Premier League: How managers of the top 6 clubs performed this season
Premier League is home to some of the world’s best football managers. Here is a look back at the recent season and how managers of the top six clubs have faredUpdated: May 26, 2017 10:22 IST
Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte’s debut season as managers of Premier League clubs. Jose Mourinho’s managerial resurgence at Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp’s first full season with Liverpool. Old war horse Arsene Wenger and his top four woes. Mauricio Pochettino and his rising Tottenham Hotspur team. La Liga has the world’s best players, and now the Premier League has the world’s best managers. So, how did these top six managers do? Here’s a look:
League winners: Chelsea
Manager: Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte has won the league in his debut season and could win the double if Chelsea manage to win the FA Cup against Arsenal on May 27. He has managed to take the same set of players from the demoralised Mourinho team from last season and has lifted their spirits to win the Premier League trophy.
However, Chelsea had no European commitment this season and therefore were able to make do with playing only 18 players for the duration of the season. If Chelsea are to play well in the Champions League next season, Conte has to buy more players and make sure that there is depth in the Chelsea squad. They have scored 80 goals and conceded only 33.
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino has managed to take Spurs to a second place finish, one higher than last season’s third. They have made great strides under Pochettino. The manager has developed a keen, hungry, united side which plays thrilling football at great pace with immense stamina. The team has conceded the fewest goals in the league, a mere 26, and they will only get better.
However, Spurs have been shambolic in Europe (knocked out in the group stages of the Champions League; then knocked out of the Europa League) and the domestic cup competitions. They will boast about finishing second (and finishing above Arsenal), but what have they really won? Nothing.
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola’s debut season has not turned out as well as he hoped. He hasn’t been able to live up to his Barcelona legacy, and it will take some time for him to get used to the highly competitive and physical Premier League. His notable summer transfer move of sending Joe Hart out on loan and buying Claudio Bravo hasn’t worked out.
Guardiola was quoted as saying that a ‘big club’ would have fired him had he achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City. He said at a press conference, as reported by the Guardian, “Here they gave me a second chance and we will try to do it,” he said. “In my situation at a big club I’m sacked. I’m out. Sure.”
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp’s first full season had Liverpool fighting with Arsenal for a Champions League spot, and finally finishing fourth. Their results against teams at the top of the table have been good. However, they are unpredictable, and their defence is frail.
Their performances against teams at the bottom of the table have been unpredictable, and they have conceded a huge number of goals (42, compared to City’s 39, Chelsea’s 33, United’s 29 and Spurs’ 26). However, Klopp has been the most efficient manager, considering the resources available to him.
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Arsenal, yet again, have had a predictable season. Their season was defined in the months of January, February and March. Arsene Wenger’s side’s defence proved to be porous (conceding 44 goals, two more than Liverpool), and their finishing was not consistent enough.
The club’s star performer, Alexis Sanchez, has been a huge part of the squad’s goals, scoring 24. Arsenal’s only chance of winning some silverware, will be at the FA Cup final where they play Chelsea. The club failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time after 20 seasons, leading to growing calls for Wenger to leave.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Even after spending 177 million euros (net) on a newer and improved squad, Jose Mourinho hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations that came with his appointment as Manchester United manager. Their season is heavily dependent on Wednesday’s Europa League final, where they could add another trophy to their EFL Cup title this season.
United have missed 50 big chances (ranked first in the league) and have scored only 54 (which is ranked eighth in the league), even after signing an experienced world-class striker like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.