Pep Guardiola fires his way to the top of the Sack Race Power Rankings

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 14 February 2017, 16:12

Pep Guardiola, a manager much-maligned a few weeks ago, has leapt to the summit of the Sack Race Power Rankings (SRPR) after leading Man City to a third consecutive victory.

The 2-0 defeat of Bournemouth may have been hard-fought, and City lost their dazzling youngster Gabriel Jesus to injury, but the triumph has propelled the Citizens up to 2nd spot and within eight points of table-toppers Chelsea.

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Paul Clement may have had plenty of experience working as an assistant in the Premier League, but prior to his arrival at Swansea he’d never managed in England’s top-flight. However, the former Derby boss has taken to Premier League management like a duck to water, impressively winning three of his last four games, while also bagging the January Manager of the Month award.

Before Clement’s appointment Swansea had won just three league games all season, while it seems harsh not to hand him the victory over Crystal Palace as he was present on the touchline. Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Leicester has shot the Swans up to 15th, with Clement subsequently rising from 9th to 2nd spot in the SRPR.

Jose Mourinho is finally back into the SRPR top-3 after Man Utd grabbed three points at home to Watford, which extended their unbeaten run to 16 games. The Red Devils remarkably remain in 6th but they are now just four points adrift 2nd spot, and right back into contention for a top-4 finish.

It may seem harsh to drop Antonio Conte (4th) and Ronald Koeman (5th) three places apiece after away draws, but the performances of other gaffers mean they’ve regrettably taken a hit this week.

Claudio Ranieri, oh Claudio Ranieri. In the space of nine months the Italian has gone from being names as the Premier League Manager of the Season to the odds-on favourite for the sack. Leicester’s toothless 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals Swansea means they remain the only club in the top-4 tiers yet to score a league goal this year, while the result means they are still looking for their first away win as defending champions (D3 L10).

Eddie Howe is also winless this year. Bournemouth are in a real rut at the moment, picking up just two points from their last six matches, while their defence is in tatters. There are still six points between the Cherries and the drop zone, but if they fail to get their act together soon this margin will diminish in the blink of an eye.

The only other Premier League boss still searching for their first league win this year is Aitor Karanka. Boro showed their trademark defensive resilience in a creditable goalless draw with an in-form Everton, but they simply have to start scoring. They’ve now failed to find the back of the net in 11 league games this term, and if that extends to 12 in their next fixture against relegation rivals Crystal Palace, then they’ll be in real trouble.

But, despite Boro’s eight game winless run Karanka has actually managed to move up to 16th due to the poor performances of the veteran duo of Sam Allardyce and David Moyes.

Allardyce (18th) has lost six of his last seven top-flight games, meaning his “never been relegated” record is now under severe pressure. Meanwhile, in the space of a week Moyes (17th) has gone from jubilation to utter despair after Sunderland sunk to a shambolic 4-0 defeat at home to Southampton.

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