It’s week two of our manager power rankings and with the dust of the League…
And so it begins. The Scottish Premiership 2018/19 is officially underway and we can all look forward to what promises to be a captivating season in Scotland’s top flight, full of entertaining football and off-field shenanigans. Let the madness commence.
The opening round of fixtures made for interesting viewing with plenty of talking points. Aberdeen salvaged a draw at home to Rangers to deny Steven Gerrard a win on his Premiership debut, Hearts came from behind to hammer Hamilton 4-1 and in Paisley, St Mirren marked their return to Scottish football’s top table with a 2-1 win over Dundee.
With the latest results both domestically and in Europe we’ve tallied up how each manager is getting on and updated our manager power rankings. If you want to know how it works, it’s all explained here. The current standings are detailed below.
This season, we’re tracking managers’ progress in the league and separately across all competitions. After the first round of fixtures, our Premiership power rankings look like this. In a weekend where five of the six pre-match favourites won their opening matches, it’s fair to say our league rankings aren’t particularly descriptive yet so we’ll focus on managers’ performances across all competitions for now.
St Mirren hosted Dundee on Saturday afternoon and the match looked to be heading to a draw with the score tied at a goal apiece, until Ryan Flynn took advantage of a goalkeeping howler to set up Danny Mullen. The striker scored his second goal of the game, securing the win for the Buddies and giving them the perfect start to the new league season.
Some St Mirren fans weren’t concerned when the team struggled against lower league opposition in the league cup but five matches in Alan Stubbs remains unbeaten and has overcome Premiership opposition on two occasions so far this season. The Paisley side were the bookies’ pre-match favourites, so the former Hibernian boss was rewarded with a solitary point, giving him a total of +7.
St Mirren face a daunting trip to Ibrox in their next league encounter before an equally difficult away day to Aberdeen in the League Cup. Stubbs might be top for now, but should he lose his next two games he’ll almost certainly be knocked off his perch.
After guiding Hibernian through to the third qualifying round of the Europa League by eliminating Asteras Tripolis most recently, it’s fair to say that the Hibees haven’t let transfer speculation around key players – as well as important players actually leaving the club – affect their performances on the pitch. Hibs followed up on their European success by comfortably seeing off Motherwell 3-0 on Sunday, courtesy of goals from Stevie Mallan, Oli Shaw and Martin Boyle.
Lennon gained a point in our rankings for the win over Motherwell and another for Hibs’ midweek away draw with Asteras Tripolis, leaving the Northern Irishman in second place overall with a score of +5. Should Lennon mastermind a shock win over Molde in the Europa League this Thursday then the ex-Celtic boss will jump to the summit of our table.
After crashing out of the League Cup following an underwhelming string of results in the group stage, Hamilton’s poor form has now extended to the league. To their credit, Accies took the lead against Hearts on Saturday after Mickel Miller’s opener around the 17 minute mark. Peter Haring scored a double on his Premiership debut in response, and Steven Naismith and Steven MacLean piled on the misery for Accies as the match finished 4-1.
The defeat cost Martin Canning a point in our table and is now only one of two managers with a negative score overall. The Hamilton boss will be hoping that his side’s slow start isn’t indicative of the team’s performance over the coming season, but it’s certainly been a difficult start for Accies.
Craig Levein, on the other hand, gained a point for his team’s win, keeping pace with the likes of Steve Clarke and Brendan Rodgers on +3 in joint third place. Had Levein not fielded an ineligible player in the opening game of the season against Cove Rangers – and suffered a two point deduction as a result – then the former Scotland boss would have been level with his crosstown rival Lennon.
After watching his side control much of the match on Sunday, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will be disappointed to leave Pittodrie with only a solitary point to show for his team’s efforts. Alfredo Morelos’ early dismissal was problematic for the visitors but the Gers eventually took the lead from the penalty spot via James Tavernier. It looked like Gerrard was going to mark his Premiership debut with an impressive win but 19-year-old David Anderson grabbed an equaliser in the dying embers of the game.
The draw rounds off a frustrating week for Gerrard. Sure, Rangers qualified for the next round of the Europa League but thanks to a late goal from Osijek, still found themselves in the nervy position where one careless mistake could have resulted in elimination. Gerrard was deducted a point for the draw against the Czech Republic side and another for the one against Aberdeen, as on both occasions Rangers were expected to win. The 38-year-old has slipped to ninth place overall with a tally of +2, tied with Motherwell’s Stephen Robinson.
Celtic began their quest for an eighth consecutive Premiership title with a routine 3-1 win over newcomers Livingston on Saturday afternoon. Goals from Tom Rogic, Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham sent the Hoops on their way to victory before Scott Robinson’s stoppage time consolation goal for Livi.
Brendan Rodgers lost a point in our rankings for Celtic’s draw away to Rosenborg but gained another for the 3-1 win over Livingston, having been favourites to win each game. The ex-Liverpool manager has +3 overall, leaving him tied with five others for third place.
Kenny Miller is one of those five and Saturday’s match was the first time the aging striker has tasted defeat as a manager. Miller will have a chance to rectify things and move further up the table with a win over Kilmarnock in Livi’s next Premiership fixture.
Kilmarnock lost their opening game of the season at home on penalties to Stubbs’ St Mirren but have rarely put a foot wrong since. Scott Boyd opened the scoring at Rugby Park on Saturday afternoon before Mikael Ndjoli’s spectacular late effort confirmed defeat for St Johnstone.
Killie’s win meant Steve Clarke was rewarded with a point in our table, whereas Tommy Wright was docked one, dropping below Clarke in the process. Only a single point separates the two coaches – the power rankings could easily look very different in a week’s time.