EPL Jumble: Big Chief, Little Chief

Who did the best managing job this year in the EPL? Who did the worst?

(Note: We limit answers to about 50 words so participants may have answered only on of these….)

Rednapp, in his playing days OR on the set of Clockwork Orange...

Rob, 723FootballFilms: Harry Redknapp did a fantastic job of managing a mid-range payroll team to currently a spot in the Champions League.

He always does a great job of getting the most out of his young players and his role players.

As for the worst you have to go with Phil Brown. Brown who was sacked by Hull in March had a good enough squad to avoid relegation but let the chemistry of the team get to the point of combustion.

Chris, Arsenal: Best = Harry Redknapp with kudos to Alex McLeish for staying in the top half of the table with a mostly unknown (at least to me) team.

Worst = Rafa Benitez. This team never came together and should have been reinforced last summer.  Not sure all the blame can be put on the American owners and now we just can speculate who is next…The Special One?  Mcleish?  O’Neil

Richard, EPLTalk: Although I’ve continuously derided the league’s quality from position nine down, I think Mick McCarthy’s job at Wolves is still noteworthy.

Now, it shouldn’t take much to get a minimally talented team out of the Premiership’s drop, but Wolverhampton may not be minimally talented.  Kevin Doyle’s been surprisingly average (by EPL standards), inserting Hahnemann for Hennessey was a turning point of the season, and I like what I’ve seen from Karl Henry, but McCarthy has done wonders to put Wolves clear three weeks before the season’s end.

Scott, Die HipsterAlex McLeish.  Newly promoted and Birmingham’s highest finish in 50 years.  Very honorable mention to Roy Hodgson.

Now they just need a new logo...

Matthew, TSG:  Lots of great navigating of the campaign this year, from McLeish to Hodgson to Ferguson. McLeish preached teamwork and, bam, top ten finish for Birmingham. Ferguson, for his part, had to replace Ronaldo, deal with a rotating door on the backline and remember Ben Foster as the number one keeper.

To the gasps of Burnley fans, I give the award to Owen Coyle of Bolton. In less than a full season he took a very bland Bolton team, steered them from relegation, changed their style of play and is creating quite a buzz at the club. Burnley’s loss is a wandering sperm cell’s gain.

Worst job? Ian Dowie, Hull City. When you come in as a manager–even in a difficult situation–and are supposed to shake things up, you don’t have players committing silly fouls (Altidore, Boateng) and you don’t give up four goals and lose to Burnley at home in the midst of a relegation battle.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/05/04 at 5:30 PM

    Carlo Ancelotti needs to be considered if he wins the double.


  2. Posted by KMac on 2010/05/04 at 5:56 PM

    I am an underdog fan, so I have to throw in my first and second choices as Martin O’Neill and Roy Hodgson. They both delivered results without “buying” them which demonstrates exceptional skill, talent, and luck! The disparity in payroll between the top 4 and the rest is significant. Give Roy, Martin, or even Harry a larger fraction of the transfer budget that many of the top 4 have, and I guarantee better results from them, given their abilities – they generate confidence and inspiration in the staff they have and gel a team, rather than buy the best specialists at every position in the park, with depth. I’d cite Villa’s 6th place finish and Fulham’s 11th with a great Europa results.

    Worst? That would be either Phil Brown for his irrational changes and results or Avram Grant who took Mr. Redknapp’s work straight to the Championship as well.


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/05/05 at 12:01 AM

      I have to STRONGLY disagree with Avram Grant as your worst choice. He inherited a failing team in which at least 11 players, including 7 starters were sold, most of them to Spurs. They had 4 different owners in 3 months or something absurd like that and finally due to the over eagerness of the original owner and Harry Redknapp splurging on players they couldn’t afford; they went into administration and were docked 9 points (This was mainly Harry’s fault). Now facing certain relegation, Grant leads his players to some fine wins AND to the final of the FA Cup beating Harry’s Spurs en route.

      I think that takes some pretty impressive managerial skills to motivate and get the best out of some second rate players and loan signings against some teams in arguably the best league in the world when they already knew in March that they were to be relegated AND to qualify for the final of the premier cup competition. Note that a lot of their players wern’t paid regularly.

      Also Harry Redknapp has spent over 107 million pounds in the two years he has been at Spurs. In the same period the only other team to have spent as much is Man City. Yes he has sold players but that is A LOT of money for a team that finished 8th last year, might not make the champions league this year (never has i believe) and has only won one piece of silverware in the past decade (league cup in 08).


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/05 at 8:51 AM

        I agree with your sentiment that Grant has not done a bad job – he worked miracles within the tight restrictions he had. But to blame that on Redknapp is crazy. Apart from Wenger who is financially savvy, most managers do not get involved in the business-side of the business. The manager will identify the players they want and the Chairman/CFO will let them know if they have the budget.

        My vote for EPL manager would be for Alex McCleish or Roy Hodgson as I believe what they have achieved on the available budget is just quite remarkable, but Hodgson just shading it because of the extra pressure on his squad due to their European adventure.

        Martin O’Neill has done well to push Tottenham and Man City almost all the way but he has spent a decent amount of money – just because they’re bland names like Warnock, Downing or Milner, they still cost some sheets.

        As much as I have the utmost respect for Wenger and his principles, I honestly feel his ego is getting in the way of Arsenal progressing. Yes, he cannot compete financially with the big boys of European football for proven stars, so he goes vertically down the supply chain and tries to get them unknown (read: cheaper) but of course the risk is higher. But the problem that Wenger faces is cyclical. When these youngsters bloom and are subject to Arsenal’s relative strict wage structure, of course their heads are going to turn when they’re offered 2x or 3x the salary – and then we’re back to sqaure one and this is why Arsenal are always in “transition”. Pushing Chelsea and United with a shit GK and missing several key players was unbelieveable, but the end-of-season song is getting old…

        Nobody has mentioned Mark Hughes for doing a crap job. He spent millions in 18-24 months getting the players HE wanted and still couldn’t get the team going. Mancini inherited somebody else’s squad and have taken them to the brink of CL footy.


  3. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/04 at 9:23 PM

    on the set of clockwork orange…hahaha i busted a gut on that


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