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Managing the multifaceted high stakes in the Premier League

27/10/2016

/ by Biyi Akangbe
This multifaceted article explores the story of the season so far, for the new set of elite Premier League managers. The first part involves both Manchester teams, while the second focuses on Antonio Conte's Chelsea alongside what they have in common with both Merseyside clubs. The final part of the piece gazes into the feel good factor Red and White side of North London. However like we all knew, the Champions have had their work cut out in more realistic terms than that of five months ago, when they defied the odds of latest Soccer lines.

From the City of Manchester, right to the England Capital and across the feel good factor at Merseyside, the English Premier League is experiencing a lasting fairy-tale of extraordinary quality, dating from the mother of all fables and fiction we witnessed from last season's Leicester City moment.

Now these harsh realities have have been relentless since the start of the season, largely due to the influx of the remarkable set of managers and players that have been brought over the summer, to ply their trade in the English top-flight.

The "third homecoming" of Jose Mourinho, as well as the much anticipated arrival of Pep Guardiola into Premier League bandwagon has been matched with the added influx of the onetime Serie "A" duo of Walter Mazzarri and Antonio Comte.

Alongside the experienced Premier League bosses (Arsène Wenger, Mauricio Pochettino, Claude Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp) whom these EPL freshers met on ground, it almost seems like the League just wouldn't be able to afford more top managerial spaces in the top half of the table, in the nearest future, except any of them unfortunately gets the booth!

This therefore shows the magnitude of the high stakes around the competitive edge of the mullion-dollar League. Having made this fantasy turn into real ecstacy, the actions of managers have all played a starring role in each of the following observations:

How much time does Mourinho have? 

At fulltime of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Southampton in at Old Trafford's curtains raiser, observers predictably began to applaud Jose Mourinho for the team he had quickly assembled, within three months of his Manchester adventure.

These pundits also added the fact that the team's spine has been appropriately strengthened to form a two horse title-race with Manchester City, in the wake of three big money acquisitions - Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovich & Paul Pogba.

After those first three games in August, the fairy tale looked to be rewriting a successful script reminiscent of Jose's first arrival into the League in 2005, but roll on into Matchday 10, the big spenders haven't yet fully recovered from the dodgy form they've sustained in the aftermath of the 2-1 Derby loss to Manchester City back in September.

Quite strange to the kind of instant impacts he makes at any new job he picks, the Portuguese is already under so much pressure, having not yet established who forms his first team. The stakes of time and success are high at the Theatre of dreams and a drastic resolve could be the only cards Jose has left to play, cards that could & should involve the return of high stakes players - Wayne Rooney and Henrick Mkhitaryan into the puzzling equation in the red side of Manchester.

Pep itching to taking it all in

As honest as the former Barcelona FC is, Pep Guardiola knows he doesn't trust some of the established personnel at his disposal. However, this realisation will do the 45-year old no favours, as he keeps experiencing irritating results, borne out of nonchalant defending and terrible luck at the other end of the pitch.

Again, pundits and the world football fan base were made to believe that his Manchester City team were absolutely untouchable, almost invisible, devoid of any major frailties, after the first ten games in all competitions. Fast forward to mid-Autumn and the honest evaluation spells "crisis", despite all the philosophical and exciting dozes of "Pep talk" in the dressing room and the training ground.

Unlike Mourinho and United' demands, Pep seems to have more freedom of time to heal the team's immediate wounds and get them back on track to the level required appropriate enough to match the superior quality of his former employers at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, especially considering the fact that City expect the Spanish boss to compete with both European power houses and trailblaze an unprecedented path of European glory in the blue end of Manchester! 
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