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FFT's Premier League manager power rankings 2014/15: your club's boss rated

The league campaign's over, and now all you can do is count down the days until you see Robbie Savage embarrass himself on the FA Cup final special edition of Pointless.

In the meantime, though, check out FFT's rankings of the 20 Premier League managers this season based on their achievements in all competitions. Disagree? Let us know on Twitter @FourFourTwo (but be nice - we've got feelings, you know...)

1) Jose Mourinho

Jose’s eighth domestic league title came at a canter, but the Portuguese prince has kept his own standards high even when his team’s finally dipped towards the end of the campaign. After a 3-0 defeat to West Brom in the penultimate game, Mourinho wagged a finger at everyone else – and sort of had a point. "If I have to blame anybody, blame Man United, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool for letting us win the title so early,” he huffed mischievously. Well, quite, but there’s no getting away from the fact that Chelsea were imperious for a lot of the season with all the hallmarks of a Mourinho side. Simply, they won more stuff, with a League Cup thrown in for good measure.

2) Ronald Koeman

The ice-cold Dutchman made one of the season’s hardest jobs look easy, guiding a team stripped of its most important players upon arrival to a seventh-placed finish (which may be good enough for Europa League football, depending on the result of the FA Cup final) after some terrific work in the transfer market. Eventually, his side only finished four points behind Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham, and two behind Lambert, Lallana and Lovren at Liverpool. Most expected the Saints to drop into the bottom half – a delirious Phil Neville even predicted relegation – but Koeman’s steady hand kept the south-coast outfit a force to be reckoned with and even improved on last season's record points haul by four.

3) Garry Monk

Koeman’s work wasn’t completely unexpected after progressive spells in the Eredivisie, but the same can’t be said of the Premier League’s youngest boss. Former Swans defender Monk helped the Liberty Stadium outfit limp to the end of last season after a decaying spell under Michael Laudrup, but steadied a listing ship before steering the Welsh side to a record Premier League points haul. They finished a comfortable eighth despite the January exit of Wilfried Bony, beating both Manchester United and Arsenal twice en route.

4) Alan Pardew

Not everyone was convinced by a dishevelled Pards ditching Newcastle for a relegation-threatened Palace side bemoaning one win from their last 14 league games, but in reality it made sense. He was universally hated on Tyneside for pandering to Mike Ashley’s needs, after all, and followed one of the best men possible into the Selhurst hot seat in Neil Warnock. It wasn’t going to get worse for them.

But as it happened, it got a little bit better than that – if the season had started when Pards took over at Selhurst, Palace would be sixth in a table, thanks to a blistering start of three wins in his first four matches, then four on the trot between March and April. Onwards and upwards for the Eagles.

5) Tony Pulis

The cap-fancying drill sergeant did what he does best, keeping West Brom well clear of relegation danger after the sorry sojourn of Alan Irvine. He’s currently enjoying his best win percentage at any club (45% in all competitions), but now faces the tough task of hauling the Baggies into the top half for the first time since 2012/13. Credit too for the way he’s kept a wantaway Saido Berahino quiet and focused on the task in hand.

6) Nigel Pearson

Leicester’s hard-headed supremo has muddied the waters with touchline take-downs and journalist jibes this season, but he also has to take his large share of credit for masterminding his team’s remarkable escape from relegation. The Foxes wiped away a terrific start to slump to the foot of the table for 20 matches, but an incredible run of six wins from seven matches lifted them clear of the drop zone. To cap it all, they finished with a 5-1 win over QPR – their biggest ever Premier League win. Proof that standing by your man isn’t always the worst option... even if he was ‘sacked’ for about half an hour in February. 

7) Mark Hughes

Quietly efficient leadership from Hughes secured Stoke’s second top-half finish in succession, achieved once again with frugality having only paid a transfer fee for former Barça prodigy Bojan (and just €1.8 million at that). It’s the first time the Potters have collected 50 points in a Premier League season (they finished with 54), and now it’s up to their Welsh boss to push on towards Europe. That final-day demolition of Liverpool was just reward for another good year. "Players' representatives view us as a viable option, which is encouraging," said the 51-year-old. "We get a lot more choice of players than in the past."

