With the recent managerial merry-go-round in the Premier League this season, it’s always hard for a club to show any kind of consistency. From Watford axing their man in charge seemingly every six weeks, to manager’s being sacked without really having the time to build the side in their image. It’s a tough world in the Premier League, but apart from the usual Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp discourse, managers seldom get the credit they deserve.
Quite a few managers have certainly snuck under the radar this season, overachieving as far as their club’s expectations are concerned, and with plenty of the season left to play, it will be interesting to see how things pan out come May. Read on, as we go through a few managers that have surprised us this season.
When Roy Hodgson left Crystal Palace, you really wondered if the solid foundations he laid would immediately implode after signing a new manager. You only have to look at Frank de Boer’s three-match tenure to know Steve Parish and the Palace hierarchy will readily pull the trigger early if things don’t work out. That’s why when Patrick Viera, who has far less managerial experience than some of the other candidates linked with a move to Selhurst Park, were tipped for relegation in the Betting exchange uk
Fortunately, the Frenchman has inherited an organised squad, albeit an ageing one, and added some fresh faces, which have made Palace a joy to watch this season. The youthful exuberance of Conor Gallagher and Michael Olise, combined with the goal threat of Odsonne Édouard have made the south London outfit a real threat this season, and Viera certainly deserves credit for his time in the dugout so far.
Usually when a manager is beaten 9-0 in consecutive seasons, they would have packed their bags and left almost immediately. However, in the case of Ralph Hasenhüttl, patience and consistency have been key. Southampton are finally finding their feet after a few years of turbulence, and the ‘Klopp of the Alps’ has had a huge hand in steadying a ship that initially seemed destined for the Championship.
The way the Saints play is unpredictable, and that is largely down to Hasenhüttl’s tactical flexibility. We’ve seen them take points off big sides already this season, most notably the two draws with current champions Manchester City, and while it seems inevitable that the best players always leave St Mary’s once they reach their peak, Hasenhüttl is building a side that is steadily progressing and well clear of the drop — for this season at least.
Defensive solidity is vital for a side to stay afloat in the Premier League, and while Wolverhampton Wanderers have been lacklustre in the goalscoring department, they have more than compensated for it at the back under Bruno Lage. Many felt when Nuno Espírito Santo left the club at the end of last season, that it would take a couple of years in transition for the Black Country outfit to find their feet again, but bolstering their Portuguese contingent once again, Lage has done a terrific job to keep his side in mid-table, and the likelihood is they will be competing to break into the top eight after a couple more transfer windows.
Lage has had to deal with some big departures — losing Rui Patrício in the summer and Adama Traoré towards the end of last month’s window, but his recruitment has been inspiring, with José Sá proving a safe pair of hands and Hwang Hee-chan set to become a permanent player, the future definitely looks bright as far as Wolves are concerned.