The Managerial Revolving Door: Big Changes in the Premier League

The Premier League Manager merry-go-round is already underway 14 games into the season – who are the new faces on the top tier benches and what can we expect to see from them?

Can Julen Lopetegui bring new ideas to Molineux?
After a dismal start to the campaign, Wolves sit second from bottom. Julen Lopetegui’s task is not easy at all. Wolves have been incredibly consistent since their promotion to the Premier League in 2018, but their miserable goal tally this season has left a lot to be desired. This, of course, has not been helped by Diego Costa’s classic red card against Brentford, which forces the new Wolves signing out of the squad until after the World Cup.

Lopetegui is a highly acclaimed manager whose stints with Real Madrid and the Spanish national team hold him in high regard throughout the football world. His appointment appears to be a slight mismatch and he begs the question: why wouldn’t Wolves approach a manager with Premier League experience? The Molineux bench seemed to be crying out for a quote from Rafa Benítez or Steve Bruce.

Jermaine Jenas noted that it is a “good time for a new coach to come in”, given the World Cup at the end of the month. It means Wolves will have an impromptu pre-season for Lopetegui to familiarize himself with his roster. It has been reported that Lopetegui initially rejected the offer before renegotiating terms with the Wolves board. Fans will hope this is a nod to a long-term appointment, which will have a huge influence on the transfer market, rather than a
short-term solution to a poor run of form. It will take a lot more than a few signings to bring back some of the Wolves’ winning mentality.

Out of form Southampton sack Hasenhuttl
After nearly four years in charge, Southampton parted ways with Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Saints’ poor run of form this season has seen them win just one of their last nine games, leaving them in the relegation zone. He has become the fifth coach to be fired this season, with many teams failing to live up to expectations.

His Premier League experience with Arsenal makes him a suitable appointment at Villa Park.

Despite bringing in several players during the summer window, the Saints have struggled this season. The Southampton board surely didn’t expect the new players to have an immediate impact with so many new changes. Hassenhuttl’s fortunes were not helped by the fact that the board told three members of the coaching staff to leave.

Luton Town have given Southampton permission to speak to their manager, Nathan Jones. The former Brighton player led Luton from League Two to League One in his first spell with the Hatters. Jones would be a good replacement for Hasenhuttl, given Luton’s style of play and their success in the Championship this season.

Emery’s reign at Villa kicks off with a thrashing of Manchester United
Unai Emery oversaw Villa’s resounding victory against Manchester United in his first game in charge. The Spaniard took over from Steven Gerrard at the end of October, with Villa sliding down the table. This is Villa’s first home win against United in 23 years. Goals from Leon Bailey, Lucas Digne and Jacob Ramsey sealed the three points in an enthusiastic Villa Park.

After the game, Emery said: “We have players with energy, with quick skills, and we wanted to be disciplined, and I think by being together with our game plan, the players achieved that.” His faith in the players and the system led him to say that his aim was to take Villa to Europe, which, together with his strong performance against United, will energize the fans.

Emery’s European success with Sevilla and Villareal and his Premier League experience with Arsenal make him a suitable appointment at Villa Park. Villa travels to Brighton for his last game before the World Cup. Emery will surely review his squad after the tournament, impose his own style of play and make some transfers to address Villa’s weaknesses.

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