The Premier League coaching carousel is in full swing with the club football season now officially over.
This is shaping up to be one of the craziest off-seasons in recent memory as clubs throughout Europe are going through massive overhauls of staff and players.
Within the Premier League, there are currently four managerial vacancies, each with its own complexities and challenges for the incoming coach.
It’s likely that by the end of this week we’ll have a much clearer picture about the new slate of EPL managers, but until then it’s fun to speculate on who will be the best fit for each team.
Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino
It’s been over a month now since Jose Mourinho was sacked and there is still no clarity regarding the next Tottenham manager. My pick for the job would be Mauricio Pochettino. Reports have been all over the place regarding a potential reunion between the current PSG boss and Spurs. Pochettino coached at Tottenham for five and a half years, leading Spurs to their best ever Premier League season in 2016/2017 and the Champions League final in 2018/2019.
The Argentinian was sacked by Daniel Levy in 2019 and eventually found himself in Paris managing one of the biggest clubs in world football. Yet, his heart still seems set on a return to London and I think this would suit both sides. Pochettino never wanted to leave Tottenham with the sacking coming as a shock to many Spurs players. Meanwhile, it would certainly boost the chances of Harry Kane staying at Tottenham. Kane played some of his best football under Pochettino and the two were always fond of each other. Even if Kane does leave, Pochettino knows what it takes to be competitive in the Premier League.
Antonio Conte is the leading contender for the job however I find it hard to believe that he’ll mesh well with Levy. After all, the reason why Conte left Inter Milan is that he didn’t get enough support from management and Levy is well known for not having the best relationships with his managers. Pochettino knows Tottenham well, was successful at the club and may be able to convince Kane to stay. He’s certainly the best man for the job.
Everton: Nuno Esperito Santo
I am a huge fan of Nuno Esperito Santo and think he is one of the most underrated managers in the Premier League. This is a man who not only helped Wolves get promoted to the Premier League in his first season at the helm but also kept them competitive in the top flight throughout his tenure at the club. Esperito Santo built Wolves into a contender for European football, developing players like Conor Coady and Adama Traore into quality footballers along the way. Everton is in need of a breath of fresh air after seven straight campaigns finishing outside of the top 6.
It looked for a brief moment like Carlo Ancelotti could lead Everton back to their former glory but things quickly fell apart in the latter half of this past season. He eventually left for Real Madrid. Esperito Santo is known as a great motivator and could give this Everton squad the kick in the pants they need to be successful.
Wolves: Bruno Lage
This one is pretty straightforward because there’s really only been one man linked to the Wolves opening: Bruno Lage. It’s apparent that Wolves were looking for a manager who closely resembles the ideals and tactics of their former manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Lage fits that billing. Like Esperito Santo, he is Portuguese and comes from a successful managerial background in Portugal, leading Benfica to the Primeira Liga title in his only full season with the team. Lage also employs a similar style of football to Esperito Santo, mainly focusing on defensive prowess rather than attacking strength.
This may be a disappointing hire to some Wolves fans but if he’s as successful as Esperito Santo was early on, then the critics will quickly go away. With a work permit now in hand, Lage is set to become the next Wolves manager.
Crystal Palace: Frank Lampard
In contrast to the situation at Wolves, the managerial search at Crystal Palace is wide open. Esperito Santo was the early favorite for the job until Everton came calling. Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s name started to get thrown around as a possible replacement for Roy Hodgson although Celtic looks like the landing spot for him at the moment. Even though some other managers bring more experience to the table, Frank Lampard would be the perfect fit to take over at Crystal Palace.
Palace is looking to rebuild an aging squad with some younger talent, a plan that suits Lampard’s skill set. People forget that he guided Chelsea into the top four two seasons ago despite a transfer ban and a very young squad. Lampard’s time in West London ended on a sour note but he’s still an up-and-coming manager who has a lot to offer.
As we move into the heart of the summer transfer window, I doubt they’ll be any more firings to talk about. It’s always possible that Arsenal’s board will come to their senses and sack Mikel Arteta, although that seems unlikely.
All things point to there being four new managers in the Premier League next season and these are the best fits for each club.
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