Managerial Influence is the focus in Fight FOUR It!

By Adam Barker. Another exciting weekend in the fight for the top four – with Man City winning the Capital One Cup, the remaining three were left to try and rake up those points. Things didn't exactly go smoothly for a certain north London team. With Chelsea beating Fulham 3-1 and Liverpool cruising past Southampton 3-0, it was Arsenal who slipped up in a 1-0 defeat at Stoke. This enabled Liverpool to catch up with Arsenal and take second place, whilst Chelsea sit pretty at the top. Man City now two games in hand and are six points from top, so the race is still on for sure. Even Spurs managed a 1-0 win over Cardiff...

This week I want to look at the managers of each of these teams and see whether they have that extra key component that is needed for these teams to successful come May.

This is how the table looks week ending March 2, 2014:

# Team GP W D L GD PTS  
1 Chelsea 28 19 6 3 30 63
2 Liverpool 28 18 5 5 38 59
3 Arsenal 28 18 5 5 24 59
4 Man City 26 18 3 5 42 57
5 Tottenham 28 16 5 7 4 53

Jose Mourinho | Chelsea

The special one has always had that quality about him that can divert attention away from a team’s performance whether it be a bad performance and taking flack for one of the players or it being a good performance and saying how great his team choice was. Jose is one of those managers the Premier League needs, and when he went away from the league his presence was sorely missed. His arrogance helps teams as they all like to play for him and keep him happy. His man management skills are pretty well respected, although you may get a different story from Juan Mata.

Jose can help inspire a team to victory with his team tactics and his fearless choices in changing a team choice at peculiar times. Being a two-time Champions League winner proves his influence can help teams achieve greatness. Heck, he managed to get an average Inter Milan team to Champions League glory!

Chelsea won two league titles under Jose Mourinho in his first spell at the club.

Chelsea won two league titles under Jose Mourinho in his first spell at the club.

Brendan Rogers | Liverpool

Compared to many managers in the Premier League Brendan is a rookie. No major trophies or experience on his CV apart from building a great team at both Swansea and Reading. He gained a bit of experience working alongside Jose Mourinho at Chelsea but still no major trophies as of yet. This season Liverpool have been the surprise package with some great performances from the players. Can this be down to the manager? I doubt it. I think Liverpool are more influenced by their loyal fans rather than the man in charge. The only manager that ever had a major influence at Liverpool was King Kenny Dalglish. And even he struggled in his second spell.

Liverpool are having a great season, but I worry they will run out of steam in the coming months and drop too many points. And I don’t think Brendan has the influential presence in the dressing room to make them change a game.

Liverpool finished just seventh last season yet look destined for a vast improvement on that this time around

Liverpool finished just seventh last season yet look destined for a vast improvement on that this time around

Arsene Wenger | Arsenal

The moody Frenchman has been with Arsenal longer than many peoples marriages. I suppose the argument in whether he is influential is difficult to judge because in his early years he won many trophies, but as we all know he has struggled as of late to win any silverware. Players have come and gone from Arsenal and sometimes the fact a manager can’t keep hold of key players questions his influence on the ambition of the club.

I’m a Spurs fan, but trying to be neutral, but I still think his influence is quite low at Arsenal. I feel the players have always had the ability to do well, but they struggle to build upon the “Invincibles” from yesteryear. Arsene used to be considered a great manager, but in recent times, people have questioned his influence and even ambition. A Team that settles for 4th isn’t acceptable for a team like Arsenal.

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2003/4 when they won the title without a single defeat.

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2003/4 when they won the title without a single defeat.

Manuel Pellegrini | Man City

I personally am not very aware of Pellegrini’s managing credentials. But any manager at Man City is never going to be the main influence in that set up. Man City have a roster of some of the most expensive players around and it is down to certain players who have the ability to influence a team throughout a season and through the key games of the season. Pellegrini is lucky to have a team of world beaters and game changers, so his main job as manager is to keep them happy and be aware of the best players to play against certain teams. I don’t see Pellegrini making game changing team talks, but he does have the opportunity to change a game through tactics during a game.

Although he seems be doing a good job at City, he is not exactly going to be there for the long haul. If he doesn’t win the title this season, then his head would be up for chopping anyway.

The Chilean managed Malaga for three years before joining Man City - he guided the club to the Champions League for the first time

The Chilean managed Malaga for three years before joining Man City – he guided the club to the Champions League for the first time

So What do you think? Which of these managers have the influential touch to help grind out the remainder of the season? Will Man City ever have a manager who can be a bigger name than the players like Fergie was at Utd? Will Arsene Wenger ever leave Arsenal?

Until next week…

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