We only had four games in matchday 14 of the Premiership, but still got our…
Matchday 22 saw the Premiership sign off in style before the winter break.
Partick Thistle moved off the foot of the table with a 2-0 win over Ross County, Motherwell’s miserable form continued with a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Hamilton Accies and Celtic and Rangers played out a goalless draw in the season’s second Old Firm clash.
Before managers (and fans) switch their attention to the January transfer window, we thought we’d take one last look at our manager power rankings, where managers are rewarded for gaining unexpected results.
Kilmarnock faced a difficult trip to Easter Road on Saturday but can hold their heads high after leaving with a credible 1-1 draw. Kris Boyd opened the scoring within the first two minutes but Oli Shaw pegged Killie back in the first half.
Hibs were favourites before the game so Steve Clarke gains two points in our rankings, giving him +21 overall. This is the first time this season a manager has accrued more than 20 points in our rankings – yet another indicator of the fantastic job Clarke has done at Rugby Park so far.
Neil Lennon, meanwhile, was docked two points for the draw and remains one point above last spot, with an overall score of -5. Hibs go into the majority of games as favourites so their failure to win continues to cost Lennon dearly in our rankings – a couple of new faces next month might help Hibs to fulfil their potential.
Motherwell went into Saturday’s encounter with Hamilton without a win in their previous seven Premiership outings and now that sorry run has stretched to eight. Craig Tanner gave the home side an early lead but goals from Dougie Imrie, Rakish Bingham and Greg Docherty gave Martin Canning’s side all three points.
Stephen Robinson lost three points in our rankings and now has +10 overall, equal with Neil McCann in joint-fourth. It’s been quite a fall from grace from the Northern Irishman – Robinson has spent more time at the top of our power rankings than any other manager this season.
Canning reduced Clarke’s lead at the summit to four points with the win and goes into the winter break in second place overall. If the Accies boss can continue in the same vein going forward then Hamilton shouldn’t have to worry too much about the prospect of relegation.
St Johnstone’s dire home form continued this weekend when McCann’s Dundee visited McDiarmid Park. The Saints have now failed to win their last seven home fixtures and have scored just once in that time. Marcus Haber gave the visitors an early lead and A-Jay Leitch-Smith confirmed the victory, which was helped by Richard Foster’s first-half dismissal.
Before the match, Tommy Wright had +10 points and McCann +7: Saturday’s result has seen the managers swap positions, with McCann now ahead by three with +10. January looks to be an important time for both coaches to acquire fresh recruits.
Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen hosted Hearts this weekend but the game finished as a goalless stalemate. Kyle Lafferty was sent off late on for the visitors but they managed to hold on to keep a sixth consecutive clean sheet.
Craig Levein was rewarded for the draw with two points in our rankings but still finds himself rooted to the bottom with -6. The gap between the Hearts boss and Lennon has reduced to a single point but Levein remains bottom over the winter break.
Partick Thistle secured a huge result for the club and moved off the bottom of the Premiership table with a 2-0 win over relegation rivals Ross County. Kris Doolan and Connor Sammon got the goals for the Jags as they climbed out of the relegation zone, switching positions with County in the table.
The result gives Alan Archibald +14 overall in our rankings and means the league’s longest-serving manager goes into the break in third place overall, three points behind Canning in second. Archibald will surely now be focusing on bringing in defensive recruits in the transfer window.
Celtic failed to overcome Rangers at Parkhead in the weekend’s early kick off and were held to a goalless draw. The Gers could have won the game, too, if Alfredo Morelos hadn’t spurned two great second half chances. The result means Graeme Murty has now played two fixtures at Celtic Park and remains unbeaten there.
Brendan Rodgers was docked two points for the draw and has zero overall now. A superior playing squad means the Hoops rightly go into every fixture as favourites and Rodgers is paying the price for his side’s sloppiness. Celtic still sit top the league, but they’re not as all-conquering as they were in the previous campaign.
Murty would have left Parkhead with his head held high with a respectable point gained. The Rangers boss has -1 overall – it now remains to be seen how well the board will back him in the transfer window.