Being a manager in the English Premier League is never an easy career choice. While it can be tremendously rewarding, it is undeniably stressful. As we have seen this season, it is a cut-throat business to be in, and many managers in the Premiership have come under fire. Some on the other hand have been praised for their success. In light of this, we take a look at which managers are safe, and which managers aren’t, as the season draws to a close.
Firstly we shall look at manager’s who have cemented their positions as coaches of their clubs for next season, with some impressive management and continued success.
Simply put, Brendan Rodgers has been the most impressive manager in the Premier League this season. He has proven to be quite innovative and modern in his tactics, while remaining a traditionally motivational figure in his desire and enthusiasm. His flexible formations have taken many of Liverpool’s opponents by surprise, and have led to huge wins for his side time and time again. Although Rodgers was not particularly impressive last season, he has most certainly proven his worth this year. Liverpool are mounting the strongest title challenge they have experienced in years. If Liverpool were to ignore Rodger’s importance to this fantastic run it would be unwise. Rodgers and his bosses should be delighted with Liverpool’s performance this season, and his job is surely as safe as it will ever be.
Everton currently lie 5th in the Premiership, ahead of both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, and are trailing 4th place Arsenal by only 4 points with a vital game in hand. They are joint-top of the form table for the last 5 games, equalled only by their seemingly flawless Merseyside neighbours, Liverpool. They have won their last 5 games, and are seriously mounting a challenge for the 4th position which Arsenal currently hold. Martinez has been at the helm of a great season for Everton, and has proven himself to be the spearhead of their success this year. His attitude to the team is admirable, and his calm nature ensures his players enjoy every game above all else. It again must be assumed that Martinez will hold on to his position with ease entering next season, with a hefty pat on the back from the board members.
As stated though, there are a wealth of managers who have been put under pressure in this season’s Premier League. It’s been a tough ride for some teams, and the managers have felt the strain. Let’s look at those who may be updating their CV come the end of May.
Although Sherwood was handed an 18-month contract when given the managerial job, he inherited an unstable side in the aftermath of Andre-Villas Boas and their star player, Gareth Bale, leaving the club. There were high hopes for Sherwood as he took up the post, with the prospect of an English manager at the helm of a top English team quite refreshing. It goes without saying though, that Sherwood is seemingly out of his depth. Tottenham do rest in a respectable 6th position, but this does not reflect the poor atmosphere evident in the feelings of Tottenham’s board. It has emerged this week that Louis Van Gaal is set to replace Tim Sherwood in the summer, signalling an almost definite end of tenure for Sherwood. A return to coaching staff may be on the cards for Sherwood though, at least.
The West Bromwich Albion manager has had a tough start to his career at the helm of The Baggies. In his first ten games, West Brom have only managed to win once, beating Swansea 2-1. Although the recent draw against Cardiff has shown some heart in his squad, Pepe is still unsure of his tenure at the club. He has been openly portrayed as one of the most under pressure manager’s in the Premiership for some weeks now, and has yet to receive ultimate backing from the board. As uncertainty is the word resonating throughout the Hawthorns, it seems Pepe Mel will have to take a logical approach and simply keep his team in the Premiership to have any chance of keeping his job.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Much like his counterpart at West Brom, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a tough start in the Premiership. Again though, the recent 3-3 draw with the Baggies has returned some hope and fire in to Cardiff’s faithful following. This draw ended a run of 7 straight away league defeats, and Solskjaer now predicts a turning point in Cardiff’s season. May this be simple naivety though? With only a handful of games left, and Cardiff languishing in the relegation zone, may this be too little too late for the Norwegian? Their next game against fellow strugglers, Crystal Palace, will be the determining fixture. Regardless of hope or heart, Cardiff will need a result from this fixture to keep their dreams of Premiership football alive, and keep Solskjaer’s job intact.
Poor David looks like he has aged 6 or 7 years in as many months as manager of Manchester United. Due to the heightened status and expectations surrounding United, it was never going to be an easy task replacing Sir Alex Ferguson as the boss of the Red Devils. In painful fashion, United are suffering one of their worst seasons in years, and now lie a relatively lowly 7th position in the Premiership considering they are the holders of the crown from last season. Poor League performances coupled with sheer disappointment in domestic cup fixtures, leave United’s focus on the Champions League. While Tuesday’s game did impress the fans, the situation is not ideal. Silverware is not forthcoming this season, and to be perfectly honest, it seems like the only thing that will save Moyes will be an utterly flawless run-in for United for the rest of the season. European football is key for United. If Moyes fails to lead them to it, it may be goodbye from him.
Eoin Lyons, Pundit Arena.
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