The 2021/22 Premier League season so far has not been a great one in terms of job security for managers.
Six of the 20 clubs in the English top-flight are no longer led by the boss they began the campaign with. In fact, no less than 27 different men have taken charge of a side for a Premier League match this season – a considerable number given that we’re still two weeks from Christmas.
Amid the flurry of changes in dugouts around the country, Football365 recently decided to rank the performances of each in their roles (no matter how brief they were) and we’ve taken a look at the results below.
NB: Dean Smith didn’t hang around in securing another Premier League role after leaving Aston Villa, so he appears twice.
Every boss to have managed in the Premier League so far this season ranked (per Football365)
28. Steve Bruce (Newcastle, August-October)
27. Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham, August-November)
26. Dean Smith (Aston Villa, August-November)
25. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United, August-November)
24. Xisco Munoz (Watford, August-October)
Under any other regime except that of Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, Bruce would likely have been given his marching orders long before the start of the 2021/22 campaign began. He lasted just one game under the club’s new billionaire ownership.
In hindsight, Nuno was never the right man for the Tottenham job. Poor form after a bright start saw his reign in north London cut short after just 124 days.
Dean Smith will always be fondly remembered at Villa Park for his work in getting the club back to the Premier League. Goodwill only goes so far, however, and he was shown the door after five consecutive league defeats. Thankfully, it didn’t take him long to find a new gig.
The end of Solskjaer’s three-year tenure at Old Trafford probably came a month later than it should have done. It was no shock when he departed, just as it shouldn’t have been when Watford dispensed with the services of Munoz.
The Spaniard hadn’t done a bad job but that doesn’t seem to matter when you’re in the Hornets’ hot seat. He became the 13th manager sacked by the club since 2002.
23. Daniel Farke (Norwich, August-November)
22. Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)
21. Graeme Jones (Newcastle, October-November)
20. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
19. Ralph Hasenhuttl (Southampton)
Fantastic in the Championship, dismal in the Premier League. Farke simply couldn’t bridge the gap between divisions with the Canaries and left in November.
Bielsa hasn’t had a great start to the season at Elland Road, but achieved legendary status with the Whites when he ended their 16-year exile from the top division last year, meaning nobody has been grumbling too much.
Caretaker boss Jones was more popular than Steve Bruce at St. James’ Park. With that said, though, he was no more successful in terms of wins.
Currently in the relegation zone, Dyche will be hopeful of a strong festive period to help propel Burnley away from danger. Hasenhuttl’s Saints aren’t far away from trouble themselves, perched in 16th position at present.
18. Brendan Rodgers (Leicester)
17. Claudio Ranieri (Watford, October onwards)
16. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
15. Dean Smith (Norwich, November onwards)
14. Rafa Benitez (Everton)
Only a couple of months ago, Rodgers was favourite to replace Solskjaer as Manchester United manager. Now, though, his only concern is trying to deal with the Foxes spiralling form.
Ranieri has had an encouraging start at Watford as he looks to break the curse on bosses at Vicarage Road, while Arteta has plenty on his plate as he attempts to get some consistency out of the Gunners.
Dean Smith guided Norwich to five points in his first three games in charge, quickly settling into life at Carrow Road.
Seeing former Liverpool boss Benitez at Goodison Park still seems odd. If it wasn’t for the Toffees’ recent win over Arsenal, the ex-Champions League winner would surely have placed far lower than 14th, too.
13. Eddie Howe (Newcastle, November onwards)
12. Ralf Rangnick (Manchester United, December onwards)
11. Michael Carrick (Manchester United, November-December)
10. Patrick Vieira (Crystal Palace)
9. Antonio Conte (Tottenham, November onwards)
The third manager to attempt the feat, Howe oversaw Newcastle’s first Premier League of the season last weekend – instantly justifying him ranking as the best of the trio.
Rangnick looks set to bring some much-needed stability to Old Trafford, winning his only league in charge so far. However, he sits one place below his predecessor Carrick – whose four-point haul from his two domestic games in charge against Chelsea and Arsenal was a creditable return in trying circumstances.
Vieira has done a solid – if not spectacular – job since arriving at Selhurst Park. Conte, meanwhile, has gone on record about the size of the job facing him at Spurs. League performances have definitely improved under his stewardship, in fairness.
8. Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa, November onwards)
7. Thomas Frank (Brentford)
6. Graham Potter (Brighton)
5. Bruno Lage (Wolves)
4. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Ex-Rangers boss Gerrard has taken seamlessly to management south of the border, winning three of his first four matches (only losing to reigning champions Man City). You get the sense the Liverpool legend might do pretty well for himself in the years to come.
Brentford have impressed under Frank in their debut Premier League season. Bees fans will be ecstatic so long as he can keep the west London outfit at this level next season.
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Potter’s Brighton play some lovely football, and have gained the results to match it, losing just three times in 15 outings this campaign.
Lage’s fifth-placed standing is a deserved nod to the work he’s done since taking over at Molineux in the summer. Few would have backed Wolves to be in eighth position at this stage back in August.
Controversially, Guardiola misses out on a top-three billing, despite his charges sitting top of the tree.
3. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Aside from a shock defeat to West Ham, Klopp’s Reds have been a formidable opponent this season, with wide-margin wins over the likes of Watford, Man Utd and Arsenal. The Anfield outfit are only kept away from the summit of the table because they’ve drawn four games.
2. Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Tuchel really has done a remarkable job of transforming Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge just over a year ago. The Blues are poised to play a full part in a three-way battle for the title this season – and it would be no surprise to see them triumph either.
1. David Moyes (West Ham)
The veteran Hammers boss ranks at the head of affairs having got the better of both Klopp and Tuchel in Premier League encounters this season. The east London outfit currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot. If he can maintain that berth – especially while competing effectively in the Europa League – it would be a tremendous achievement.
Group of Death… AC Milan 1-2 Liverpool (The Football Terrace)