EPL Managerial Ranking: Ranking the Managerial Performances This Season
The job of a manager, I can assume, isn't easy. They are the automatic fall guys for a poor run of games and get less than deserved credit when the team is doing well.
This year, however, there have been some great managers and not so great managerial performances that leave us asking: why haven't they been fired yet?
So without further ado, these are the rankings of the 20 managers based on their performances so far this year.
20. Steve Kean: Blackburn Rovers
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Steve Kean is the most inexperienced manager in the league, and it shows with each game.
I felt he did a decent job on the last day of the transfer market, getting proven premiership players in Yakubu and Scott Dann. But so far, it has been a start to forget for the Scotsman.
Currently holding a win percentage of 17%, his team selections have sometimes been bizarre, and he doesn't seem to know the right time to make substitutions.
The Arsenal result aside, it has been a largely disappointing campaign for Blackburn. Quite frankly, he should be fired, if Blackburn wants to maintain their top flight status
19. Steve Bruce: Sunderland
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A decent premiership manager no doubt, but the season isn't going so well for Sunderland and Steve Bruce. His side, with the talent and experience in the squad, should be doing way better, and not languishing in mid-table mediocrity.
The importance of Asamoah Gyan's goals last season cannot be ignored or understated. It's scary to actually imagine that Jordan Henderson brought midfield stability to the side last season, as they have completely forgotten how to hold on to leads and grind out results, which they did admirably last season.
Seeing as Sunderland seems to be more ruthless than Blackburn, he's my pick for the first managerial casualty of the season, if he doesn't turn things around before the end of January.
18. Roberto Martinez: Wigan Athletic
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The picture says it all.
Roberto Martinez and his team look to be in a land on their own this year. Its not that they have played badly this season, although they haven't been all the way impressive either, they just seem to be doing the bare minimum in hopes that it's enough to get by.
But this is the big leagues. Team's sense mediocrity from the kick off and punish you for it without remorse. The last two games have shown signs of progress as they have awoken from their slumber, but still a lot more work has to be done if they want to escape relegation again this year.
17. Owen Coyle: Bolton Wanderers
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Ten losses in 13 games is unacceptable for a manager in the Premier league. But it's unfortunate that it's the situation Bolton find themselves in.
I must credit Owen Coyle for his attempt to change the way the team plays. In just a short while, he has changed this team from a long ball, boring, physical team to one that plays the ball on the ground and has added a bit of flair to their game.
But it seems that teams have found out how to beat them this season. I must say that missing personnel haven't helped their cause. Chu Young Lee and Stuart Holden are sorely missed and their replacements aren't adequate.
Zat Knight, it turns out, is the Robin to Gary Cahill as without him playing alongside him he has looked like a championship player all season. A dip into loan deals and reasonably priced players in the transfer market in January is paramount if they want to escape relegation.
16. Mick McCarthy: Wolverhampton Wanderers.
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Always going to be around the lower half of the table, Mick McCarthy is neither under or over performing, which is why I think Wolves would flirt with relegation once again this year.
Frequent injuries to key performers and shocking defending has seen his team that started so well this year drop down the table battling for survival yet again. The addition of Roger Johnson only papered around the cracks of an already faltering defence and Matt Jarvis and Steven Fletcher are going through severe second-season syndrome.
They should be fine if they can get their act together and go on an impressive run, something I know this team is capable of.
15. Roy Hodgson: West Brom
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Roy Hodgson is doing okay so far, specifically his poor management of the Odemwingie situation left a lot to be desired.
But he is in his comfort zone at West Brom, no real danger of relegation and really all he can hope for is a top 10 finish.
14. Neil Warnock: Queens Park Rangers
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A genuine character, Warnock's sound bites and interviews have been funny enough to provide some real entertainment value.
But his side, based on the amount of investments the owner made, should be playing better and should be in the top 10. He still had impressive performances against Stoke, Chelsea and Manchester City, which are encouraging signs.
Barring a heavy run of bad results he and his team should be looking ahead to securing their top flight status for another season.
13. Martin Jol: Fulham
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The Europa league hasn't helped Martin Jol's league form and his new signings haven't settled in as quick as he would hope. But, Fulham are doing fine so far.
It's conceivable that they could go far in the Europa league and could push for a top 10 finish this year. Bryan Ruiz has to find form and Andy Johnson needs to remain fit.
Jol has assembled a well organized, disciplined outfit and if the Arsenal game is anything to go by, they could be a formidable team after a run of games.
12. Tony Pulis: Stoke City
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Tony Pulis hasn't quite managed to figure out how to balance the Europa League and the premiership this year and it's understandable why Stoke have gone through a rough patch.
It would have been higher if he took the initiative to form two teams or a variation of teams; one for the premier league, and one for the Europa League to combat fatigue, which has been their biggest problem this season.
11. Brendan Rodgers: Swansea City
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I'm very impressed with Brendan Rodgers so far.
