Premier League Has Strongest Set of Football Managers Of All-Time

Since the 2011-12 season ended, the managerial merry go round in the Premier League has been more of a spinning top than a relaxing ride. Dalglish out, Rodgers in; Hodgson out, Clarke in; McLeish out, Lambert in; Di Matteo in for two more years; Redknapp out; Rodgers out, Laudrup in; Lambert out, Hughton in.

Even with all of those changes, we still have to wait to see who Tottenham Hotspur will bring in to replace Redknapp. If it’s David Moyes, the managerial merry go round could turn into a tornado, with the opening at Everton potentially causing another domino effect of managerial changes. If it’s Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham, it’s worth another shot for the Portugese manager.

No matter what happens, we should take a minute to reflect and realize that the managerial changes that have taken place thus far has significantly raised the level of competence throughout the league. Dalglish leaving Liverpool was a good move by Fenway Sports Group. The Scot seemed unable to manage at the highest level. And, at times, looked like he didn’t have the desire. Losing Alex McLeish was also a godsend for Premier League football. His dire tactics deserve to be relegated to lower league football. Even losing Redknapp is a boost for the Premier League. Outside of knowing how to spend money, the man is hardly a tactical genius. He inspires teams, but that can only last for so long.

The move by Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool will make the Reds a much stronger opponent, over time. Rodgers’s replacement, Michael Laudrup — who was named this morning as the new Swans boss — will be a welcome addition of a man schooled in Spanish football. Paul Lambert moving up the ladder to Villa Park will undoubtedly make Aston Villa a stronger squad, bringing back the attacking flair, but also giving them several different styles of playing instead of the arcane one under McLeish. Lambert’s replacement at Norwich is Chris Hughton, a well-respected manager who laid the foundation at Newcastle United, and who deserves another crack at a top managerial job.

You go down the list and it’s class all the way through. I would argue that this is the strongest 20 Premier League managers ever in the top flight. In the past, there have always been a few football managers whose quality was suspect. But the current 20 Premier League managers are a different breed. Even the return of Sam Allardyce (West Ham) as well as the top flight newbies Brian McDermott (Reading) and Nigel Adkins (Southampton) adds a lot of weight to the league, particularly in the way that McDermott and Adkins teams play their attractive, attack-minded football. Allardyce, love or hate him, delivers results.

With Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea has gone with a practical approach instead of splashing the cash on a unproven (at least, in England) foreign football manager. Di Matteo is a welcome addition to the permanent Premier League football manager status.

Returning to the subject of Redknapp for a minute, his departure from Tottenham Hotspur is a strange one in that Redknapp’s future options are quite limited. He’s the type of manager that would need to go to a club with a chairman who was willing to spend a lot of money in the transfer window. And those clubs don’t have any openings at the moment. It may be several months before Redknapp gets a top flight job in England again. I’m sure several Championship sides would love to sign him as a manager, but I don’t see Redknapp stepping down a level. Worryingly for Redknapp, he’s the type of manager who will slowly be phased out. Premier League clubs are looking for more than managers who know how to spend. They’re seeking out tacticians who can also find the diamond in the rough in the transfer market — unless you’re Manchester City with money to burn, but even then, they’re looking for tactically-minded managers.

It looks like the managerial merry go round is slowly coming to a stop. After Laudrup’s appointment, we should expect to see a new manager unveiled at White Hart Lane. And then the ride will end until the end of the year, at least. It’s been a crazy month of managers being wined-and-dined in hopes of clubs snatching them away. But now it’s time for the managers to sink their teeth into finding some transfer signings before the summer transfer window opens up, and the madness begins all over again.

24 thoughts on “Premier League Has Strongest Set of Football Managers Of All-Time”

  1. HR should go and rest for now, i think he’s no more relevant interms of tactics, but who knows maybe another job is ready for him. fingers crossed

    1. There is no way that would be beneficial to the Irish national team. Also would the Irish really want an Englishman as their coach?

      1. Ireland’s best run of form came under an Englishman manager – Jack Charlton. They also did pretty well under Mick McCarthy, another Englishman.

        The Gaffer

  2. Hey Gaffer, I don’t want to start a fight but a few months ago you claimed that Redknapp had done more in the last 4 years for Spurs than Arsene Wenger had for Arsenal. Do you still feel that way?

    1. Redknapp won the League Cup in 2008, and progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League last year. What has Wenger achieved in the same amount of time?

      While I don’t rate Redknapp that highly, managers are rated on their achievements. And Wenger’s achievements in the last few years have certainly been lacking.

      The Gaffer

    1. Good point about Ramos winning the League Cup. The point is that Wenger still hasn’t won anything for Arsenal in, what has it been now, 7 years.

