Who is the Championship's most entertaining manager?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 09 December 2016, 12:44

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) ranks Championship managers in order of their entertainment value, based on avaerge goals per game.

Premier League | League One | League Two

Fresh from posting 5-0 home wins last weekend, Slavisa Jokanovic and Alex Neil share the limelight for best entertainment at the top of the Championship. Both men have charted a similar path in their careers to date, having guided Watford and Norwich to Premier League riches alongside each other two seasons ago despite only joining those clubs midway through the campaign.

The two sets of figures are almost identical but Jokanovic edges it by the narrowest of margins. The Serbian is in charge at Fulham nowadays, of course, where his first 42 matches have produced 119 goals, although his position at the top of this table owes more to the splendid 3.11 average over the course of his time at Vicarage Road (35 matches).

Neil remains in situ at Norwich - although only just following a run of five straight defeats, which triggered leaks that brought widespread reports that he had lost the Carrow Road dressing room. However, the five-goal hammering of Brentford last time out goes some way to answering his critics and wipes the slate clean on a 5-0 defeat at Brighton five weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, any Derby fans who were initially frosty towards the return of Steve McClaren have presumably thawed following a run of five straight wins. And the paying customers at Pride Park must also be relieved to see a sharp increase in goalmouth entertainment too, after the Rams fired a blank in each of their first four matches on home soil.

The former England boss is third in the entertainment stakes and though his early return of 14 goals from eight matches following his October appointment falls a long way short of his overall 2.88 average, shot data would suggest big strides are being taken to cure the Rams of the crippling lack of creativity that blighted them at the start of the campaign.

Ian Holloway is fourth and that’s hardly a shock, although his reputation for cavalier football did take a kicking in his previous post at Millwall. Now back at his first love QPR, Ollie will be hoping to rekindle the magic that steered Blackpool to promotion in 2011, which owed much to a 3.11 total goals average of which the Seasiders bagged the lion’s share.

Rafa Benitez is renowned for his desire to limit the opposition and his chunky 2.85 average is indicative of the high-profile clubs has been tasked with managing down the years. When you manage Liverpool, Inter Milan, Napoli and Chelsea, you’re bound to be significantly stronger than the opponents you come up against most weeks.

The likes of Steve Bruce, Neil Warnock and Carlos Carvalhal are pragmatists at heart and it shows in averages that fall below 2.4 goals per game. Bruce was promoted with the second-best defence in the Championship at Hull last season, beating Carvalhal’s Sheffield Wednesday side in the play-off final and both men will expect to go close again this term, with Bruce now bringing a sense of calm at Aston Villa.

Notes

  • Pld = the number of matches involving each manager since August 2008.
  • GPG = average goals per game over the course of stated matches.
  • The tables include all matches played since the start of the 2008/09 season across the four English leagues, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue Un.
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Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell
(Oldham Athletic)
7th March
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