Premier League 2019-20: 3 Managers who are exceeding expectations
The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has provided fans with plenty of twists and turns. Looking at the current standings, the first observation one would make is that a few teams that were being written off by pundits in the summer have done well through 16 games.
The major headlines this season were about managers being sacked, with the most notable managers on that list being Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery and Marco Silva. That being said, this article will shine a different, more positive light on managers who have exceeded expectations with their respective clubs.
Frank Lampard has done a phenomenal job at Chelsea this season. The inexperienced manager left Championship outfit Derby County after one season in charge and accepted the managerial role at Stamford Bridge after the departure of Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea was hit with a two-window transfer ban, hired a manager with minimal experience and were forced to depend on their young talent. Well, so far, so good for the Blues. The players clearly believe in Lampard's philosophy and this is reflected in their results in the Premier League and the Champions League.
With 16 weeks in the books, Chelsea are currently fourth in the table with 29 points, which is five more than Manchester United in fifth. It's also worth mentioning that Lampard's men are scoring goals for fun this season. Chelsea have scored 31 goals this campaign, a tally which is the fourth highest in the top flight. As it stands, Chelsea are on track to securing their spot in next season's Champions League competition.
Chris Wilder was probably the least known manager in the Premier League at the start of the season, but the Sheffield United gaffer is gaining recognition in England and beyond. The Blades were labeled relegation favorites after earning promotion through the playoffs, but they currently occupy a spot among the top ten.
Sheffield United are currently eighth in the standings, sandwiched between Tottenham (seventh) and Arsenal (ninth). Wilder has taken the league by storm with his unique tactics of overlapping center-backs.
This unorthodox style of play has caught several teams off guard and it is a major reason why Sheffield United have claimed five victories and seven draws from their first 16 games. At this rate, relegation is only a nominal concern for Sheffield United.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Steve Bruce. The former Sheffield Wednesday boss walked into a toxic environment at Newcastle United this summer following the departure of Rafa Benitez.
The majority of pundits and fans predicted the Magpies to finish among the bottom three without Benitez, but Bruce has proven doubters wrong in a big way.
The Manchester United legend, who was predicted to be the first manager to be sacked this season, has led his team to some impressive victories against top opposition.
After 16 weeks, Newcastle are on the verge of breaking into the top ten. The Magpies currently have 22 points, which is nine more than they had at this stage last season with Benitez on the sideline. There is a long way to go yet this season, but Bruce has his team heading in the right direction.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:19 IST