Aston Villa’s appointment of Steven Gerrard has taken the number of British managers in the Premier League to six- a recent record. Eddie Howe was just confirmed days earlier as the new manager of the world’s richest club.
𝗛𝗢𝗪𝗘-𝗔𝗬 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗟𝗔𝗗𝗦
We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Eddie Howe as the club’s new head coach.
Welcome to Newcastle United, Eddie!
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) November 8, 2021
The pair along with Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City), Sean Dyche (Burnley), David Moyes (West Ham), and Graham Potter (Brighton) are redefining the previously held notions of managers from Great Britain. Well, most of them are. Nevertheless, these are truly hopeful times for a young upcoming gaffer aiming to make it big.
Though each of them have different styles, the one binding thing has been that their teams have made the Premier League their home. Gerrard and Howe’s progress will no doubt be tracked closely and all of merit a closer look at.
AMALGAMATION OF DIFFERENCES
Let’s clear one thing up- Dyche and Burnley are a cut apart from the rest. The league’s longest-tenured manager uses a classic 4-4-2 with big, burly centre-forwards up top. This is from an era of British managerial school which redefined the coaching manuals across the world. Dyche’s team knows how to go hard in matches, racking up tackles, fouls and the occasional cards.
𝗙𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 as many shots, far 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, and more than 𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀.
Sean Dyche won’t care. A Burnley masterclass at Stamford Bridge.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 6, 2021
The Clarets have been battling relegation this season but it will not be a surprise if they manage to spring another surprise. Burnley and Dyche are one of the most ironclast pairings in the league and there looks to be no end in sight.
Current longest-serving Premier League managers:
Sean Dyche – 30th October 2012 – Present
Jurgen Klopp – 8th October 2015 – Present
Pep Guardiola – 1st July 2016 – Present
Top clubs Keeping top managers
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) July 22, 2021
If one is searching for Dyche’s polar opposite, Potter and his spells have been working their magic with the Seagulls. Having started his career with Swedish minnows Ostersund in the third-tier, Potter guided the team through three consecutive promotions to the top-flight and the Swedish Cup during his seven years in charge. Brighton has his imprint all over, starting with the three-man defence, an oddity amongst English coaches.
Ostersunds are managed by ex Stoke & West Brom defender Graham Potter, who’s doing a cracking job!
– Won promotion from the Swedish 4th division to the top division for the first time in their history
– Won the Swedish Cup
– Got them through to the Europa League KO stage pic.twitter.com/5zIiP5nFl8
— Coral (@Coral) December 11, 2017
Furthermore, the system is set up to be as fluid as possible with players interchanging their roles frequently during matches. Neal Maupay is the central striker but Leandro Trossard has been thriving in that role too. In recent matches, Potter has thrown yet another surprise by ditching using a 4-1-4-1.
Our first Justice Table of the season.
Brighton and Chelsea, last season’s largest xG under-performers, have both over-performed considerably so far.
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) September 20, 2021
Enock Mwepu plays in behind the striker with Adam Lallana being the anchor between midfield and attack. Brighton underperformed their xG massively but are overperforming immensely this season, with 12 goals scored already along with taking points off Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal.
CHALLENGERS FOR EUROPE
It’s been back-to-back seasons of agonising misses for Leicester and Brendan Rodgers. Having looked dead on for Champions League football, they have been knocked down into the Europa League both times. Nevertheless, the Foxes played a brilliant brand of attacking football, especially utilising the wide places.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 12, 2021
Using a 4-2-3-1, Leicester are also blessed in having world class names like Youri Tielemans, James Maddison, and of course Jamie Vardy. The defence has been shaky this season, but once they transition into attack, it is all about speed and precision. There is no “hoofing the ball” upfield as was common once upon a time, which has been replaced by systemic working of the ball upfield and dropping back into blocks upon loss of the ball.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) November 10, 2021
One of the biggest surprises of the season have been West Ham under the tutelage of Moyes, who has been taking the league and Europe by storm. A stunning win over Liverpool further cemented his reputation as one of the smartest operators in Britain. Once again, using the 4-2-3-1 but this rise in results has been aided by using the best players in their optimum positions along with longtime confidence in them.
West Ham have beaten Liverpool, Man City, Man United, Tottenham and Leicester this season.
David Moyes pic.twitter.com/nFJqOR342Q
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 7, 2021
Jarrod Bowen has become one of the standout players in the side while Said Benharama has stepped in nicely for the now departed Jesse Lingard. However, the real story has been the stellar performances of Declan Rice who has really earned his place as the best performing defensive midfielder of the league.
Declan Rice is the only midfielder to make 30+ tackles and 20+ interceptions in the Premier League this season:
— EPL Statman (@EPLStatman) November 12, 2021
Moyes wants his team to win the ball back quickly after losing along with breaking at quick speed. Breaking away from the norms of passivity at the back, Moyes has been using the extreme heights in his team to win set-pieces.
NEW MEN IN TOWN
Howe has promised an attacking brand of football to be implemented at Newcastle, who are one of two teams yet to win a game. His Bournemouth team were one of the most exciting watches in the league, expertly playing through the wingbacks who regularly got forward. Furthermore, his attention to personal touches for all of his players helps in keeping the team united in the dressing room.
“What a great education as your first job and those principles have lasted with me till this point now.”
Eddie Howe explains how his time at Bournemouth will help him a lot in this new role at Newcastle pic.twitter.com/xyBxBgMrdF
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 10, 2021
Having worked wonders with the Cherries since their rise from League One, the Magpies will be hoping for a more fruitful turnaround in fortunes soon. Similarly, Gerrard had been integral in galvanising Rangers with the crowning moment being the undefeated season in 2020-21, with the Gers scoring 92 goals and conceding only 13.
Scottish Premiership record since Steven Gerrard was appointed Rangers manager in 2018
Rangers vs Celtic
Points: 277 270
Wins: 85 83
Defeats: 11 15
Conceded: 72 77
Rangers finished third in back-to-back seasons prior to Gerrard’s arrival pic.twitter.com/1GamibkxjQ
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 11, 2021
Though his attacking style has garnered a lot of plaudits, it has been his robust defence and low blocks which has stumped opponents. It remains to be seen how well he gets on with Villa, but Gerrard is clear in his long-term ambitions of being a successful manager.