Rodgers, Lambert or AVB: Which new boss will have the biggest impact?
There has been a manic manager merry-go-round this summer which involved Michael Laudrup, Andre Villas-Boas, Paul Lambert, Brendan Rodgers, Steve Clarke, Roberto Di Matteo and Chris Hughton. But who do you think will gain a better finish to this campaign compared to last season?
Each of these managers will be raring to go for the new season, desperate to bring in the new faces capable of making their stint in charge a success.
Roberto Di Matteo will have the advantage over his rivals by having taken over as interim manager of Chelsea in the last quarter of the season. He couldn't prevent Chelsea from slipping out of the top four, finishing in sixth place, but he landed two major honours, the FA Cup and also the Champions League. In pre-season training there will be a unity by which Chelsea will be feeling confident for the new campaign and Eden Hazard will be looking to give the team a new edge. Will Roberto Di Matteo produce the goods this season or has his Midas touch run out? Surely the Blues will finish higher than sixth in the league.
Michael Laudrup is new to the English Premier League, but he does boast vast experience of the game in Europe - not only from his playing days but also in his managerial career. He has played for both Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona and lifted major honours with them. In his managerial career he has gained vital experience in the UEFA Cup with Getafe. Will Swansea be able to hang on to there star players last season? Will Laudrup make the grade or will be the first managerial casualty of 2012-13? The Swans finished in mid-table last season. With a new manager and the dreaded second season syndrome waiting for them, the fans will be happy to play the same way as last season and avoid the drop.
Andre Villas-Boas had a controversial time at Chelsea, which involved alleged player fallouts - leaving out their major players for big games and even selling two of his biggest stars in Alex and Anelka. This started a downfall of results starting with Napoli and his last game against West Bromwich Albion. But he still has a lot to learn and a lot to offer. It is thought that one day he might be a world-class manager. Will he be a success for Tottenham? Will the fans give him a chance after Harry? With the likes of Bale, Parker and Van der Vaart in the ranks, AVB has a talented squad at his disposal, and the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson is an inspired one, but can he keep hold of Modric? AVB needs a good start.
Paul Lambert had a good first season in the EPL for Norwich in which he guided them to a 12th place. Aston Villa didn't have the best of campaigns - it was one of their worst - but now Aston Villa fans now can look forward to this season with a positive outlook. Lambert is tactically astute, proven by some excellent results last season against the likes of Newcastle and Tottenham. They won a lot of friends with their style of play, something not seen at Villa Park for a few years. He will now bring in his own staff and scouting team to improve on Aston Villa's poor season. Will Lambert be the one who takes Aston Villa back up towards the Europa League places?
Brendan Rodgers won many plaudits last season with the way Swansea had played their football, gaining a respectable 11th placed finish. They also had several good results last season including the game against Arsenal, winning 3-2.
He will need to try and build on this. Liverpool have been under-achieving. They have got the players to be fighting for the Champions League and that is where they should be playing with the quality they have got. Will Brendan Rodgers bring the success back to Anfield? Surely they can't be any worse than last season?
Steve Clarke has replaced the new England boss Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion and he has been assistant to great managers Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish to note a few. Jose Mourinho had spoken very highly of Steve Clarke, but a good coach does not necessarily make for a good manager. Hopefully he may have learned some valuable lessons from both of these big name managers. Will Steve Clarke build on where Roy Hodgson left West Bromwich?
Chris Hughton had limited resources at Birmingham City and still lead them to a decent finish in the play-off positions of the Championship, narrowly missing out on taking them back to the Premier League. He also had a good run in the Europa League, but despite the good performances they narrowly missed out on playing in the knock-out stages. Now Grant Holt is staying, will Norwich go further up the Premier League table or suffer from the second season syndrome?
Seven new managers, all with the demands and pressure of their fans weighing on their shoulders. AVB will arguably be under the most pressure but will he have better luck at Spurs than he did at Chelsea? Will Rodgers be able to transform Liverpool's fortunes, particularly at Anfield? And what sort of impact will Paul Lambert have on the Villains? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.
Article by Ashley Hardy