Mauricio Pochettino surges to the top of the Sack Race Power Rankingsby Jack Kitson / 05 January 2017, 14:45Tweet
Due to the close proximity of the 19th and 20th waves of Premier League games we have opted to merge those back-to-back matches into one whole in the latest edition of the Sack Race Power Rankings.
For the first time in seemingly forever there’s been a switch at the summit of the rankings, while Mike Phelan became the fourth victim of this season's Sack Race, and third managerial casualty in under two weeks following the recent departures of Alan Pardew and Bob Bradley.
This edition doesn’t feature Swansea City’s new boss Paul Clement who officially takes charge of his first Swansea Premier League game on 14th January against Arsenal
(Numbers in brackets indicates previous standing)
SACKED (19) Mike Phelan (Hull) - Phelan became the third top-flight managerial casualty in the space of just 13 days after Hull sent him packing. The former Man Utd assistant managed just 3 victories in 20 league games, failing to win any of his final 9 at the helm. Marco Silva has since come in the other direction.
18. (15) Walter Mazzarri (Watford) - The Italian is paying the price for Watford’s impressive start to the season, with a fall in form resulting in the 55-year-old being propelled to the summit of the Sack Race. Watford have only registered 1 point in their last five games, losing 6 of their last 8 matches, something Mazzarri needs to change.
17. (18) David Moyes (Sunderland) - The Black Cats admirably came back from a goal down, not once, but twice at home to Liverpool as they clinched a 2-2 draw with the title hopefuls. It was a prized point, but 4 defeats in 6 games is a worrying run of form for the 18th-placed club.
16. (14) Sam Allardyce - Big Sam is still looking for his first win since returning to the Premier League dugout with Palace. Last week the Eagles were beaten by Arsenal and then Swansea, with the latter a damaging defeat at the hands of their relegation rivals. The Eagles are now just a single point above the drop zone.
15. (17) Aitor Karanka (Middlesbrough) - Karanka came desperately close to claiming a shock win over buddy Jose Mourinho, but two late goals meant that Boro heartbreakingly went from 3 points to zero. A bore draw with Leicester followed, but they will look to grab a win from their upcoming games against Watford and West Ham.
14. (9) Claude Puel (Southampton) - It’s a severe case of deja vu for Saints fans whose side often falter around this time of the year. A hat-trick of consecutive league defeats - for the first time in 3 years - has hurt Puel in the Sack Race, with bookmakers cutting the Frenchman from 25/1 down to 8/1. Saints are still in the top-10, but for how much longer…?
13. (7) Slaven Bilic (West Ham) - In the last edition of the Power Rankings West Ham were enjoying a 3 game winning streak, however they have since sunk to 2 straight defeats without scoring. The Hammers have now only won 1 of their last 7 league & cup away games….and that was against Swansea.
12. (16) Claudio Ranieri (Leicester) - Signs of improvement defensively as Leicester kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time as defending champions following a 1-0 victory against West Ham, then a draw at Middlesbrough. The Hammers shutout was their first in a dozen league games, while the goalless draw at Boro was their first away clean sheet this season.
11. (12) Mark Hughes (Stoke) - The Potters ended their 5 game winless run with a solid 2-0 victory over Watford, which puts them 11th in the table. Hughes’ men are currently banking on their strong home form, having won 4 and drawn 3 of the last 8 at the Britannia.
10. (13) Sean Dyche (Burnley) - Burnley spanked Sunderland 4-1 in their biggest win of the season, however their woeful away form continued after they lost 2-1 at Man City, which they will be disappointed with considering the hosts had 10 men for an hour. Home form is immense, but with 10 of their remaining 18 games on the road Dyche needs to shake things up away from Turf Moor.
9. (11) Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) - The Cherries were left heartbroken after a remarkable late Arsenal fight back saw a thrilling game end 3-3. The south coast side will be disappointed at throwing away a 3-0 lead at home to the Gunners, but they did at least jump above rivals Southampton into 9th. It was also the second time in a row that howe’s men had scored 3 goals, following a 3-0 thumping of Swansea in their previous fixture.
8. (8) Ronald Koeman (Everton) - Everton wobbled against struggling Hull, but in the end escaped with a point. The Toffees then went on to beat Koeman’s former team Southampton 3-0 at Goodison - the club’s joint biggest league win of the season.
7. (6) Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) - In an enthralling encounter Arsenal came back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth, however despite the comeback fans were not happy, with the Gunners since dropping out of the top-4 and down to 5th. Need to win their next 3 games against Swansea, Burnley and Watford, ahead of a crunch clash at Chelsea.
6. (5) Pep Guardiola (Man City) - Cheer up Pep. City recovered from going a man down after just 32 minutes to beat Burnley 2-1, however the Spaniard was fuming afterwards, playing the passive-aggressive approach with BBC Sport’s Damian Johnson (see below).
5. (10) Tony Pulis (West Brom) - Pulis’ men are back up to 8th after recording wins over Southampton and Hull. On both occasions the Baggies showcased their fighting spirit, coming from a goal down in game. Pulis started the season under pressure, but he’s without a doubt been one of the stand-out gaffers this term. Hugely impressive.
4. (2) Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) - The Reds will be kicking themselves after failing to beat struggling Sunderland, especially given that title rivals Chelsea went on to lose the following day. The Reds twice led at the Stadium of Light, but in the end had to settle for a draw, but on the plus side they have gained a point on the Blues.
3. (1) Antonio Conte (Chelsea) - It seems very harsh to drop Conte from 1st to 3rd after the defeat to Tottenham, which prevented Chelsea from winning a record 14th successive PL game. Despite the loss the Blues still hold a 5 point lead at the summit, although the title race doesn’t seem so one-sided any more.
2. (4) Jose Mourinho (Man Utd) - Are Man Utd back in the title race? The Red Devils remain the outsiders to hoist the famous trophy, 18/1, and it’s admittedly still unlikely with 5 teams still above Mourinho’s men. However, 6 wins on the spin - including their most recent victories over Middlesbrough and West Ham - means they are now 10 points off top spot, and only 3 points adrift of the top-4.
1. (3) Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) - Pochettino’s men became the first team to beat Chelsea in 14 matches after they recorded a superb 2-0 victory at the Lane - a venue Poch remains unbeaten at in top-flight London derbies (W8 D4). Spurs, who are no up to 3rd, are currently enjoying a 5 game winning run, banging in 15 goals in the process. On fire.