He is never out of the news and has the tactical acumen to guide Chelsea to the title. His team has played some expansive and entertaining football this season, but will become more pragmatic down the home stretch. He will have his team do what is needed to beat Manchester City. He may need to sign another forward to provide real cover for Diego Costa or it could prove costly to his title aspirations in both England and Europe.
Despite some mediocre performances he has the support of Man City’s fans as they look to retain their title. He seems to lack the ruthless streak that Mourinho possesses which could cost his team in key games in a close title race. City fans want another title. City's owners want the Champions League. Which group does he try to please?
Liverpool should have won the title last year. Steven Gerrard’s slip in the loss to Chelsea is now the stuff of legend for opposition fans. It is not the reason the Reds lost the title. Rodgers inept game management at Crystal Palace cost his team two valuable points and the championship. He and Liverpool will be a long time waiting for as good a chance to win the title. Rodgers needs silverware or a top four place or his tenure could be in trouble.
Could Arsenal’s FA Cup win be to Arsene Wenger what the 1986 Masters victory was to Jack Nicklaus, the last hurrah of a legend? That success in May could be the final silverware of Wenger’s career at Ashburton Grove especially if he fails to guide his team to a top four finish. Arsenal are a long way off from being Premier League and Champions League contenders. It could have been so different had he re-signed Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song. Their performances for Chelsea and West Ham United respectively, serve as a reminder to what might have been for Gunners fans.
Louis Van Gaal
At one point in his career, van Gaal was really the ‘special one’ after guiding a young Ajax side to the Champions League victory in 1995. If he can win the title at Manchester United, he may yet reclaim his perch atop the coaching pile. He has spent the money needed to restore United to relevance, but is three defenders and another forward away from competing for second, let alone the title. His own arrogance, as Irish fans can attest, can sometimes hold his team back. Going head to head with Mourinho and Pellegrino for the title would be a fascinating case study for sports psychologists.
Newcastle United fans are happy to see the back of their former manager. Crystal Palace fans have welcomed the return of their former hero with open arms. His touchline behavior and his own arrogance became an issue for Magpie fans long before his departure. If he keeps Palace in the Premier League, the supporters at Selhurst Park could care less about his personality.
Spurs have not hit any level of consistency so far this season – capable of losing at home to West Bromwich Albion one week and hammering Chelsea the next. Typical Spurs some might say. Pochettino has slowly been improving performances and the younger players like Harry Kane and Ryan Mason have responded to his coaching. They are still an outside bet for a top four place, but if Pochettino can tighten up his defense, he can land a trophy, which the majority of real Spurs fans crave.
Not long ago Redknapp was managing Gareth Bale and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League. He was also the darling of the English media and a future England manager in waiting. How times have changed. Redknapp is in danger of tarnishing his legacy if Queens Park Rangers are relegated. Of course it won’t be his fault.
Martinez is another manager whose reputation was at an all-time high at his previous club. In his case Wigan Athletic, which he led to an FA Cup victory in 2013. Everton did well in his first season in charge, but things have not gone to plan this year and the Toffees are performing below expectations. He is not helped by injuries and loss of form to key players, especially at the back. Martinez needs to spend as much time coaching his team how to defend as he does getting it to play pretty football. If not, Everton could flirt with relegation.
Southampton lost their manager, sold their best players and were firm favorites for relegation. Enter Ronald Koeman to replace Mauricio Pochettino and the Saints, against all the odds, have spent most of the season in the top four. Their lofty position owes a lot to their Academy structure and internal promotion of their best youth players. Koeman might not have the squad depth to maintain his team’s challenge for a Champions League place. If he guides them to Europe’s elite competition, Koeman will not be long for the St. Mary’s hot seat.