He has his Swansea team playing proper football and more importantly, they are playing uninhibited, not unlike Blackpool last season. The difference, however, is that Swansea pays proper attention to the defensive aspects of the game as well.
With clean sheets and an unbeaten home form, Swansea are not only looking to stay, but looking to finish as high as they possible can in the top half of the table.
10. Paul Lambert: Norwich City
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Very similar to Brendan Rodgers, Paul Lambert his a team that was not given a prayer before the season started. However, they've been playing good football and taking on the bigger teams without fear.
His side gave Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and United a run for their money, making other teams in the league take notice.
Also, his side have this "never say die" attitude as they find ways to grind out results in games they haven't played particularly well in. This is a skill some top 7 clubs don't even possess, which is why a top 10 finish is not improbable if they continue in this impressive form.
9. Alex Mcleish: Aston Villa
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Aston Villa have been disappointing and yet, Alex Mcleish has kept them at 8th on the table. Mcleish must be doing something right, but his team should be playing better based on the quality of players he has at his disposal.
8. David Moyes: Everton
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David Moyes is a miracle worker.
What he does with this Everton team year after year is very impressive indeed. One must wonder what he could possibly achieve with a team that has a lot of money to spend.
The man sells his star players at almost every chance he gets in order to stay competitive and somehow finds and unearths talents year after year that are mostly of the highest quality. His players are notoriously slow to start, but they are doing better than last year and, if given time, they can finish higher than last season and return to European football.
Well done sir.
7. Andre Villas Boas: Chelsea
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It's safe to say Andre Villas Boas isn't the special one.
But maybe we judged him too quickly.
He wasn't really given ample time to adjust to the premier league and has seen his perfectly good footballing system thwarted by unimpressive personnel and weak tactics. Boas is still finding his feet in the league and I feel if given the chance he could be a major managerial force to reckon with.
6. Kenny Dalglish: Liverpool
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Kenny Daglish's Liverpool side should be doing much better than they are right now based on the investments they made in the summer.
Although at times enigmatic, they play very well against the better teams in the league, but they seem to struggle to win against seemingly weaker teams. Also, his team selections are a bit odd as well.
His decision to stick with his new signings, even when they were under-performing, might have set him back too much. Their last two games have been impressive though, but they aren't there yet.
5. Arsene Wenger: Arsenal
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You have to give Arsene Wenger some credit.
He lost his two best players of last season without replacing them early enough, endured intense media scrutiny that came with his team's woeful start to the season and has dealt with constant calls for him to quit after the first five games.
However, he wrote a new chapter this season; he put his pride aside and accepted his team was simply not good enough to compete, and in his own desperate way he might have unearthed and formed a slightly better team than he had last year.
His new signings have taken time to blend in, but the last 7 games have been very impressive as the team have established a more direct approach to the season. There is still a lot to be done if they want to qualify for the champions league, but rest assured, the man is on top of his game once again and doesn't look like he will be leaving any time soon.
4. Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester United
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Manchester United haven't been the same since the hammering at the hands of Man City. A blistering start has been halted by stuttering performances after the City game.
Still, I wouldn't count Sir Alex Ferguson's team out of the title.
The man is a master of getting the best out of his team, even the average players, and can win the title with any team as he showed last season. They have to revert back to the early season form though, and fast because Man City aren't slowing down.
3. Alan Pardew: Newcastle United
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I honestly didn't give Alan Pardew a chance at survival at this post from the moment he was hired. I was on team Chris Hughton.
But I have been pleasantly surprised. He was shrewd in the transfer market and he has assembled a team that defends and attacks at impressive rates.
Only one loss so far this season, everyone is expecting their fairytale run to end. I don't see it as a fairytale run, but I sincerely believe Newcastle can force their way into Europe next season, provided they maintain this form.
2. Harry Redknapp: Tottenham Hotspur
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The big winner from the transfer window in my book, Harry Redknapp's Tottenham side have gone from perennial pretenders to full blown contenders this year.
Tactically he has been solid as well. Playing Van Der Vaart just behind the main striker is a stroke of genius. Keeping hold of Modric and signing Parker and Adebayor make Tottenham the team with arguably the best midfield in the league.
It seems he decided to use this season as his audition for the England job and based on this early form, he might just get the job. I know it's early, but if Tottenham maintains this form all through the season, a title challenge could quickly become a reality.
1. Roberto Mancini: Manchester City
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It's easy to assume that Manchester City should be on the top of the table and that any decent manager with this team would be just as impressive.
However, Mr. Mancini has not only elevated City from underachievers to title contenders, but he has also done so by effectively dealing with the discipline issues that exist in his team.
His handling of the Tevez issue was brilliant, and how he has managed to channel Mario Balotelli's nonchalance into impressive performances is almost inspiring. His European form may have suffered because of his quest for a league title, but his side look unbeatable almost every time they take to the field.
Unbeaten after 13, Mancini is doing a fine job at the Etihad indeed.