Forget Manager of the Year, we look at Prem’s biggest disappointments
Plenty of Premier League bosses have impressed us this season. Antonio Conte has lifted the title with his Chelsea side in his debut campaign in England, while Mauricio Pochettino has continued to prove himself to be one of the best managers in the division.
But while it’s all well and good singing the praises of said coaches, that’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing for everyone.
And today we’re singling out three names in particular who have disappointed the Ladbrokes News team this campaign.
First of all, we’re heading to Staffordshire…
William Geldart – Mark Hughes
The Stoke board have come out to publicly back Mark Hughes but that should have alarm bells ringing for the Welshman. The Potters are nosediving towards their lowest ever Premier League finish and have won just one of their last 10 games, against relegated Hull City.
It might seem harsh to label Hughes the manager most worthy of criticism, and the Stoke faithful are certainly split on his future at the club.
But the fact is the Staffordshire outfit have been desperately disappointing this term with the near-empty stadium for their end of season lap of honour a sign of the times.
Failing to win any of their opening seven Premier League games was a warning sign and Stoke are finishing the 2016-17 campaign in a similar vein.
Big signings such as Wilfried Bony haven’t worked out and Hughes has got to bear the brunt of a season where his side have definitely gone backwards.
Alex Apati – Jose Mourinho
Don’t worry, I’m preparing for a backlash from Man United fans…
They headed into the season as 6/1 shots to win the league. In fact, they dropped to 13/5 at one stage. As far as our traders were concerned, they had a genuine chance of doing just that. But 37 games in, they still haven’t got going.
Granted, they went 25 games unbeaten, but by God was it a boring streak.
Jose has been quick to call out his players too, and I don’t agree with that. It’s rare he holds his hands up at the end of a game and accepts HE got things wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault.
I also think he’s making a mockery of the Premier League. How many weakened sides have we seen him field? How many times have we seen him set his team up for a draw?
I don’t think he can blame fixture congestion either. Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2008-09 team played more games than this crop have. They won the Premier League, the League Cup, reached a Champions League final and an FA Cup semi.
Four years ago, Mourinho played down the importance of the Europa League. It wasn’t a competition he cared all that much for. Funny how his mood has changed now he knows he’s some way off challenging for the Premier League.
And then there’s the money. Lest we forget, Jose’s already spent over £150m and so far won a League Cup and sat in sixth place for the majority of the season.
I’d be disappointed if I was a United fan this year. Hopeful and optimistic about what the future holds, but disappointed with the here and now.
Dave Burin – Slaven Bilic
Last season’s seventh-place finish was possibly an overachievement for West Ham United, but with a game remaining this season they’re 20 points behind the total they racked up last year. And for me, Bilic has to come in for some blame.
His signings since the end of last season have included Ashley Fletcher (a centre-forward who’s scored zero goals in 15 Prem games), Simone Zaza (another supposed hitman who failed to net in 11 outings) and Robert Snodgrass (a workmanlike midfielder vastly overpaid for).
Add to that the fact he’s completely failed to replace Dimitri Payet, and has the Irons playing especially dreary football – netting just 44 goals in the league – and it’s a minor miracle he hasn’t been sacked.
Oh, and they lost 5-0 and 4-0 to Manchester City twice within the space of a month. Dismal.
We’ve had our say, but what do you think? Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing