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Premier League: pre-season managerial changes

Now that Euro 2020 is over, and after all the excitement, football isn’t coming home, attention turns back to domestic football – and the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season. The action gets underway on Friday August 13th and already clubs are doing as much shrewd business as possible to get the upper-hand when it comes to earning a place in the English Premier League odds.

It’s not just new players looking to bolster team’s chances of success, it’s managers too. So, while the managerial merry-go-round is bound to be in full motion once the campaign kicks off, let’s take a look at some of the changes at the helm so far.

Crystal Palace

Of course, at the end of last season, it was announced that Roy Hodgson would step down as manager of the Eagles, and he was given a guard of honour in their final match against Liverpool at Anfield.

Earlier this month, Palace unveiled their new manager – former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira. Following his retirement, the Frenchman transitioned into a coaching career, starting at Manchester City’s Academy, before spells with New York City and Nice. He has joined the South London outfit on a three-year-deal and will look to better their previous two season finishes of 14th.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Nuno Espírito Santo has done a remarkable job at Wolves. From leading them to the Championship title in 2017-18, to back-to-back 7th place finishes in the Premier League, the first one coming in their debut back to the top flight. He secured Europa League football as the West Midlands outfit reached the quarter-finals, but was not able to replicate those highs last season. He left by mutual consent at the end of May.

And as one Portuguese leaves Molineux, another arrives – with Bruno Lage taking charge. The former Benfica boss had been lined up, subject to a work permit and has previous experience of English football in his roles as assistant manager to Carlos Carvalhal at both Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City. He won the Primeira Liga title in his debut season at Benfica.

Tottenham Hotspur

And the former Wolves boss has swapped the midlands for the capital, joining Spurs – on a contract running until 2023. There was of course, late drama at the end of last season when Jose Mourinho was sacked after a dip in form. Former player Ryan Mason replaced him in interim charge, and managed to guide Spurs to four wins in their remaining six matches to secure seventh place and qualification for the Europa Conference League play-off round.


Carlo Ancelotti left Everton last month, in order to pursue the head coach role at Real Madrid – the club he previously managed between 2013 and 2015. He had originally joined the blue half of Merseyside on a four-and-a-half year deal.

The Italian is replaced by another former Los Blancos boss – Rafa Benitez. Of course, the Spaniard famously managed Everton’s most bitter rivals, Liverpool, winning the Champions League and FA Cup during his stint at the red half of the city. He becomes the first manager in the modern era – and the only since William Edward Barclay in the 1890s to manage both clubs. As expected, there’s plenty of fan backlash, but his track record is impressive – and if he can improve on last year’s finish, there will be no complaints!


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