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Premier League: The best managers so far

Tottenham have advantage over Arsenal - Mikel Arteta - Sports Leo
  • The Premier League boasts some of the world’s best managers
  • From overachievers to unlikely title contenders, some Premier League managers are doing outstanding work
  • SportLeo selects managers who have impressed during the current campaign

The Premier League boasts some of the world’s best managers. We must recognize the managers who have excelled this season.
SportLeo selects managers who have impressed during the current campaign.
From overachievers to unlikely title contenders, some Premier League managers are doing outstanding work.

Erik ten Hag (Manchester United)

Erik ten Hag is the manager of Manchester United. Photo/ TEAMtalk.

Manchester United has been a club in decline over the last decade, with a string of big-name managers attempting and failing to halt the rot that began after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Erik ten Hag was the most recent name to take on the challenge, coming from Ajax, where he led the Dutch side to three consecutive Eredivisie titles. It is a reputation that has grown during his first half-season in English football, with United appearing to be on the rise for the first time in a long time.

Ten Hag’s reign began with defeats to Brighton and Brentford, which may have been a blessing in disguise as Ten Hag learned in humbling fashion the task that awaited him at Old Trafford. Since then, there has been steady progress, with each setback handled admirably.

The 50-year-old has made it abundantly clear that he is the man in charge, handling the Cristiano Ronaldo saga decisively. Underperforming assets have been improved (Marcus Rashford and Diogo Dalot), assisted (Jadon Sancho), or removed from the squad (Harry Maguire), and the foundations appear to be in place for the Red Devils to challenge once more.

The club’s summer recruitment drive addressed vital weaknesses, and United appear to be two to three additions away from being a side capable of competing for major trophies.

Marco Silva (Fulham)

Fulham returned to the Premier League this season, hoping to end their recent yo-yo existence, which saw the Cottagers not spend consecutive seasons in the same division since 2017/18.

Marco Silva’s team has since silenced all sceptics during a season in which they have outperformed all expectations. After accusations that he was a Championship bully, Aleksandar Mitrovic has thrived in the Premier League. In contrast, Tim Ream and Bobby Decordova-Reid struggled during Fulham’s last season at this level and have been reborn under Silva’s management.

Fulham’s momentum from their Championship-winning season has carried over into the new season, with the club currently in the top half of the table and pushing for a place in Europe. The west Londoners are seventh, ahead of both Liverpool and Chelsea, and are in contention for continental qualification.

Fulham has had a fun season, seemingly unburdened by past disappointments. They have been unafraid to ruffle the feathers of the Premier League’s top teams by pressing high and aggressively. This is the best version of Fulham under the owner, Shahid Khan.

Eddie Howe (Newcastle)

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe believes Newcastle United is in the Premier League title race. Photo/ 90MIN.

Eddie Howe has done an extraordinary job at Newcastle, overseeing an incredible transformation on Tyneside. Howe took over a team languishing in the Premier League’s relegation zone, starting the season without a win in 11 games. That run was extended to 14 games – a start to the season no team had ever survived – before a win over Burnley sparked a comeback that showed no signs of slowing.

The resources brought in due to the club’s Saudi-backed takeover certainly helped, as new signings were made in January, but Howe’s recruitment has been nearly flawless since taking over. Unfashionable additions Dan Burn and Matt Targett contributed, while Kieran Trippier has proven his worth.

The areas of concern around Howe’s appointment – his ability to organize a defence and recruitment record at Bournemouth – have been answered emphatically, which, married alongside his coaching credentials and conduct off the pitch, have made him hugely popular at St James’ Park.

His ability to improve underperforming assets in Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Fabian Schar, among others, has contributed to Newcastle’s rapid rise into the top four. Champions League football is well within reach, and the Magpies are dreaming of a return to Europe’s elite for the first time since 2003/04.

We’ve not even mentioned that they’re one game away from a cup final.

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta during the past match against Burnley. Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Arsenal leads the Premier League after the club’s best start to a top-flight season, with the Gunners dreaming of their first title since 2003/04.

Arteta’s position was under threat 18 months ago when Arsenal started the season with three straight defeats, leaving them at the bottom of the Premier League. The club’s faith in Arteta’s plan and vision has been rewarded, as the team has grown in confidence with each win.

Arsenal has become just the fifth side to reach 50+ points at the halfway mark of a Premier League campaign and would match Manchester City’s ‘Centurions’ with a repeat performance over the second half of the season.

Arteta has resembled Pep Guardiola this season, particularly in his use of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Granit Xhaka in a fluid and interchanging left-sided axis. Arteta earned his coaching stripes under Guardiola at Manchester City and is currently the biggest threat to his compatriot’s division dominance.

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