Analysing the performance of English Managers in the Premier League: From Chris Wilder to Frank Lampard

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 22 January 2020, 12:36

England’s elusive search for a first homegrown Premier League title-winning manager will not come to an end this season, considering the closest ‘challenger’ is currently 24 points off the pace. 

The honour is likely to go to Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp who, bar a monumental collapse, will become the first-ever German gaffer to win England’s top-flight.

But while the Premier League is enjoying somewhat of a boom when it comes to the employment of English managers - who occupy a position in nearly half of the 20 top-flight dugouts (nine) - it’s a tally that still pales in comparison to its European neighbours.

In both Italy and Spain, 17 of the 20 managers plying their trade in each league are from the respective home country. 14 of the 20 managers in Ligue 1 are French, while 10 of the 18 managers in the Bundesliga are German.

Homegrown Managers In Europe’s Top-5 Leagues

  • Serie A: 17 of the 20 managers are Italian

  • La Liga: 17 of the 20 managers are Spanish

  • Ligue 1: 14 of 20 managers are French

  • Bundesliga: 10 of 18 managers are German

  • Premier League: 9 of the 20 managers are English

Comparison of the Premier League newbies: From Wilder to Lampard

The 2019/20 Premier League season has seen the introduction of a handful of managerial newbies, including Frank Lampard and Chris Wilder, who are both located in the top-seven at the time of writing.

Wilder, who was recently crowned The Sack Race’s Manager of the Decade, has been England’s shining managerial star so far this season with Sheffield United currently ahead of the North London duo of Arsenal and Tottenham.

Wilder’s excellent man-management skills, strong team cohesion and tactical acumen has seen the Blades far exceed expectations, and considering that the club are only one point off 5th spot, a future European journey could be on the cards.

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Frank Lampard is one of nine English managers in the Premier League

Frank Lampard only had a single season under his managerial belt before he bagged the Chelsea job, and the first six months of his tenure have been filled with highs and lows.

On the plus side, Lampard’s standing at the club means he brought about an instant connection with the fans, bridging a gap that had become split under his predecessor. The 41-year-old has given a cluster of exciting young English players a prominent place in the first team, including Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, and the Blues currently occupy a place in the top-four.

On the other hand, Chelsea have already lost eight times, the same number as the whole of last season under Maurizio Sarri who came under pressure throughout his year in charge. In the last couple of months alone they’ve suffered disappointing losses to the likes of Newcastle, Bournemouth, West Ham and Southampton.

Ruthlessness has been a problem with just 14.9% of their shots resulting in a goal, while the defence has been jittery. However, Lampard will be given the precious commodity of time and will be confident he can iron out the problems, forge a concrete identity, and in turn secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.

What about the other English debutants?

Dean Smith and Graham Potter are also experiencing their debut Premier League campaigns with both managers fighting for their lives at the other end of the table. 

Smith may have come under-fire at certain points this term, after all he did splash £144.5m in the summer which was second only to Man Utd, yet he’s carved out a knack of picking up crucial wins over the teams around Villa. Most notably over Norwich, Burnley and Watford. In fact, Villa currently have more victories (seven) than Arsenal (six).

Potter received numerous plaudits in the aftermath of Brighton’s win over Tottenham in October. The 44-year-old has inspired a mini-revolution on the south coast; through a change to a more possession-based style and his tactical flexibility and fluidity. However, the club has struggled for wins of late, especially on the road, with a lack of firepower in attack a cause for concern.

How are the mainstays getting on?

Eddie Howe’s fifth season in the Premier League has not gone to plan. The struggling south coast side have appeared confidence-crushed and void of ideas throughout the majority of the campaign, leading to reports that the Englishman’s seven-year tenure was in severe danger of coming to an end.

However, Tuesday’s much-needed dominant 3-1 win over Brighton could prove pivotal for Howe. "It feels big at the moment, but time will tell," revealed the relieved boss after the game.

Sean Dyche, who replaced Howe at Burnley in October 2012, is in his fourth season as a Premier League manager, and third in succession. 

The current campaign has been a frustrating one. Every time Burnley pick up a couple of decent results it’s immediately been followed by a succession of defeats. 

Dyche has the nous, experience and confidence to steer the Clarets clear of danger, although there will inevitably be concerns considering the topsy-turvy nature of the league this year.

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Howe & Dyche: A combined 14 years at the wheel

Then we have veteran manager Roy Hodgson who at 72 is the oldest gaffer in Premier League history. 

The shrewd boss only spent £11m in the summer, scooping up striker Jordan Ayew, and then defender Gary Cahill on a free, while the club’s net spend was £39m surplus thanks to the departure of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Man Utd. 

His troops have frustrated many a team this season, beating Man Utd at Old Trafford, drawing with Man City at the Etihad, while they’ve held Arsenal twice. The next step will be converting draws (nine) into wins as 11th-placed Palace go in hunt of their highest league finish since 3rd spot back in 1990/91.

And finally, the returning duo?

Few, if any, would have expected either Steve Bruce or Nigel Pearson to play a part in the current Premier League campaign, let alone both. 

After all, prior to the summer Bruce had been working in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday, while Pearson’s last spell in management came in the Belgian second-tier at OH Leuven.

Bruce’s summer appointment may have been widely panned but the Geordie deserves praise for his work so far. Admittedly the football hasn’t been the most eye-catching and goals haven’t come in abundance, but it’s not exactly like Bruce has a galaxy of stars at his disposal, while he’s been plagued by injuries. 

Yet in terms of results the Toon have recorded wins to nil over the likes of Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea, and at the time of writing are just four points off 5th.

If Bruce’s arrival at Newcastle was a shock, then Watford’s appointment of Pearson in December was off the scale, especially given the club's recent managerial recruitment structure.

However, the Englishman has been a revelation, accumulating four wins and two draws from eight matches to date. Supporters will just hope that this week’s last-gasp defeat at the hands of Aston Villa doesn’t take the wind out of their sails.

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

Roy Hodgson

Team: Crystal Palace


Dean Smith

Team: Aston Villa


Eddie Howe

Team: Bournemouth


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Team: Manchester United


David Moyes

Team: West Ham United


Pep Guardiola

Team: Manchester City


Daniel Farke

Team: Norwich City


Steve Bruce

Team: Newcastle United


Nigel Pearson

Team: Watford


Graham Potter

Team: Brighton & Hove Albion


Ralph Hasenhuttl

Team: Southampton


Frank Lampard

Team: Chelsea


Sean Dyche

Team: Burnley


Jose Mourinho

Team: Tottenham Hotspur


Mikel Arteta

Team: Arsenal


Carlo Ancelotti

Team: Everton


Brendan Rodgers

Team: Leicester City


Nuno Santo

Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers


Jurgen Klopp

Team: Liverpool


Chris Wilder

Team: Sheffield United


Odds Correct as of 2020-02-28 16:30:41

Managers Departed

Last man down

Graham Westley
Graham Westley
(Stevenage)
16th February
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