It’s the day that Manchester United fans fear the most, when their beloved manager Sir Alex Ferguson finally decides to call time and retire. Rumours persist on how much long Ferguson will last in charge with speculation mounting that his retirement could come sooner than expected. Ultimately it will be Ferguson who decides when he is to leave and will likely have a hand in choosing his replacement. Jose Mourinho tops the list of preferred candidates to take over but was joined yesterday by David Moyes whose stock at Everton continues to rise season after season. But based on a recent study, Ferguson may be heading south rather than north to find his suitable replacement and could turn to Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe as the best man to handle the job. But why Howe?
The answer lies in a recently constructed study by the BBC. They have complied a list of all the managers within the English divisions and have ranked them according to performance to find out who is the best manager. The study analysed the number of points returned per game from each full-time managerial spell since the start of this season. Unsurprisingly Sir Alex Ferguson topped the list but more interestingly was who finished below him, with only one other current Premiership manager finishing in the top ten. In second place was Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, who has struck gold since leaving Burnley to return to Bournemouth as manager. He has propelled his team up the table into fourth place and is aggressively chasing down the League One leaders. Howe, one of only a handful of managers who feature more than once on the list (Howe is 88th as well based on his time at Burnley), is joined at the top by Cardiff’s Malky Mackay in 3rd and Barnsley’s David Flitcroft in 5th with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini sitting between them in 4th.
Below the top five, there are some surprise inclusions including sacked duo Roberto Di Matteo (8th place with Chelsea) and Steve Kean (7th place with Blackburn) raising the question of whether they should have been dismissed in the first place. Blackburn fans, whilst not quite settle on a new manager after an unsuccessful time with Henning Berg and only a handful of games under new boss Michael Appleton, will say categorically that it was the right move to sack Kean. But Chelsea fans may sing a different tune with Di Matteo’s replacement Rafa Benetiz struggling down in the 22nd spot in this survey. Benetiz has so far failed to win over the home support like Di Matteo did but that could all change if he wins a trophy too. Similarly Michael Laudrup, who finds himself in 60th place below former Swans boss Brendan Rodgers, struggled at the start to win over the home crowd but with the League Cup a realistic possibility, the opinion in Swansea may be changing for the better where Laudrup is concerned.
Propping up the table in 122 place is former Barnet manager Mark Robson who left the club in December after a rocky 5 months in charge. Robson had been managing Barnet from the start of the season until October when the arrival of former Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids lead to his position changing to co manager. The duo never really clicked and eventually Robson left the club in December of that year citing a lack of clarification regarding coaching responsibilities. Robson can feel hard done but the statistics don’t lie with the survey showing a Robson only led Barnet picking up only 3 points in eleven games before Davids arrival. Robson and Davids feature collectively further up the table in 48th place as results did improve, whilst Davids finds himself in 75th place on his own. Also at the bottom is former QPR boss Mark Hughes with a terrible four points in twelve matches. Hughes eventually lost his job to Harry Redknapp (92nd) who hasn’t managed to improve the team as much as he had hoped.
Whether you believe that Graham Alexander is a better manager than Sam Allardyce or that Gus Poyet has more going for him as a head coach than Alan Pardew, the survey is certain to be the cause of many a heated debate round the water cooler this week coming. With several months still to play and numerous hiring and firings sill to come, this table is likely to change dramatically over that time. There is no news as yet from the BBC to say whether this survey will be updated at the end of the season or indeed at what frequency going forward if at all, but one thing is for sure, it makes interesting reading.
To see the full list click here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21372441