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Which three Premier League managers have stood-out so far in the 2021/22 season?

What an 18 months David Moyes has had at West Ham
What an 18 months David Moyes has had at West Ham

After a brief break for what has been a dramatic and shock-filled round of FA Cup clashes, the Premier League returns this week.

Covid has forced the postponement of numerous fixtures meaning each club has played somewhere in the region of 17 and 21 games, so we thought this would be an ideal opportunity to take stock and select three managers who have stood-out in particular so far this season.

This isn’t simply a look at the three managers with the most points on the board - well, maybe one of them - but we give extra credit to those who have outperformed their means during the first-half of the campaign.

Pep Guardiola (Man City)

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Yes, we’re talking to you Pep Guardiola. Give the others a chance hey?

10 points clear in the New Year, the festive period proved to be a waltz in the park for Man City who have won their last 11 consecutive league games dating back to October, as Guardiola’s troops chase down their own record of 18 straight victories (held with Liverpool).

All great teams have the odd slip up but it’s how you respond to the set-back that sets you apart from the rest.

City’s ‘slip up’ was a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace at the end of October.

Their response?

33 points from a possible 33, including a 7-0 demolition of poor Leeds.

Opting not to sign a recognised striker in the summer, Guardiola has perplexed opposition and FPL managers alike with his roulette frontline: Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Jesus, and Jack Grealish swap and switch by the game, causing havoc to defences. The fluidity of mesmeric movement, cohesion, and firepower is something special. 

Bernado Silva has excelled in the middle of the park, João Cancelo continues to elevate his game to new heights, while the superb Rodri is often overlooked when talking about stand-out performers.

We all desperately want the title race to fire back up, but on current form City (now priced at just 1/14) are all set to cruise to their fourth title in six seasons under Guardiola.

David Moyes (West Ham)

We may be neutrals here, but we’re still pretty annoyed that David Moyes didn’t win the LMA Manager of the Year award last season.

This is a man who took West Ham from relegation strugglers to the brink of a top-four finish.

If you thought 2020/21 was a one season wonder down in the East End, then think again. Moyes is enjoying an incredible comeback as a manager following difficult spells at Man Utd, Sunderland, and Real Sociedad, as he once again launches an assault on the top-four, with the Hammers one point off the Champions League spots after 20 games; above the likes of Spurs and Man Utd.

They’ve been an absolute thorn in the side of the top teams; conjuring up superb 3-2 wins over Liverpool and Chelsea; and have toppled both Manchester clubs in the League Cup. Spurs have been beaten too, while Leicester and Aston Villa have both been thrashed 4-1.

West Ham are so good to watch. This is a side who absolutely love goals. Moyes have even done the unthinkable and transformed the London Stadium from toxic to rapturous. But it’s the way that the Scot has improved players that stands-out in particular: Declan Rice has been absolutely immense, Jarod Bowen’s development has been a joy to watch, and Michail Antonio is fourth in the goalscorer standings.

A top-four finish (6/1) would be pretty spectacular as would the rewards of Champions League football, but it’s silverware that Moyes craves. The FA Cup is up for grabs while West Ham have been immense in the Europa League so far.

On a side note Moyes recently leapfrogged Harry Redknapp to become the manager with the third most victories in the Premier League era. He has now registered 238 wins, behind only Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Graham Potter continues to exceed expectations at Brighton
Graham Potter continues to exceed expectations at Brighton

Graham Potter (Brighton)

Graham Potter grabs the final spot.

A summer of speculation saw the former Ostersunds boss hotly linked to Tottenham. Nothing materialised in the end, but the Englishman’s burgeoning reputation continues to rise after an impressive first-half of the season.

Potter’s Brighton absolutely cannonballed out of the blocks with four wins from their opening five games; contrast that to last season when they didn’t register their fourth win until the end of January!

Unfortunately, the wins then dried up as they went 11 matches without one which seemed pretty disastrous as the drought lasted nearly 100 days. Crucially, they still managed to pick up points in the form of eight draws, including coming from two goals down to pick up a prized point at Anfield.

The Seagulls have since responded with seven points from their last three games - holding Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - which puts the club 9th in the table and a tasty 14/1 to finish as the outright winner in the betting without the traditional top-six, whereas Potter is in pole position to finish the season as the top standing English manager. 

Brighton have showcased their new found fighting spirit in the form of an impressive knack of scoring late goals. They’ve scored five goals in injury-time; first off was their a last-gasp win against Brentford; they’ve since dramatically snatched a late point in games against Crystal Palace, West Ham, Saints, and Chelsea - all five of those games have been on the road.

Goals are still hard to come by - 20 in 19 games - but only the top-three and Wolves have conceded less than Potter’s men (20).

All in all they’ve exceeded expectations so far this season, which sets them up for an exciting and potentially history-making next five months; come May they should have comfortably bettered their best-ever Premier League standing of 15th.

Other Shout-Outs

If it wasn’t for their minor slip-ups of late which have allowed Man City to steamroll ahead, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel could well have featured in our top-three. 

After a shambolic start, Mikel Arteta is getting the best out of his young and talented Arsenal side who at the time of writing are 4th in the table.

Bruno Lage has a goal-shy, yet defensively solid Wolves in 8th. They are currently buzzing following a first win at Old Trafford in 42 years and while results haven't always caught the eye, their performances have been impressive at times - they just need more goals!

Patrick Vieira also deserves credit for transforming Crystal Palace’s style. Easier said than done as Frank de Boer well knows, but Vieira has moulded together a more adventurous, easy-on-the-eye team. Thomas Frank too has made an impact in Brentford's first ever Premier League season with wins over the likes of Arsenal, West Ham, and Wolves.

Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has got Spurs moving in the right direction after an unbeaten league start to life in North London, and Steven Gerrard has enjoyed a bright start to life at Aston Villa.

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

Ralph Hasenhuttl
WIN PROB: 29%
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Frank Lampard
WIN PROB: 17%
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Erik Ten Hag
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Brendan Rodgers
WIN PROB: 10%
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Steven Gerrard
WIN PROB: 9%
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Bruno Lage
WIN PROB: 7%
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Jesse Marsch
WIN PROB: 5%
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Scott Parker
WIN PROB: 5%
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Marco Silva
WIN PROB: 4%
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Steve Cooper
WIN PROB: 5%
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Thomas Tuchel
WIN PROB: 5%
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Patrick Vieira
WIN PROB: 4%
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Graham Potter
WIN PROB: 3%
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Eddie Howe
WIN PROB: 3%
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Antonio Conte
WIN PROB: 3%
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David Moyes
WIN PROB: 3%
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Thomas Frank
WIN PROB: 2%
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Mikel Arteta
WIN PROB: 1%
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Jurgen Klopp
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Pep Guardiola
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Odds correct as of 2022-08-13 23:50 Odds subject to change.
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