeat at home to League Two opposition then the pressure will really begin to increase.