Given the Premier League title race is all but over, lets turn our attention to the table that really matters. This is the Premier League managerial table.
This four-part series will be updated once a month. The table will be compiled on the following criteria – team performance, working conditions, resources spent and their job security all based on this season to date.
Managers will have the chance to move up the table over the next month but could alternatively fall down.
20. Arsene Wenger – Arsenal
Where to start with Arsene Wenger? Arsenal fans have been brought along a rollercoaster with Wenger at the helm. Eleven seasons ago they lifted the Premier League title but since then have managed just two FA cups.
The saving grace has been Wenger’s dependability when it comes to Champions League football, something David Moyes proved isn’t as easy as it looks. Coming into a season with six senior defenders is criminal and it is just by virtue of a talented midfield and a mercurial Alexis Sanchez that Arsenal stand any chance of a top four place this season.
The other day this writer said to a friend that having watched Arsenal a few times and having thought Danny Welbeck played well enough he was good business for LVG at £15 million. As a Manchester United fan he turned to me and said:
“Absolutely not, it has nothing to do with what he’d be doing at United, it’s all to do with the fact that Yaya Sanogo would be up front for Arsenal if the Red Devils had not sold Welbeck and a direct competitor for top four would be all but eliminated.”
Agreeing with him, we concluded that Wenger will likely see out the season before being moved upstairs.
19. Harry Redknapp – QPR
QPR sit 20th in the table, despite another summer of spending, although one not as frivolous as previous circumstances. Recent results have seen a bit of faith restored in Harry Redknapp and his overpaid bunch but this must be sustained for a long period to stave off relegation.
Last season’s play off winners had a higher wage bill than Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title winning side, that if you weren’t aware were also minutes away from being European champions. Avoiding relegation may be enough to appease Tony Fernandes this year but we should not expect such allowances next year.
In their next four games QPR face two of their promotion counterparts at home and also face the in-form Swans and Everton away from home. Seven points from the next four games should be the minimum expected from Harry and his team as they aim to make Loftus Road the fortress it could be.
17. Paul Lambert – Aston Villa
There appears to have been a knee-jerk reaction from Randy Lerner here. A team that started off so well with ten points from their first four games was as a direct result of an extremely impressive shot-to-goal ratio and a stubborn back five. Since being rewarded with a generous new contract, Lambert’s boys have played seven matches, scoring one goal garnering a single point.
The shot-to-goal ratio could not be maintained and the defence has disimproved. The return of the abrasive Belgian Christian Benteke was seen as the injection the team may have needed to begin finding the net again but a straight red card upon his return to first team action did Paul Lambert and co. no favours.
Given Randy Lerner’s stinginess, this writer would not have Lambert as the joint favourite in the Premier League Sack Race as this writer can’t see Lerner paying out on a contract only offered a couple of months ago that extends to 2018.
Two of Villa’s next four games are against teams below them and this must be seen as an opportunity for Lambert to get his young side back on form and begin to justify Lerner’s faith in his Lambert/Roy Keane project.
17. Sean Dyche – Burnley
Having spent less than £10 million in his two years at Burnley, Dyche is somewhat offered a free ride at the Premier League this season. Even if relegated, this writer believes he will keep his job and be tasked with getting the Clarets back in the big time.
Given their recent 1-0 win over Hull City and 2-1 victory over Stoke, they are now level on points with Leicester in 19th place. If Mt. Everest is too big to climb, practice by building up to it step by step.
Get beyond Derby’s worst point total of 11 points, and then set your sights at getting out of the bottom three.
For Sean Dyche and his men, miracles may be required to ensure their safety but for the man dubbed ‘The Ginger Mourinho’ could be their miracle maker.
16. Neil Warnock
Averaging one point a game since taking over at the helm, Neil Warnock can be said to be doing a satisfactory job following a poor start to the season and given the fact that Tony Pulis left just before the campaign began. Warnock was taking over from a man literally referred to as a wizard, which is no easy task.
Neil Warnock’s premier league record isn’t appalling, nor is it favourable with an average of 0.94 points per game pre-Palace. Palace initially looked like a comfortable mid-table side but could easily find themselves in a relegation scrap and whether Warnock has the nous or experience at this level to ensure safety is up for debate.
Andrew O’Reilly, Pundit Arena