Friday 10 January 2014


1. David Moyes - Manchester United
It was never going to be easy following in Sir Alex Ferguson's footsteps, but Moyes has not been helped by the squad that was left behind. Concentrating more on his final year than the future, Ferguson left David Moyes with little attacking flair, something the Scotsman tried to rectify with the rushed signing of Marouane Fellaini.

He has also been unfortunate that last season's top scorer Robin van Persie has chosen this year to spend more time on the treatment table. Without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, United have looked pretty ordinary. The January window cannot come soon enough as Moyes needs to strengthen a weak midfield.

The title looks a distant proposition and even a Champions League place looks beyond them as Old Trafford has lost its sense of invincibility. Some fickle fans believe he should be replaced, but Moyes must be given time to make the team his own.

2. Manuel Pellegrini - Manchester City 
In the blue half of Manchester sits a happy Chilean called Manuel Pellegrini. He has already achieved more than his predecessor by qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League and although they have drawn Barcelona, it will not be beyond them to progress further in the tournament.

He has at his disposal the best squad in the Premier League and they have won all 10 of their games at the Etihad, amassing a total of 38 goals whilst doing so. He has City playing fluid attacking football and is not afraid of making tough decisions. Earlier this season, he dropped error prone Joe Hart and replaced him with Costel Pantilimon.
They are battling on four fronts and there is no reason why they cannot win them all.

3. Jose Mourinho - Chelsea 
Jose Mourinho needs the Premier League just as the league needs him. The 'Special One' inherited a trophy winning team laden with players on the wrong side of thirty, but he continues to get the best out of them.

John Terry has looked better than ever at the back and Frank Lampard continues to find the back of the net. Even without a potent striker, which should be addressed in the January window, they have moved into third place.

He has also shown signs of his tactical genius with clever substitutions. After labouring for 50 minutes against Southampton, he brought on Oscar and Willian. 30 minutes later they had combined for three goals as Chelsea won 3-0. They have yet to hit top gear and will surely chase Manchester City all the way to the end.

4. Roberto Martinez - Everton 
Roberto Martinez has made a seamless transition from Wigan Athletic to Everton. He inherited a team that finished sixth last season, building on their solid defensive base and formidable home record.

They have kept a record eight clean sheets so far and his defenders have also been prolific in front of goal. Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines already have eight goals between them.

He signed Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea and he made an immediate impact, although his goals have dried up of late. Martinez also has the exciting Ross Barkley in midfield.

This was always going to be a test for him, moving to a higher profile club, but Martinez's ability as a manager has never been in doubt. Whilst he looks to propel his team to Champions League football, finishing above rivals Liverpool would suffice.

5. Mark Hughes - Stoke City  
Tony Pulis managed Stoke City for almost seven years and took them to the Premier League where they have continued to play their own brand of football.

Mark Hughes replaced him after the board decided a change in direction was needed and although he had a disturbingly quiet start, he has lifted Stoke up to 12th in the table and away from early season relegation worries.

He was accused of trying to change too much too soon, but soon galvanised his team by mixing a short passing game with the long ball game they were used to.

He has picked players on form, something his predecessor was criticised for not doing and has gotten the best out of players like Stephen Ireland and Charlie Adam.

The Britannia Stadium is becoming a fortress again, but with the January window approaching he will be hoping to find a solution to his team's lack of goals.

reference: ftbpro

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