Alternate Manager History: The champions of the last 10 Premier League campaigns if they had each finished in March

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 20 March 2020, 14:05

The Premier League has been suspended until 30 April - at least - because of the continued spread of coronavirus.

After 29 waves of fixtures it’s Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool who lead the way at the summit by a gargantuan 25 points - two more wins and the Premier League title is all theirs for the first time in history.

For a bit of fun we’ve gone back through time to look at how the last 10 Premier League seasons looked after Gameweek 29 - which is where the current campaign has been paused at. 

The premise is simple, we wanted to see if the manager who led the way at this specific point in the season went on to lift the title.

Is it pointless? Yes. Does it mean anything? Nope. It’s just a slice of alternate history to get us through these uncertain times!

Here we go…

Season: 2009/10

Let’s start by jumping in the Premier League time capsule back to the 2009/10 season.

The likes of Bolton and Portsmouth were both Premier League teams back then, while on the managerial front the top-flight was home to Gary Megson, Owen Coyle and Phil Brown who were each either sacked or switched jobs during the course of the campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man Utd were busy conquering all before them domestically, as they headed into the new campaign looking for their fourth straight title triumph. 

Come March, and the Red Devils were right in the mix for yet another trophy, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea holding a narrow one point lead over the defending champions after the 29th round of games.

And that’s how it ended, as both clubs took 22 points from their remaining nine games, meaning it was Carlo Ancelotti who won the title in his very first season in English football. The points margin may have been meagre but the title was sealed in emphatic fashion, as Chelsea hammered Wigan 8-0 on the final day.

- Gameweek 29 Leader: Carlo Ancelotti

- Champion: Carlo Ancelotti

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Two of the very best

Season: 2010/11

Sir Alex Ferguson bounced back from agonisingly losing out to Carlo Ancelotti the previous season, to win what would be his 12th title.

Back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool in their 28th and 29th game weeks looked to have rocked the club - they’d previously only lost one game all season - but fortunately for United their title rivals Arsenal also dropped points through disappointing draws against Sunderland and West Brom, meaning Fergie had a two point lead over Arsene Wenger with nine matches to go.

In the end this margin was extended to 12 points as Arsenal sank down to 4th, as United claimed the spoils ahead of Ancelotti’s Chelsea.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Sir Alex Ferguson

Champion: Sir Alex Ferguson

Season: 2011/12

Sir Alex Ferguson once again led the way at this particular stage, yet unlike the previous season the Scot was unable to get his mitts on the title. Instead it was Roberto Mancini who soared Man City to their maiden Premier League gong in dramatic fashion.

Back in March a thumping 5-0 win over Wolves put United four points ahead, which was reduced to a single point after their noisy neighbours orchestrated a late comeback against Chelsea - in what was their mid-week game in hand.

United took 19 points from their remaining nine games, while City bagged 20 points - including an ultimately pivotal 1-0 win over Fergie’s men - as they ensured the title was staying in Manchester, but this time over on the blue side for the first time.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Sir Alex Ferguson

Champion: Roberto Mancini

Season: 2012/13

Man Utd’s 2012/13 title triumph - Sir Alex Ferguson’s 13th and final one - seems like a long time ago now for Red Devils fans, whose club have not only failed to win the top honour since then, but registered just the one top-three finish in that timeframe.

However, seven years ago United responded in style to the previous season’s final-day heartbreak as a determined Fergie bowed out of the managerial arena in typically dominant fashion.

His side won 24 of their opening 29 matches which put them streets ahead of defending champions Man City (15 points out of touch), and while this was gap was narrowed to 11 points come the end of the season, it still represented the biggest margin of victory by a title winner since 2004/05.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Sir Alex Ferguson

Champion: Sir Alex Ferguson

Season: 2013/14

For the second time in three seasons, the manager who led the way after 29 matches failed to win the title.

On this occasion the unfortunate gaffer was Jose Mourinho - now back at Chelsea for a second spell - who was seven points clear at this stage of the 2013/14 season, only to finish up in 3rd. 

However, it must be noted that while Mourinho’s men had played 29 games, Liverpool and Arsenal both had a game in hand - which they both won to reduce the gap to three points - while the then-4th-placed Man City had three games spare.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Citizens then revved up the tempo by winning nine of their final 12 matches and won the title on the final day, two points ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool, and four better off than Chelsea.

In the process the Chilean became the first non-European manager to win the Premier League title, in what was his first season in English football.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Jose Mourinho

Champion: Manuel Pellegrini

Season: 2014/15

It was second-time-in-his-second-spell-lucky for Jose Mourinho whose Chelsea side opened up a six point lead after a 3-2 win at Hull in their 29th game. The Blues’ rivals had all played a game more at this point too.

Mourinho’s third Premier League title was secured six games later, a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, and come the end of May they finished the season eight points clear, while in total they topped the table for a whopping record of 274 days.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Jose Mourinho

Champion:  Jose Mourinho

Season: 2015/16

A season no one saw coming.

Leicester City were top of the tree at Christmas but, despite their stunning displays, pretty much everyone expected Claudio Ranieri’s men to fall away in the New Year.

With nine games to go the undeterred Foxes were five points clear of the chasing pack, which included Mauricio Pochettino (Spurs), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) and Manuel Pellegrini (Man City). In his first season in charge, Slaven Bilic was also going strong with West Ham at this stage with the Irons up in 5th, one point off a Champions League place.

Unfortunately, for the Hammers a return of three wins from their final nine games saw them drop to 7th. 

However, unbroken and unbowed Leicester swatted away both their opponents and any remaining doubters to lift the title, with Arsenal a distant 2nd, 10 points adrift.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Claudio Ranieri

Champion: Claudio Ranieri

Season: 2016/17

He came, he saw, he Conte’d.

The Italian may have endured a stuttering start to life at Chelsea but a famous formation tweak worked wonders as the Blues then enjoyed a 13-game winning streak, and come the end of Gameweek 29 they held a seven-point lead at the summit.

The capital club accumulated 24 points from their final nine matches to lift the trophy by seven points. At the time 30 wins in a single season was a Premier League record while Conte become the first Premier League boss in history to scoop three successive Manager of the Month awards.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Antonio Conte

Champion: Antonio Conte

Season: 2017/18

This was the season that Pep Guardiola romped to the title in spectacular and unprecedented fashion, smashing a raft of records en-route; from most points, wins and goals to wins on the spin. It really was a truly astonishing campaign for the noisy neighbours.

You therefore won’t be surprised to hear that at Gameweek 29 Pep’s imminent record-breakers held a 16-point lead, one which they would extend to 19 points come the final day.

No one else stood a chance.

Gameweek 29 Leader: Pep Guardiola

Champion: Pep Guardiola

Season: 2018/19  

Pep Guardiola secured his second successive Premier League title, although this time around there was actually a title race - an engrossing one at that.

Man City side led Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Gameweek 29, by a single point. Both clubs finished the season extremely strongly, taking maximum points from their remaining nine matches meaning Klopp agonisingly missed out on leading the Reds to their first top-flight title in 29 years.

Meanwhile, Guardiola became the first manager to successfully defend the coveted trophy since Sir Alex Ferguson (2007 to 2009).

Gameweek 29 Leader: Pep Guardiola 

Champion: Pep Guardiola 

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