Wednesday 17 January 2018

How will the English bosses fare?

Newcastle appointed Steve McClaren during the summer to try to turn the Magpies around
Newcastle appointed Steve McClaren during the summer to try to turn the Magpies around

Five English managers will compete in the Barclays Premier League this season. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the home-grown bosses' chances this year.

Squad strength:

Garry Monk's Swansea finished eighth last year and major changes were not needed to a squad which was already strong.

Bafetimbi Gomis still needs to fill the goalscoring gap left by Wilfried Bony but with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng the Swans have a dynamic midfield to rival most.

Aston Villa needed an overhaul after four seasons of battling relegation and Tim Sherwood is expected to add to his squad before the end of the window.

He has plugged some gaps and owner Randy Lerner has finally released the purse strings. Villa have lost Christian Benteke, Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph, and lack Premier League pedigree but Sherwood's signings could pay off.

Bournemouth have kept the majority of those who won the Sky Bet Championship last season and Eddie Howe will hope their momentum and effort makes up for a lack of experience.

A 1-0 opening day loss to Villa showed they will not be outclassed by teams they are expected to scrap with at the bottom.

Both Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew have got the best out of solid, if unspectacular, squads at Crystal Palace in recent seasons.

But now Pardew has added quality to the core group and he now has a squad capable of pushing into upper mid-table.

His old side Newcastle, under ex-England boss Steve McClaren, have a solid spine with Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse which McClaren can build around.

Job security:

Howe can do no wrong at Bournemouth and, even if the Cherries are relegated, it would be a surprise to see the 37-year-old lose his job.

Monk falls into the same category having guided Swansea to eighth last season and is almost untouchable on current form with their opening day 2-2 draw at Chelsea underlining the Swans' potential.

Pardew was one of the managers of the season last year, only enhancing his reputation as Newcastle crumbled without him and Palace progressed with him after his January move.

Unless they suffer a dramatic loss of form or his relationship breaks down with chairman Steve Parish, Pardew is safe at Selhurst Park.

As he can testify, in the Newcastle soap opera nothing can be guaranteed but at least with McClaren the Magpies have a head coach with pedigree.

The boss has been given money to spend and even in the cauldron of St James' Park - which desperately needs stability - McClaren cannot always know which way things will turn but it would be foolish of owner Mike Ashley not to give him time.

Sherwood is perhaps the most vulnerable even if Villa picked him as a long-term appointment to replace Paul Lambert in February.

He should be given the chance but his signings need to gel quickly to ensure they do not suffer another relegation battle. If they do, then questions will be asked of the rookie boss.


McClaren and Pardew stand above their English counterparts with the rest novices in comparison.

The pair can draw on a total of 30 years of managerial experience between them while Howe, Monk and Sherwood have less than 10 combined.

McClaren should handle the heat at Newcastle while Pardew is old enough to guide Palace through any sticky patches.

Howe has risen through the leagues with Bournemouth but could not repeat his success during an 18-month stay at Burnley before returning south in 2012.

His and the Cherries' journey to the Barclays Premier League has been remarkable and the security he has on the south coast should ease any nerves.

Monk belied a lack of experience last season. Swansea were tipped to struggle but took them to the next level after replacing Michael Laudrup and looks set to continue his upward curve.

The spotlight is on Sherwood, though. Having been given cash to spend in his first transfer window he needs to prove himself having managed half a season with Tottenham and last season's late rescue bid with Villa.


Palace's buys have caught the eye with Pardew snapping up Yohan Cabaye in a move which gives the Eagles an X factor they never had before while Patrick Bamford has a chance to prove his worth in the top flight.

Aleksandar Mitrovic could prove a masterstroke at Newcastle for McClaren while midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has already impressed with a debut goal after his £14.5million switch from PSV Eindhoven.

Bournemouth's £8million outlay on Tyrone Mings is a risk for someone with no top-flight experience while Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu must improve after his unimpressive spell at Everton last season.

Sylvain Distin adds experience at the back but the Cherries are likely to need more Premier League pedigree to stay clear of danger.

Sherwood has rebuilt Villa in his first transfer window as a manager but the jury will be out on his new recruits with little Premier League experience among them. He is still expected to buy with Tottenham's Aaron Lennon on the radar.

Having lost Benteke the pressure is on Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew to deliver while Idrissa Gueye must fill the gap left by Delph.

Ayew's brother Andre joined Swansea, and scored on his debut at Chelsea, but Monk has kept faith with the core of last season's squad with Eder and Franck Tabanou, both unproven in England, the other interesting buys.

Press Association

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