We’re two months into the Premiership season now and it’s been an eventful start to…
Another week, another exciting round of games in the Scottish top flight. The final round of Premiership fixtures before the upcoming international break didn’t disappoint in the slightest, with no fewer than 26 goals scored across the weekend’s six matches.
Rangers became the first side to overcome Hearts this season thanks to some calamitous defending from the visitors, Hibs and Celtic fans both celebrated 6-0 wins over Hamilton and St Johnstone respectively and at Pittodrie, Aberdeen battered St Mirren 4-1 with Sam Cosgrove getting on the scoresheet twice.
The previous week’s results – both in the Premiership and in Celtic and Rangers’ case, the Europa League too – mean that it’s time to update our manager power rankings. You can view our Premiership rankings below.
As well as tracking each managers’ progress in the league, this season we’ve broadened our scope and are now ranking managers based on their team’s performances across all competitions. Our manager power rankings, including cup competitions, are below.
Hibs went into Saturday’s clash with Hamilton in good spirits, having won their last three Premiership games. Neil Lennon’s side were expected to win but did so in an exceptionally convincing manner, firing six goals past a hapless Accies side. Two long-range strikes from Stevie Mallan were accompanied with goals from Martin Boyle, Emerson Hyndman, Florian Kamberi and a late own goal from Accies’ Matthew Kilgallon without reply.
Lennon gained a point in our rankings as his side were the pre-match favourites, leaving the Northern Irishman with a score of +2 overall. Derek McInnes remains a single point ahead of the ex-Celtic manager, but both clubs face tricky away matches when we return from the international break – Hibs travel to Celtic Park, while Aberdeen will face Hearts at Tynecastle. A positive result for either manager would be enough to create some breathing space between them.
Things aren’t quite as rosy for the Hamilton Accies boss. Martin Canning was docked a point for the defeat, leaving him on -6: just a single point ahead of twelfth-placed Neil McCann. Canning will no doubt be worried about not only his team’s performance but also with their overall run of form of late, having lost four of their last five Premiership games.
Livingston travelled to Fir Park on Saturday after an eye-catching run of form that culminated in them overcoming Rangers in their previous match. Motherwell went into the game looking for their second league win of the season but in the end, both sides had to settle for a point. Ryan Bowman opened the scoring early in the first half but Kyle Jacobs equalised in the second half with a stupendous free-kick from distance. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here. The match ended one apiece but not before Carl McHugh was sent off for receiving two yellow cards.
Livingston were expected to lose Saturday’s game so Gary Holt gains a point in our rankings, leaving the Livi manager with a score of +12. Holt is now tied with Craig Levein in first place at the top of our rankings; in the six league games since he was appointed, the 45-year-old has overseen four wins and two draws. If the Lions boss can maintain this level of performance across the season, then he could end up running away with our manager power rankings this campaign.
Stephen Robinson, on the other hand, will look to the point gained for the result as a step in the right direction for his team but the Northern Irishman has been docked a point in our table. The Steelmen’s poor start to the season has resulted in Robinson slipping to tenth place overall with -4. Robinson will have the chance to move back up the table if he can get a win over St Johnstone in Motherwell’s next fixture.
Before Sunday’s kick-off at Ibrox, plenty of fans were braced for a tight game that could go either way. Rangers have been in imperious form at home and with Hearts unbeaten after 13 games in all competitions this season, supporters from both sides expected a tight game. It wasn’t to be, however. Rangers raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to an Alfredo Morelos double and a tap-in from Ryan Kent, with the Hearts defence looking particularly vulnerable. Jimmy Dunne scored his second goal of the season but it was no more than a consolation goal and Rangers finished the match as worthy 3-1 winners.
Steven Gerrard was rewarded with a point in our rankings for the win, as Rangers were the bookies’ favourites before the match kicked off. The 38-year-old now has a tally of +6 and finds himself in third place – still some way off Levein and Holt, but maintaining a one point gap between himself and Steve Clarke.
For Levein, the defeat means that for the second time in three weeks, the Hearts boss loses a point in our rankings. Levein is now tied with Holt at the summit of our table and will probably need a win against Aberdeen at Tynecastle in his next match if he’s not to fall behind for the first time this season.
Dundee went into Saturday’s match at Dens Park hoping that their win over Hamilton the previous week would act as a catalyst and would prove to be a turning point in their season. The Dark Blues took an early lead against Kilmarnock when Adil Nabi opened the scoring in the first half. The away side equalised through Andy Boyle’s own goal then took the lead in controversial fashion. Jordan Jones went down in the box with no contact, with Eamonn Brophy tucking away the resultant penalty. Greg Stewart could have scored a third but missed his penalty, with the match finishing 2-1 to Kilmarnock.
The defeat means that McCann loses another point in our rankings, staying at the bottom of our table with -7. There’s only a point separating McCann and Canning, however: a good result in their next game against Livingston, and McCann could leapfrog the Accies boss off the foot of our rankings.
Steve Clarke recorded his third win in as many games and was rewarded with a point in our rankings, giving the Kilmarnock manager a total of +5. Clarke is hot on the tails of Gerrard and should the Rangers boss slip up, Clarke will be ready to take his place in third.
After a disappointing performance away to Salzburg on Thursday night, Celtic travelled to McDiarmid Park determined to prove their worth and absolutely battered St Johnstone for ninety minutes. Celtic had 30 shots, with 15 on target, producing six goals without reply from the Saints. Forrest scored four goals in a superb display, with Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor the other goalscorers for the champions.
Brendan Rodgers lost a point for the midweek defeat in the Europa League but regained it for the win over St Johnstone, so the former Liverpool boss remains where he was on 0 overall. Rodgers still has lots to do to catch up with his cross-town rival Gerrard but the Northern Irishman will no doubt be delighted with the nature of his team’s performance.
The defeat cost Tommy Wright a point in our rankings and the 55-year-old continues to slide down our table after a disappointing string of performances. Saints have now lost three games on the bounce and need to get back to winning ways soon if they’re to avoid getting dragged into the relegation dogfight.
Aberdeen hosted St Mirren on Saturday afternoon with the away side still looking for their first win under their new manager Oran Kearney. The Dons took the lead early in the first half via Sam Cosgrove’s header and conceded a second just five minutes later; a 25-yard beauty from Connor MacLennan on his full debut. Max Low grabbed a third and Cosgrove bagged another before Simeon Jackson scored on his St Mirren debut, with the match finishing 4-1.
McInnes gained a point in our rankings as his team were the pre-match favourites, leaving the 47-year-old in sixth place overall. The Dons boss remains narrowly ahead of Lennon and Rodgers but one poor result could see McInnes tumble down the pecking order.
Kearney left Pittodrie still searching for his first win and can’t even seem to get a point these days, with the Buddies having lost their last three games now. The St Mirren manager’s reign started well with a goalless draw against Celtic but he should be worried about his side’s form since. He’s on -2 just now but if performances don’t improve, that number is only going to decrease.