Here's a look at some Championship managers that shouldn't be judged yet
It’s still early in the Championship season – and we shouldn’t be making too many judgements at this point. I know some people have been jumping to conclusions based on those early results, so I’m suggesting a bit of caution while we see how things play out.
So with that general point in mind, here is my latest article looking at the managers that shouldn’t be judged just yet. This content includes managers that have made slow and quick starts, so this article can be read both ways. This one is largely opinion based, but there will be some data used to back up the views as well.
So, now we have that out of the way, let’s get stuck into it…
1. Daniel Farke (Norwich City)
As mentioned in previous articles, Norwich City have gone through various changes over the course of the summer. It’s true to say that the club have encountered some teething problems in the first few games of the new season. However, there have been positives as well such as Norwich being one of the leading teams for passing accuracy so far this season.
Daniel Farke is new to English football, but his reputation in Germany is very strong. The Canaries have thought hard about their structure and view him as the best man to be head coach moving forward. Despite that, there have been several snap judgements on his performance so far – and he was always going to need a settling in period.
It’s not all down to him though as the Canaries had many issues that weren’t going to be solved instantly. There has certainly been an improvement over recent games and Norwich have kept three consecutive clean sheets – and find themselves just three points short of the play-offs. So it’s clear that you shouldn’t judge Farke too quickly.
2. Thomas Christiansen (Leeds United)
Garry Monk did an excellent job for Leeds United last season as they just fell short of a play-off place. It was unknown how the managerial and player changes would impact the team; Thomas Christiansen was coming in without prior experience of English football. However, a few foreign managers have proved to be successful in the Championship over recent years.
The Whites have certainly started the season well and look good for automatic promotion as things stand. I know fans love to talk about attacking football, but Leeds have shown that you have to be good at the back as well. Recent form shows they have secured four clean sheets in their last five league games – and that has been paramount to their success this season.
Even at this early stage, they stand out as the best defensive team in the league. Christiansen has made an encouraging start at his new club by winning about 64% of his games in charge. However, it is still too early to judge him as form is always open to change. Fans should certainly be excited, but also remember that there will be plenty of twists and turns to come in this Championship season.
3. Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolves)
Wolves are certainly a curious club and it was unknown how they might perform this season. Last season, they spent a lot of money – and they couldn’t compete for a play-off place. Therefore, another active summer in the transfer market was no guarantee of success this season.
Their fans are passionate though – and the club have enjoyed one of the highest average attendances in the Championship so far. The club have also made an excellent start to the season after losing just one of their opening eight league games.
Nuno Espirito Santo may well be new to English football, but he has made an instant impact thus far by winning around 73% of his first games in charge. The start has been encouraging, but it’s still early in the season – and we need to wait until around the half-way point in the campaign before making any formal judgements on him.
4. Alex Neil (Preston)
Preston did a decent job last season, but expectations for this season would not have been above mid-table. However, the Championship always manages to spring surprises each season – and I did suggest ahead of the season that Preston could be a surprise package this year.
There have been changes over the summer at the club though – and the most significant of them was Alex Neil replacing Simon Grayson as manager. Neil had a mixed record with Norwich City, but he did make an instant impact when he first was appointed at the club.
It seems that history could repeat itself at Preston as his new club arein the top six at present. However, Norwich fans know that the Scot has his limitations – and it’s simply too early to tell if he can take a club to the play-offsagain. Again, fans should be excited – but also cautious to see if they can keep their form going.
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5. Mark Warburton (Nottingham Forest)
Nottingham Forest only just managed to secure their place in the Championship by the skin of their teeth last season. So, expectations for this season would have been minimal. Forest have had their moments so far this season – and they currently find themselves closer to the top of the table than the bottom.
There has also been somewhat of a playing style change at the club – and the Reds have been one of the best teams for possession so far this season. In terms of Mark Warburton, the coach has found success at this level in the past when in charge of Brentford.
Most people know that his spell in charge of Rangers had mixed results, but he will be hoping to make an impact back in English football. So far there have been a few positive results which has resulted in a 45%-win ratio. As with the other managers on this list; it is simply too early to make any judgements on him yet.
6. Garry Monk (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough were seen by many to be the Championship team to watch this season. A lot of that was down to being a big spender in the transfer market. However, their game hasn’t fully come together just yet as they find themselves outside the top six.
Garry Monk proved what a good manager he is with Swansea in the Premier League – and again last season with Leeds United in the Championship. However, he will be hoping that he is able to go one better this season by getting Boro into the top six at the very least.
The big thing is that the expectation level is high on him this season, so it will certainly be interesting to see how he handles that. I know some people will be writing him off already, but it’s still very early in the season – and there is plenty of time for Boro to get themselves into promotion contention.
This completes the content section for this article as we looked at some managers in the Championship that should not be judged just yet. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think that we should be judging these managers even at this early stage of the season. If you like Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Next, I’ll be looking at Championship stats covering passes, long balls, tackles and assists.