Now the Championship has started for another season, it’s time for some more analysis from me. The topic for this article is on some of those managers in the league with a focus on British. However, it’s not based on any kind of predictions in terms of promotion or relegation
Instead, we are simply looking at some of the best managerial talent in the league. There are quite a few British managers in the Championship, so this has been a competitive list. With that in mind, I expect a lot of debate about the choices that I have made. This one is mainly opinion based – but will feature data and factual information as well.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into it…
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1. Steve Bruce (Aston Villa)
When Aston Villa were relegated from the Premier League, they struggled to adapt to life in the Championship. However, they are likely to reap the rewards this season on the money they invested last season. Now, it’s quite clear that Villa now have a squad that is ready to take the Championship by storm.
Critics will claim that Villa have made a slow start to the season and that automatic promotion is unlikely. However, it’s still early in the season and there is plenty of time for the club to recover their form. It’s important to remember in all of this that the Midlands side have one of the most experienced managers at the helm.
Steve Bruce has seen most things in football and he is more about substance than style. Villa may not be one of the best possession teams in the league. However, Bruce knows how to get results – and crucially has won promotion out of this league with both Birmingham and Hull City. The vital thing is his current club holds their nerve and stick with their man and his know-how.
2. Garry Monk (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough are another one of those clubs that a lot was expected of at the start of the season – but so far, they have struggled to live up to those expectations. Nevertheless, Boro have certainly spent for the Championship – and will remain confident that they can achieve their aim of an instant return to the Premier League.
One of the reasons that they should be confident is because they have Garry Monk in charge. Now, Monk showed what a good manager he was at Swansea and again at Leeds United. Last season, there wasn’t a great deal expected of Leeds United – so a finish just outside the play-offs was certainly very positive.
In my view, an awful lot of that positive work was down to Monk. Therefore, there is plenty of argument that Monk can be a success this season with his new club. Leeds have made a good start to the season – and it will be interesting to see if Boro can outperform them.
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3. Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
Sheffield United are newly promoted to the Championship but seem to have adapted very well so far. In fact, I did tip them ahead of the season to be one of the surprise packages – and they seem to be living up to that tag. However, it remains to be seen if the Blades can sustain their current place in the top six of the league.
Chris Wilder is a manager that has built his managerial career from the lower leagues taking charge of the likes of Halifax, Oxford and Northampton. Wilder has always found a way of gaining success as a manager. For example, winning the Conference play-offs with Oxford and winning League Two with Northampton.
That success rate has certainly continued with the Blades as he won League One – and currently has a win ratio of 61%. The challenge he faces in the Championship is a big one – but expectations at Sheffield United are modest. There can’t be any doubt that Wilder is certainly one of the brightest British managers in the English game right now.
4. Neil Warnock (Cardiff City)
Cardiff City have been in the Premier League relatively recently – but have struggled to adapt in the Championship since relegation. However, Neil Warnock did an excellent job of stabilizing the club last season – and will be hoping to build on that success further.
The Bluebirds currently sit top of the Championship after five wins out of five – and there is some credibility that they can sustain their current position. Warnock is an experienced manager with a long list of success. He may not have had a great deal of success in the Premier League, but at this level, he is truly one of the best.
The veteran manager has a long list of promotions in his career – but the real highlights have been getting sides promoted to the Premier League. Twice he has managed that feat, once with Sheffield United and then again with QPR. Therefore, he has previous at this level – and who’s to say he couldn’t achieve it one more time with the Bluebirds.
5. Gary Rowett (Derby County)
Derby County are certainly an interesting club in the Championship. However, most people would agree that they are one of the bigger clubs at this level. It certainly seems likely that a top six finish is the target this season. The Rams have made a reasonable start to the season and currently find themselves 12th in the league.
In fact, Derby are leading the league for their aerial ability this season. It’s a sign that they are a team to watch – and the players are taking on the management style of Gary Rowett. Rowett is a manager that I have a lot of time for – and he was certainly very unlucky to lose his job with Birmingham City.
It’s my belief that the Blues would have been in the top half of the Championship last season had the club stuck with him. The British manager now has a fresh challenge with Derby and he has made a positive start by winning around 47% of his games in charge. The Rams have had a mixed time this summer in the transfer market, but will be confident that they a squad to compete right at the top end of the league.
6. Dean Smith (Brentford)
Brentford have certainly made a slower start to the season than a lot of people would have expected. It’s also worth mentioning that the loss of star attacker Jota was a significant blow – and it will be interesting to see how they handle that particular situation.
However, I still have full faith in the Bees and stick behind my prediction of them being a team to sizzle this season. There are certainly plenty of reasons to be positive including having a squad with the perfect size and a good average age. However, manager Dean Smith is another of those positive things.
Smith completes our list of the best British managers outside the Premier League. He is now an experienced manager after taking charge of nearly 350 games – and will be hoping he can take his career to the next level with his current club. However, the first thing he needs to do is get his club’s season up and running.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at the best British managers outside the Premier League. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think these managers don’t deserve this recognition and there are others that do.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Next, I will be looking at average attendance data so far this season – and what we can read into it.