8) Tim Sherwood

The former Tottenham chief can only be judged on a short space of time here admittedly, but the 46-year-old really turned around a team that looked positively awful under Paul Lambert.

Indeed, Villa were at one stage just a point ahead of Burnley having netted a paltry 13 goals from their first 25 matches, but Sherwood’s arrival coincided with speedy improvements at the sharp end and, most importantly, huge wins over the likes of West Brom, Sunderland and old club Spurs. A momentous Wembley win over Liverpool has given Villa fans a first FA Cup final in 15 years to look forward to.

9) Arsene Wenger

It’s getting a little tiresome talking about another season of same old for Arsenal, though like last year they face the prospect of FA Cup glory with a final against Aston Villa to look forward to next weekend.

They’ve achieved four fewer points than last season’s fourth-placed finish, however, and this is now their 10th consecutive season finishing outside the top two.

Post-Christmas, their form was terrific – a monkey-shedding victory at Manchester City contributing to the Gunners taking 36 of a possible 39 points after defeat at Southampton – and while this season does feel like progress in some ways, the north Londoners were never in the title race after a sluggish start.

10) Dick Advocaat

His tenure may prove to be short and sweet – he's already spoken of his spell at the club in the past tense – but the Dutchman has done the job he was brought in to do; keeping Sunderland safe for another year.

The Wearsiders had lost six in 10 before Advocaat was parachuted in, but were beaten in just two of his first eight at the helm. A derby victory over Newcastle was followed by home humiliation against Palace, but the experienced ex-Rangers boss organised his team for a five-game unbeaten run that saw them safe, sealed with a vital goalless draw at Arsenal. Perhaps most incredibly, he even managed to oversee Danny Graham’s first ever Black Cats goal at the 28th attempt against Everton.

11) Louis van Gaal

Hardly a consistently impressive debut season for the straight-talking Dutchman, but a bare-minimum top-four berth has at least given Manchester United fans the prospect of Champions League football returning to Old Trafford next season. Despite blowing £150 million on the likes of Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Ander Herrera, United relied heavily on the aerial abilities of last season’s verbal punchbag Marouane Fellaini – not overly commendable, nor sustainable if they’re to ruffle feathers properly next season. A pass, but also a 'could do better'.

12) Mauricio Pochettino

It was certainly a mixed first season for Pochettino. The Argentine thought he was leaving Southampton for a more ambitious project in north London, but he’s failed to improve Spurs’ tired status as sad onlookers gazing longingly at the top four, although fifth place in a 'transitional' season isn't a bad showing. Their European campaign was a disappointment, although 'MoPo' does deserve credit for taking Spurs to the League Cup final and (eventually) giving PFA Young Player of the Year Harry Kane the chance to thrive. Spurs do at least appear to be moving in the right direction.

13) Brendan Rodgers

For a large part of this season it looked like Rodgers would feature high on a list like this. Sure, Liverpool were never in the title race but they were never going to recover from Luis Suarez’s exit easily, and couldn’t foresee Daniel Sturridge missing almost the entire season. But the top four was in sight, and Rodgers had successfully installed a daring 3-4-3 formation with good results. Then it all went wrong. Bombing in the Champions League was followed by a swift exit in the Europa, and despite bouncing back with a terrific win over Manchester City, the Reds contrived to lose the games they really couldn’t afford to thereafter: Manchester United, Arsenal and Aston Villa in the cup semis. Rodgers’ weak transfer activity was exposed, and the Anfield outfit crawled their way to finishing sixth after getting hammered 6-1 by Stoke on the last day. With Raheem Sterling unconvinced he can realise his ambitions at Anfield too, Rodgers is in trouble. 

14) Sam Allardyce

It's the end of the road for Big Sam at West Ham after another season of mid-table mediocrity. It could have been much worse, but you can understand why Hammers’ fans want more with Southampton, Swansea and Stoke all finishing comfortably ahead of them. Allardyce promised it this season because he absolutely had to – and in fairness he delivered that by seven points and a place in the table, plus a route to the Europa League via the Fair Play standings. But the Hammers were fourth after 17 matches and won only three of the 21 games after that. He’ll leave unpopular, but he really hasn't done a terrible job.

