It is a sure sign that Christmas is not far away – it always turns up at the same time as the Sack-the-Manager season.

You could hardly pick up a single newspaper over the weekend without reading how Unai Emery is living on borrowed time at Arsenal, Manuel Pellegrini is on dodgy ground at West Ham while down at Southampton Ralph Hasenhuttl could already be thinking about house-hunting somewhere a long way from St. Mary’s.

Steve Bruce also wondered aloud if he would still be in a job at the end of the international break. But that was before Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth so maybe he will be able to enjoy his Christmas Dinner.

Today’s Arsenal are no better than Wenger’s so ‘Sacking Emery is the only way for Arsenal to save their season,’ claimed one headline.

The Hammers were thrashed 3-0 at Burnley so another asked: ‘Is Pellegrini Up for the fight?’

And Southampton’s home form is worse than that which led to the sack for Mark Hughes, leaving Hasenhuttl searching for quick answers if not a new house.

Since 2010, there have been 132 managers of Premier League clubs, suggesting it is unlikely that the season of goodwill ever find its way into many boardrooms.

But it is not just the good old managers’ graveyard of the Premier League that is lining up victims – England’s 2-1 defeat by Germany in the women’s international at Wembley turned the spotlight on Phil Neville’s future.

Reaching a World Cup semi-final is no guarantee of long-term employment when you have lost five of your last seven matches. ‘Is time nearly up for Neville’ was the burning question in the women’s game.

The Premier League and FA headquarters are not the only places to find managers on thin ice and further down the chain there are team bosses who know that when Christmas comes, their ranks will have shrunk by up to a dozen names.

One City fan even texted the BBC to demand that Pep Guardiola should get the boot after the defeat at Anfield last Sunday, confirmation that we really are entering the silly season.

*There was a time when wearing the Great Britain jersey, especially on tour, was the pinnacle of a rugby league player’s career.

But then the Lions were mothballed, a decision that was nothing more than a political move to secure funding from Sport England.

This year saw the return of the Lions but judging by the noises coming out from New Zealand via coach Wayne Bennett, the current crop are nothing more than a group on trial for the England team to play Australia next year and ahead of the World Cup that is still two years away.

Bennett almost admitted as much when he selected Leeds winger Ash Handley ‘because he is English’ instantly ruling out Saints in-form winger Regan Grace, a Welshman.

It is true to say that the days are long past when Great Britain’s touring squad included Welsh, Scottish and Irish players but there are three Australians in the current party, two of whom qualify for England via grandparents.

After a run of three defeats, a total of only three tries, and just a trip to Papua New Guinea left to save face, maybe it is time to dig out the mothballs and put the Lions to sleep.