      The Gaffer

      1. As an Arsenal fan, I’d rather qualify for the Champions League than win the League Cup. In fact, I’d argue that qualifying for the Champions League is more difficult achievement given the rigors of a Premier League season. Even if Arsenal did beat Birmingham City last year, Wenger would still be under pressure because he hasn’t won a major trophy in seven years. He has done a lot for the club in the last seven years, including assisting in the development of the new stadium and maintaining a self-sustaining transfer budget in a time of massive spending. In addition, Wenger’s teams have been consistently good in the last seven years.

  3. I actually liked the peice gaffer, i don’t think Harry is redundant tacticly, with negotiations he gambled everything and it backfired. Harry has a lot of friends in the press, the attacks i’m seeing on Levy are typical of that for english press, “we’re right who do you think you are”.

    There is more to this than meets the eye, perhaps Levy and the board made the decision in an effort to “keep players” at the Lane?

    I think it’s a positive move from Levy who wants someone to take the club to the next level, something Harry just couldn’t get done. the papers are focused on the wrong things…again….Ramos was there for just a few months and then axed, its not like Spurs were in the bottom 3 for the season, Ramos ruined the great work that Jol had acheived. Harry effectively just picked that up. The press need to calm down, it’s not like Harry was a big time manager that did Spurs a favor, who was Harry before he went to Spurs, his biggest club was West Ham, hardly a club the size of Spurs. Spurs gave Redknapp the shot no one else did.

    I appreciate the kind of football Harry played and wish him well, but no manager is bigger than the club, even the magnificent Bill Nicholson moved on. Something that caught my attention was something harry said from his Car yesterday. He spoke about not holding grudges, that he’s not bothered, and then when he was told Levy released a statement that included him saying “Harry will always be welcome at the Lane” he snapped and responded ” of course i should be…” then, had to stop himself from going into the same “they’re lucky to have me” soliloquy that i think tippified his attitude the last year or so and caused a lot of his problems with Levy.

    If Klopp wanted a shot at the BPL i think Spurs would be a great choice for him, he has the UCL and is dominating the german league so its very very unlikely. Outside of him, i’m not sure who i’d like to see at the helm, I wouldn’t mind AVB, or Moyes, just not Martinez. I trust levy to make the right decisions… This is an exciting time Levy wants success, he is not settling and isn’t backing away from the big or difficult decisions to achieve it.

    I cant wait for the new manager and the US tour then the season, august can’t come fast enough!

  4. Harry won’t be going to Ireland, I can’t see him wanting to take over this team, most of their half decent players are coming to end of their careers and there doesn’t seem to be many young players coming through, I expect him to go to another Premier League team or chance his arm in mainland Europe

  5. Weren’t Spurs in the midst of a relegation battle a few years ago?? While Harry deserves the brunt of the blame for tottenhams failed CL bid, he should have gotten more respect for what he’s done at the Lane.

    I think the players bypassing Harry and going str8 to management when Spurs were ha’ving problems at the end of the season influenced Levy’s decision more than any personal disagreements he and harry might have had.

  6. Some good points made, however I think it would be wise to give Rodgers and Lambert a season before piling on the expectations – Owen Coyle anyone?

    1. Owen Coyle is still a good manager. Yes Bolton was relegated but they were without their best players from last season.

  7. The crush that the british press has for Harry Redknapp is a little funny to a non-uk resident like myself. I think that alot of fans from outside of the UK would have been shocked if England had chosen Redknapp over Hodgson who has a far more impressive record, also in other leagues than the EPL.

  8. “He’s the type of manager that would need to go to a club with a chairman who was willing to spend a lot of money in the transfer window”

    Gaffer, as opposed to any other manager of a top 6 club? If there is a manager that can hold a football club together with bits of gum in the transfer market – it’s Redknapp.

    Considering where Spurs were when Harry took over, I’m a bit surprised he got the sack. Harry has his faults but his tenure at Spurs was a generally good one for the club, and not for an off night for the Munich team, Spurs would have had champions league football next season.

    However, Spurs have a right not to settle for mediocrity. If Levy thinks he has someone who can take the club forward then I wish him the best. We will know next season if he is right.

  9. Hi! I’ve been viewing this blog since many days, I did not notice a single negative point in it. Its an awesome blog. My grandpa (now at the age of 94) was telling us last night about these managers. He told us that some of these managers were appointed as caretaker managers prior to being given a permanent position; if so their caretaker appointment date is denoted in italics…!

  10. Spurs need a manager who can lead them to compete with the top clubs and even challenge for the title. The Spurs squad this past year certainly had the talent to do that. Harry was elated and thought it was a magnificent achievement to get 4th. Harry’s lack of tactics and old school “just get on with it” approach in games cost them dearly. They need someone who knows tactics and actually places value in training. Van Der Vaart admitted that they never practiced set pieces or corners, and it showed! Spurs had only one goal all season from a free kick and not much more than that from corners. We need a manager who can meet the chairmanship ambitions.

  11. this year is gonna be a good relegation battle! i predict reading, norwich and qpr to go down, but the bottom 5 or 6 teams will be very close together in terms of points

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