Usually all the talk towards the end of a Premier League season is which players are moving where. However this seaason I think it could be one that sees the biggest movement in managers. Arsene Wenger continues to defy what is possible when you concentrate on youth but even the great man knows you need a sprinkle of experience in any successful side. Should Robin van Persie leave this summer and Jose Mourinho leave Real Madrid then Wenger might find that challenge to much to turn down should the Spanish giants come calling.
Alex McLeish hasn’t won over the Villa Park faithful. Financial constraints, key injuries and the recent news surrounding club captain “Stan” Petrov, have all conspired against him this season. All these things cannot overshadow that Aston Villa are a weekend or two away from being sucked into the relegation dog fight and at the moment other teams down there are in better form. It wouldn’t surprise me if McLeish was replaced before next season. Some may think I have launched a season long attack on Steve Kean but nothing could be further from the truth. I just don’t like the man. How anyone, even his deluded self can say Blackburn are in a better position than when Sam Allardyce was unceremoniously replaced at Ewood Park.
The longer the season has gone on the more it seems it’s about him and not the team. Granted a couple of decent results have made an average manager look better than he is but with 7 games to go his team still sit in the relegation zone. Maybe it’s incriminating photographs he has of the owners or something but I really hope my Match of the Day viewing is minus Steve Kean next season. Owen Coyle is a popular man and he has galvanised his squad since the Fabrice Muamba ordeal. The biggest surprise to me is that Bolton find themselves in trouble in the first place.
I think they will get out of it and Coyle is one manager who will be at the same club next season. Has Roberto Di Matteo really performed wonders in his brief spell in charge? He has won one decisive game, the second leg against Napoli. The FA Cup tie against Birmingham was a match they should of won anyway. I’ve no doubt they probably will beat Benfica in the Champions League but will they beat Barcelona? I’ve my doubts as to whether or not they will even beat Tottenham in the FA Cup semi final. Di Matteo might start next season but I don’t see him lasting a whole campaign.
David Moyes has to be the most under appreciated manager over the last 10 years. Not only does he manage to survive on a limited budget but he also has a good record of bringing players through from lower divisions. He is also a loyal man and unless a really big top 4 or 5 job came up then he will be there again defying the odds at Goodison Park. Martin Jol has enjoyed a decent season. Yes Fulham are flirting down the wrong end of the table but have enough quality not to be sucked into the mire. Keeping hold of the likes of Clint Dempsey and Brede Hangeland will be his toughest test over the summer but I expect Jol to still be at Craven Cottage next season.
Kenny Dalglish’s time at Liverpool is up. I was sickened by his orchestration in ridding Anfield of Roy Hodgson and it appears Dalglish actually isn’t any better. His transfer signings have all been unimpressive on the whole and his attitude to the media is disrespectful. He leaves a bad taste in many neutrals mouths and although he will see out the season, he won’t be there next year.
Roberto Mancini is clearly showing signs of the pressure at Manchester City. He and his team were very public around Christmas saying the title was a foregone conclusion. They didn’t count on teams raising their performance against them and in actual fact are lucky to be only 5 points off the top. Mancini is also struggling to keep the dressing room happy with all the egos and the self imploding Mario Balotelli is doing more harm than good at the Etihad. It looks likely for all the outlay pre-season that Manchester City could end the season without a trophy. That’s the same team that crowed about winning 4 trophies this season.