Premier League season review: Story of the Coaches
All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season.
From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.
[ MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]
Let’s take a look at the bench bosses for all 20 teams as the Premier League saw successes and failures in the dugouts.
Arsenal -- Arsene Wenger
The Gunner finished in the Premier League’s second place with a somewhat-dramatic leapfrogging of North London rivals Spurs on the final day of the season. However, refusing to spend big for striker depth beyond Olivier Giroud could be the main reason his club didn’t win that elusive PL title. Grade: B-
Aston Villa -- Tim Sherwood; Remi Garde; Eric Black
Sherwood deserves credit for saving the day last year, but little he did in his early season failures at Villa make him a promising managing target; Garde couldn’t rescue a sinking ship left bereft of top level talent beyond Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Ayew; Black was a caretaker with little to gain. Grades: Sherwood (F), Garde (D), Black (N/A).
Bournemouth -- Eddie Howe
One of the Premier League’s brightest prospects, Howe was locked up by astute chairman Jeff Mostyn and will be tasked with further stocking the cupboard in 2016-17. Grade: A.
Chelsea -- Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink.
The players quit on their championship manager, but Mourinho did plenty to send them on their way. From the drama with trainer Eva Carneiro to a stream of losses, the Special One was anything but. Hiddink stepped in and steadied the ship, but did not provide any miracles. Grades: Mourinho (D), Hiddink (B)
Crystal Palace -- Alan Pardew
Pardew is in an FA Cup final, yes, but he proved that he’s incapable of arresting a long losing streak with the second straight club. Tipped as an English national team manager earlier in the season, that talk looks laughable now. Grade: C-
Everton -- Roberto Martinez
Perhaps the most disappointing team this side of Chelsea, Everton’s players and Martinez took a long ride down the table before settling in 11th. Joel Robles provided little in place of longtime goalkeeper Tim Howard, John Stones and the defense backslid hard, and Romelu Lukaku was feast or famine. Grade: C-
Leicester City -- Claudio Ranieri
He did well, real well. Grade: A
Liverpool -- Brendan Rodgers; Jurgen Klopp
Rodgers’ leash was always going to be short after dropping from second in the league to sixth last season, and a slow start doomed him. Klopp promises much, but cannot be judged until we see what players he chooses to fit his Anfield plan. He also astutely saw the Europa League as a better path to the Champions League, and is 90 minutes away from pulling it off. Grades: Rodgers (C), Klopp (A-).
Manchester City -- Manuel Pellegrini
Tasked with a near impossible feat of dealing with his squad as a dead man walking, Pellegrini kept his club in the Top Four while racing to a first UEFA Champions League semifinal berth and the League Cup title. This...charming... man. Grade: A
Manchester United -- Louis van Gaal
For all the gripes about style of play, LVG’s could end up level on points with Man City while claiming the FA Cup. That said, United fans always have high expectations and Van Gaal has now failed to properly use both Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay. His work with young players like Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, however, has been strong. Grade: B
Newcastle United -- Steve McClaren; Rafa Benitez
McClaren was fired from Derby County after a late season collapse and never looked comfortable in the chair at Newcastle. His replacement needed maybe one or two more weeks to get the job done, but didn’t. Grades: McClaren (F), Benitez (B)
Norwich City -- Alex Neil
A very hard one to judge, no? Neil did a lot with a little, only to see his Canaries back into the second tier. While the grade may seem harsh, Bournemouth and Watford both stayed up at the first time of asking and Norwich couldn’t pull it off. Grade: C-.
Southampton -- Ronald Koeman
Saints had to make an inspired hire when Mauricio Pochettino left for Spurs, and made a near perfect choice. Grade: A-
Stoke City -- Mark Hughes
An injury to steady Geoff Cameron hurt the Stoke boss, but the Potters failed to seize a real chance at European qualification under his watch. Grade: B
Sunderland -- Dick Advocaat; Sam Allardyce
Winless in eight matches, Advocaat walked away from the gig. Allardyce struggled for a while before working a solid January window to bring in the talent needed to survive. While Slaven Bilic proved that Allardyce isn’t going to win you laurels, he’s more than capable of keeping you afloat. Grades: Advocaat (D-), Allardyce (B-).
Swansea City -- Garry Monk; Francesco Guidolin
Monk seemed a bit hard done-by and will land on his feet, but Guidolin was the right man to massage Swans’ egos for a rise up the table and out of the drop zone. Grades: Monk (C-), Guidolin (B+).
Tottenham Hotspur -- Mauricio Pochettino
Final day failures aside, Pochettino did well in navigating the Europa League and Premier League campaigns. The test of his elite acumen comes next season. Grade: B+
Watford -- Quique Sanchez Flores
Should be given credit for keeping the Hornets in the top flight despite falling apart a bit during a brutal run of schedule. Grade: B
West Bromwich Albion -- Tony Pulis
The man’s style of play could put an insomniac to sleep, and his low table expectations won’t endear him to, well, anyone, but Pulis kept the Baggies in the top flight and that means we can’t fail him. Grade: C-
West Ham United -- Slaven Bilic
The Irons might be a seventh place side, but the way the man conducted his club through a tricky and emotional final season at the Boleyn Ground was exceptional. Grade: A