Brendan Rodgers, Steve McClaren and Dick Advocaat might be fearing what the next call from the chairman holds.
But if the struggling managers of Liverpool, Newcastle and Sunderland want evidence that Premier League clubs can show patience, they can look to last season.
Neil Warnock was the first boss to be sacked last time around, with his short stint at Crystal Palace ending on December 27.
However it was a different story in 2013/14, with six bosses having been moved on by the same stage of the season.
Here is a look at recent seasons, the first sackings, and how the changes worked out:
2014/15: Neil Warnock, Crystal Palace - DECEMBER 27
Warnock had been a surprise choice to replace Tony Pulis, who resigned on the eve of the season. A second spell at Selhurst Park for Warnock was cut short a day after the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton, when supporters turned on the 66-year-old.
RESULT: Alan Pardew came in and worked wonders, hoisting Palace away from danger and to a 10th-placed finish.
2013/14: Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland - SEPTEMBER 22
A colourful six-month spell ended when Italian Di Canio was ousted, the day after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom left Sunderland rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier League.
RESULT: Gus Poyet revived Sunderland's season, steering the Black Cats to safety and to the League Cup final, where they lost to Manchester City.
2012/13: Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea - NOVEMBER 21
He won the Champions League as caretaker boss with Chelsea, but a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in the same competition six months later saw Di Matteo stripped of the job he had taken on full-time over the summer. Di Matteo was sacked at around 4am, after Chelsea arrived back from Turin.
RESULT: In came Rafael Benitez, helping Chelsea finish third in the Premier League and win the Europa League.
2011/12: Steve Bruce, Sunderland - NOVEMBER 30
After just two wins in 15 home league games, Sunderland chairman Ellis Short described results as "simply not good enough" and sent Bruce on his way.
RESULT: Martin O'Neill was a popular replacement and Sunderland finished the season in 13th place.
2010/11: Chris Hughton, Newcastle - DECEMBER 6
Hughton guided Newcastle to promotion, but with the team 11th in the Premier League in their first season back he was sacked.
RESULT: Alan Pardew came in, to local scepticism, but in trying circumstances lasted four years before jumping ship to Crystal Palace.
2009/10: Paul Hart, Portsmouth - NOVEMBER 24
A relegation season began with Hart at the helm and with seven straight league defeats. After only the slightest improvement thereafter, he was toast.
RESULT: Hart was replaced by Avram Grant, but Portsmouth were doomed and finished with just 19 points.
2008/09: Juande Ramos, Tottenham - OCTOBER 25
He delivered silverware with victory over Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final, but two points from eight games at the start of the next season dictated Ramos would go.
RESULT: Successor Harry Redknapp was an instant hit, with safety swiftly assured. Tottenham lost to Manchester United in the same season's League Cup final.