15) Sean Dyche

Burnley’s grunting gruffalo was always onto a loser with the squad he brought up from the Championship, but his work in the transfer market (or lack of) never really gave the Clarets much of a chance to keep their heads above water. Sure, he didn’t have a blank chequebook at his disposal or anything close to it, but it’s also highly unlikely that his hands were tied so much that he could only bring in the underwhelming likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz, Steven Reid and Marvin Sordell either. Burnley netted only 28 goals all season, managing just two in their last nine matches, while only three players netted more than twice. There were some good moments, but the reality is that Dyche's team just weren't up to it.  

16) Manuel Pellegrini

A sorry title defence has put Pellegrini’s job at risk, and not without good reason. It doesn’t feel unfair to suggest Manchester City lack a short-to-mid-term plan (their academy is looking promising for the long run), with their ageing squad having failed to keep pace with Chelsea since mid-January and another summer of hard thought on its way. If they could count on Golden Boot winner Sergio Aguero staying fit they may have made things more interesting, but relying on the brilliant Argentine to do so is like hoping Kenny won’t get killed in South Park. City were the only club who never fielded a team with an average age of under 28 (Chelsea’s average XI ranked 11th), but with that in mind, buying young still won’t necessarily solve all of their problems – see Eliaquim Mangala. The cups were largely disastrous too: more Champions League disappointment at the hands of Barça, plus poor domestic exits to Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

17) Roberto Martinez

It was always going to be incredibly difficult for Everton to achieve anything like their fifth-placed finish of last season, but this year’s efforts have fallen well short of the mark. Mistakes at the back have been supplemented with an often-painful inability to trouble teams at the other end, and although they ended the season with a far more respectable six wins from 10, there’s no getting away from the fact that Martinez has taken the Toffees backwards this term. Everton’s European adventures stretched a thin squad, but Ross Barkley has seemingly regressed, while the budget-blowing £30 million transfer of Romelu Lukaku perhaps looks ill-advised in hindsight. More strength in depth needed next season.

18) Steve Bruce

Well, this definitely wasn’t supposed to happen. A season that started in the Europa League and facilitated optimistic signings like Abel Hernandez, Robert Snodgrass, Michael Dawson, Jake Livermore and Mo Diame, ended catastrophically for Bruce in relegation. In truth, it’s not all his fault – Snodgrass got crocked in August, Diame followed suit after a promising start, Hernandez has netted only four goals and Livermore was banned for the final two matches. It never rains, Steve. That said, Hull dropped thanks to poor results against their fellow basement dwellers: four points from 10 games against Burnley, Leicester, West Brom, West Ham and Newcastle, with results against Villa and Sunderland cancelling each other out. A spirited goalless draw against Manchester United wasn't enough in their last game. 

19) Chris Ramsey

Perhaps harsh after taking the wheel of a sinking ship crewed by half-arsed mercenaries, but in reality the R’s boss didn’t do anything to justify a higher position. He’s a good bloke, clearly, and a sensible choice to lead QPR into a new era of thoughtfulness, but in the end his west Londoners sunk without a trace. Tony Fernandes and Harry Redknapp can again shoulder the majority of blame after repeating exactly the same blunders that cost QPR last time, leaving Ramsey with a tough repair job he couldn’t fix. But three wins from 15 matches – one immediately after relegation was confirmed – was a poor return. 


20) John Carver

It was hard going, but Carver somehow managed to almost get his boyhood club relegated. When the Tyneside native took charge after Pardew’s exit for Palace, the Magpies were 10th and as many points clear of the drop zone. In the end they went into the final day needing a win or relying on Manchester United to do them a favour at Hull after a horrendous run of form which saw them win just three of Carver’s 19 matches in charge – crucially, against West Ham on the last day – losing eight in a row for only the second time in their history and finding themselves on the end of woeful results against QPR (1-2), Leicester (0-3), Sunderland (0-1), Everton (0-3) and Man City (0-5). Carver calling out Mike Williamson for getting sent off on purpose against Leicester was the highlight of a period marred by poor form and fan protests against the Ashley regime. The poor old dog wanted putting out of his misery in February yet still, brilliantly, labelled himself the “best coach in the Premier League” after that losing streak. Painful stuff.

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