Premier League managerial changes: Good or bad decisions?

Usually when you change managers, you hope for brighter things in the future of your club. But how well have the managerial changes gone in the Premier League this season, starting all the way back in pre-season…

Manchester United (Pre-season) – Sir Alex Ferguson (retired) replaced by David Moyes

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Has it worked?

United have predictably had a tough time without Fergie in charge, but I don’t think anyone expected them to go this downhill. The Red Devils are highly unlikely to finish in the top four, and their home form has made Old Trafford somewhere teams are not scared to visit. Last year’s champions are set to finish this campaign trophyless. Ferguson did choose Moyes as his successor so he will hope his choice pays off next season. Below are a list of records Moyes has broken as Red Devils boss.

david moyes record

Everton (Pre-season) – David Moyes (went to United) replaced by Roberto Martinez

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Has it worked?

In short, absolutely yes. Everton got off to a good start in the league for once, and despite a slight dip in form after the turn of the year, they are back on track and after a 3-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend, The Toffees are now favourites to finish in fourth, something they have not done since 2005. Martinez has done superbly with the squad he has, and if he can see out the season successfully, it will be handshakes all round at Goodison Park.

Chelsea (pre-season) – Rafa Benitez (end of contract) replaced by Jose Mourinho

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Has it worked?

The much anticipated return of ‘The Special One’ who renamed himself ‘The Happy One’ upon his first press conference back at Stamford, has seen Chelsea compete in the title race all season, and are still in the mix as near the end of the campaign. The Blues are also just about still in the Champions League, but that could be over tonight. He is still very much loved in West London and although no silverware this season is a possibility, Mourinho will make some excuse that Blues fans will be more than happy to accept. So yes, it has worked.

Manchester City (pre-season) – Roberto Mancini (sacked) replaced by Manuel Pellegrini

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Has it worked?

Manuel Pellegrini announced his arrival at The Etihad Stadium by spending almost £91 million in the summer, and it has paid off (unintentional pun). City are currently favourites to lift the Premier League crown and were unfortunate to be drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League knockout stages who they were subsequently knocked out by. They did however manage to beat Bayern Munich away from home in the group stages. City are a club who now expect success, and if they lift the league trophy come May, the decision to harshly sacked Roberto Mancini will be justified. He has also won the Manager of the month awards for December and January.

Stoke City (pre-season) Tony Pulis (mutual consent) replaced by Mark Hughes

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Has it worked?

Stoke and Tony Pulis parted company last summer after Potters chairman Peter Coates felt as though there was little progress going on under the Welshman. Although they haven’t qualified for Europe under new manager Mark Hughes, progress has undoubtedly been made, with Stoke on course to record their record ever points tally in the Premier League, and they are almost safe from relegation after winning four out of their last six games.

Sunderland (September) – Paolo Di Canio (sacked) replaced by Gus Poyet

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Has it worked?

After picking up just one point in their first five games of the campaign, Sunderland sacked Paolo di Canio early on and replaced him with Gus Poyet, who had been sacked by Brighton the previous summer. To begin with, it worked incredibly well, with The Black Cats, carving out wins against most notably local rivals Newcastle and then Manchester City. They also superbly reached the Capital One Cup final, beating Chelsea and Manchester United in the process but have slumped in the league since and currently prop up the table, with Poyet admitting that they need a miracle to stay up. So after a bright start, it seems Poyet’s reign at the Stadium of Light is going worse than first thought.

Crystal Palace (October) – Ian Holloway (mutual consent) replaced by Tony Pulis

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Has it worked?

Crystal Palace looked dead and buried when Ian Holloway left the club, despite it only being October. His replacement Tony Pulis had a huge job ahead of him to keep The Eagles up – but the one hope for fans of the London club was that Pulis has never been relegated with any club he has been in charge of. He has indeed turned the club’s fortunes around and the magic 40 points is now only two wins away. He has done a remarkable job and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has called for Pulis to be named manager of the season. If The Eagles stay up, you can’t help but think that the former Stoke boss should at least be in contention for the award. Superb appointment by Palace.

Fulham (December) Martin Jol (sacked) replaced by Rene Meulensteen

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Has it worked?

The short answer is no. Rene Meulensteen came into Fulham with the club in 18th with 10 points. He was sacked just four months later, with The Cottagers bottom of the league and on 20 points. No manager who is in charge for only two months before being shown the door can be considered a successful appointment.

West Bromwich Albion (December) – Steve Clarke (sacked) replaced by Pepe Mel

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Has it worked?

To start with, the answer is no. Mel was appointed nearly a month after Steve Clarke was sacked, and failed to record a win in his first eight games, but he has gradually improved to see West Brom five points clear of the relegation zone, but they certainly aren’t safe yet. A full judgement will be made at the end of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur (December) – Andre Villas-Boas (sacked) replaced by Tim Sherwood

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Has it worked?

Much like with the situation at Sunderland, to begin with, Tim Sherwood seemed like the perfect appointment after turning Tottenham into top four contenders in his first couple of months in charge. However the North London side have dropped off in recent weeks, and their goal difference was in minus numbers before they thrashed Sunderland 5-1 on Monday night. The top four does now look unlikely, whilst Manchester United may also leapfrog Spurs into sixth. The fact that the club are reportedly set to replace Sherwood in the summer, perhaps signifies that the 45 year old was always intended to be a caretaker boss and a caretaker boss only.

Cardiff City (December) – Malky Mackay (sacked) replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Has it worked?

Malky Mackay’s sacking was seen as relatively harsh by the majority of the football world, after the Scot got them promoted from the Championship the season before and had already carved out a win against Manchester City and a draw against champions Manchester United in the Premier League. Under his replacement, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, The Bluebirds dropped into the relegation zone for the first time this campaign, and only have two wins in 11 game since the Norwegian took charge. They look destined for an immediate return to the second division, but the census is that Solskjaer should be give more time to prove himself. Whether controversial owner Vincent Tan gives him that time, will be a different matter.

Swansea City (February) – Michael Laudrup (sacked) replaced by Garry Monk

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Has it worked?

Swansea legend Garry Monk took over when Michael Laudrup was given the sack following a bad run of results, with the English centre-back having no previous managerial experience. He started off with a confidence boosting 3-0 win over Welsh rivals Cardiff and has kept the solidity at the Liberty Stadium. He was unlucky to see his side knocked out of the Europa League by a very strong Napoli side but in the league has pretty much done the job to keep The Swans up.

Fulham (February) – Rene Meulensteen (sacked) replaced by Felix Magath

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Has it worked?

After Rene Meulensteen’s short spell in charge of Fulham, experienced boss Felix Magath was tasked with the job of keeping The Cottagers up. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but the club are now off the foot of the table, but have some big games coming up, including the visit of Norwich this weekend. But there still seems to be hope in the Fulham camp, but again, Magath has been in charge for such a short time, it is hard to tell whether his appointment has been successful – a judgement that will be made at the end of the season.

Norwich City (April) – Chris Hughton (sacked) replaced by Neil Adams

Neil Adams (left) with the FA Youth Cup last season
Neil Adams (left) with the FA Youth Cup last season

Has it worked?

That should really be ‘will it work?’. The Premier League’s most recent managerial departure saw Chris Hughton sacked from his post at Norwich with just five games left to play. Incoming manager Neil Adams guided the club’s Under 18s to FA Youth Cup glory last season but his task with the senior squad is to keep them in the Premier League. Despite The Canaries currently five points clear of the drop, it seems a hard task to keep them up, considering their last four games of the campaign see them face Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Only time will tell.

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