The current merry-go-round of managers in the Premier League has brought some of the finest managerial talent to our shores. With Chairman and boards alike believing a new manager will bring success, we've had a look at how some this season's new faces have fared so far this season compared to their predecessors.
In arguably the biggest managerial story of the lot, Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City caused quite the stir. His reign at the 'noisy neighbours' started positively with 10 straight victories, but having gone five games without a win, Pep is in the worst run of his managerial career. Despite this slump in form, City are still currently 6/4 favourites to win the Premier League.
However, the blue half of Manchester will be hoping that history doesn't repeat itself, as at the same stage last season Manuel Pellegrini's City were as short as 10/11 to win the league. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact they had scored more goals and conceded less under the Chilean.
It’s not all bad news though, they remain top the league and beat rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford, a place where they only managed a 0-0 draw last season. Two home draws in their last two games may have left City fans a tad frustrated but their side suffered two defeats in two games at the same time last season under Pellegrini. Perhaps an indicator that Pep is improving City’s consistency as his philosophy begins to become ingrained in his squad.
The Merseyside giants have started the season positively under the extremely likeable Jurgen Klopp. The German replaced Brendan Rodgers just over 12 months ago and it’s difficult to argue that the Liverpool Board were wrong in making that decision. The Reds were 80/1 outsiders this time last year but find themselves the 18/5 second-favourites and genuine title contenders at 18/5. A stark contrast to life this time last year under Rodgers.
Much like Pellegrini, it was inconsistency that hurt Klopp's predecessor. Home draws with Norwich and Southampton and a 3-0 defeat to West Ham all in the first nine games of the season ultimately cost the Northern Irishman his job. With Liverpool's shock defeat at the hands of Burnley the only blemish of Liverpool's record so far, it’s clear Klopp’s brand of heavy metal football seems to be fulfilling the ambition of the fans. Arguably the most entertaining side to watch in the league, they have scored an average of 2.22 goals per game and have seven more points compared to last season.
The West Londoners are this season's most improved side so far. After a challenging start under their new manager Antonio Conte, the Blues seems to have hit their straps.
A switch in formation to 3-4-3 has produced three wins out of three with no goals conceded. Conte is well-known for getting the most out of his teams. He rebuilt Juventus into European giants and most recently lead his country to an impressive Euro 2016, despite having one of the most limited Italian squads in decades. It's this canniness that has Chelsea down as many people's dark horses to win the title this year (currently best-price 13/2).
In contrast, the start to last season saw a struggling Chelsea side under Jose Mourinho. Jose's Chelsea were shipping goals for fun and suffered defeats to Everton, Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Southampton and West Ham. Despite doing what Conte couldn’t do in beating Arsenal, the Blues were 25/1 to retain their title and would go on to finish outside the top 4.
Much like Klopp, it is difficult to say Chelsea haven’t found their man in Conte, especially as his early tactical changes seem to be making an important impact.
Continuing with Jose Mourinho, whose life at Manchester United is starting to take a turn for the worse having only won once since the derby defeat to City in September.
His current team are as long as 25/1 to win the title, compared with 6/1 at this stage last season, and have both scored less and conceded more than United had under Louis Van Gaal. Both LVG and Mourinho had similar starts to the season with regards to quality of the opponent, though Mourinho has racked up five less points than his Dutch predecessor. Is the Special One now the Special Once? He's lost 13 of his last 27 league games as a manager. His previous 13 defeats came over a span of 135 league games...
Roberto Martinez's tenure at The Toffees petered out somewhat over the course of last season. Having said that, his start wasn’t too dissimilar to the one his successor has made this campaign and interestingly they are the same price to make the top four. In picking up two more points than Martinez, Ronald Koeman has reinstalled some of the solidity from the David Moyes era and despite a recent blip at Burnley, fans and pundits alike have seen signs of improvement. A competitive 1-1 draw away at City illustrates this perfectly, especially when compared to the 2-0 defeat in the same fixture last season under the Spaniard.
Perhaps the strangest managerial change last year at the time, Quique Flores was relieved of his duties by the Watford board and replaced by Walter Mazzarri. Their decision appears to be justified, as Watford have made a strong start to their Premier League campaign. Beating Manchester United, West Ham and only just losing to Chelsea has shown a squad that has progressed under their new manager. A continuation of their form would result in around 50 points for the season, which would see Watford comfortably avoid the drop. They are as long as 12/1 to go down, compared with 4/1 last term.
A less than satisfactory start to the season lead to the demise of club legend Garry Monk last year and it has been a similar story this time around too. Monk's successor Francesco Guidolin may have managed to keep them in the Premier League last season, but a terrible start to this one resulted in just five points and the Italian being handed his P45. Now just 9/4 for the drop and currently in the bottom three, the Swans have turned to American Bob Bradley to oversee another rescue mission.
Only time will tell whether Bradley has the skill set to propel Swansea back up the table, but with Leeds United slowly improving under Monk in the Championship, the possibility of Monk taking his old club's place in the top-flight cannot be ruled out.