The Premier League managerial merry-go-round featuring the world’s top coaches has been given a few extra twists by Diego Simeone who openly questioned his future at Atletico Madrid following their UCL final defeat.
Big changes at the EPL’s biggest clubs will see the world’s top coaches doing battle in the Premier League next season and owners will be on high alert – should their stellar coaches fail – after Simeone said: “Do I have to continue with Atlético or is it the end of a cycle? I have to think about that.”
— Naganathan (@Nn84Naganatha) May 26, 2016
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may be the manager under most threat if Simeone becomes available. Calls for the Frenchman to quit intensified last season as his side slipped into inconsistency that cost them a Premier League title that many believed was theirs for the taking.
Beating Spurs to second place has eased that somewhat but Wenger – Arsenal boss since 1996 – will need to splash the cash and make some heavyweight signings to add real steel to his squad. The £25 million capture of Granit Xhaka is a step in the right direction but Wenger will need to take more of the same if the Gunners are to claim a first EPL crown since 2004.
Antonio Conte takes over at Chelsea from managing Italy at Euro2016 and is another boss who needs to transform his squad. Simeone would be a perfect fit at the Bridge and owner Roman Abramovich has a history of sacking coaches who fail to hit the ground running no matter their reputation – tipsters will remember Felipe Scolari, sacked before Christmas despite winning the World Cup with Brazil only a few months earlier.
JURGEN KLOPP AND ‘POCH’ HAVE TO IMPRESS
Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino have big ambitions to satisfy from fans and owners. Klopp has a transfer window to get his own players in while Poch will be eyeing the big prize and going for the title with his young, dynamic Spurs squad.
Their achievements last season – Klopp: Europa League final; Poch: EPL runners up – will have earned some time but both will feel the pressure should early results not go to plan.
RONALD KOEMAN – ARSENAL, BARCA OR GOODISON?
Ronald Koeman is being tipped as Wenger’s successor – the Southampton coach has impressed many and led the Saints to their best ever EPL finish last season. Koeman is even being talked about as a future Barcelona boss post Luis Enrique and even though the Dutchman signed a new two-year deal at the Saints, it hasn’t silenced the speculation that’s also linked him to the vacancy at Everton after they sacked Roberto Martinez.
The Toffees aren’t in Europe and look set to lose Romalu Lukaku but they do boast a pedigree that includes nine league titles despite living in the shadow of city rivals Liverpool. Are Everton a tempting project for Simeone to repeat the feat he achieved with Atletico? Will Koeman make the move? What do the tipsters think?
— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) May 23, 2016
SAM’s SAFE – WHO ELSE?
Sam Allardyce will continue to build at Sunderland having saved them from relegation while other managers seemingly safe from the merry-go-round are Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace, Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, Tony Pulis at West Brom, Mark Hughes at Stoke and Francesco Guidolin at Swansea.
Slaven Bilić takes West Ham to their new home at the Olympic Stadium and Hammers fans will be confident their boss can add to the squad and improve on last year’s outstanding season.
Sean Dyche and Steve Bruce return to the top flight with Burnley and Hull promoted 12 months after they’d dropped out of the EPL with the same managers in charge and are joined by Middlesbrough’s Aitor Karanka in the top flight.
How long Walter Mazzarri will last at Watford – who surprisingly sacked Quique Sanchez Flores despite staying up – is anyone’s guess while King Claudio Ranieri’s reign at champions Leicester will seemingly continue for as long as he likes, no matter what the fate of the Foxes who’ll have to contend with Champions League football next season.
By: Joe Cahal