Sam Allardyce knows what he’s doing, Part XVI

One of the hallmarks of good coaching is knowing how to manage a game. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the United States, but I pay special attention to what coaches do at the end of games. In baseball, basketball, and American football, coaches try to control every aspect of the closing stages of a game by stopping play, making substitutions, and using any other trick to either prolong or bring a rapid end to the contest. So how much do soccer coaches do this? To me, an important marker of a good coach is knowing how to kill…
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Claudio Ranieri, best manager in the Premier League?

Yesterday Claudio Ranieri scooped the English Premier League’s manager of the month award, and few would dispute that he deserved it. In fact, here at NYA we’d give him a manager of the season award for the matches played so far. NYA’s experimental manager ratings put him well ahead of the pack. This means that Ranieri has apparently achieved much more than the ability of his squad suggested was possible. Taking luck out of the picture – and he’s had some of that, too – Leicester has overachieved relative to their quality in a way that may indeed be sustainable….
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Chronicle of a sacking foretold

Followers of this blog – and my Twitter feed – will know the story by now. In June, I tweeted that Swansea City was extremely fortunate to have finished 8th in the Premier League last season. In early August, I showed that Garry Monk was indeed a lucky manager who had done a subpar job in his first season. In late August, I suggested that Swansea’s first four matches of the new season had been atypically good and asked whether something had changed. Today, there is a change: Monk is out. I can’t say whether this was the right decision for Swansea,…
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