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Mar 28, 2014

Prem's top coaching performances

The 2013-14 Premier League season began with a rush of excitement over the five new managers who were set to take over their respective clubs. That excitement quickly turned to dread in some cases, and since the season began eight coaches have been relieved of their managerial duties.

But in other cases, there have been some very good coaching performances, highlighted by the manager’s ability to recognize particular matchups, identify and exploit the strengths of a specific player, and make strong decisions in the transfer market.

A prime example is Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, whose strategic deployment of multiple formations has maximized the team’s attacking talent and pushed the Reds back into contention for the Prem title.

Rodgers leads my list of the Prem’s top coaching performances of the 2013-14 season, based on how much potential the manager has been able to extract out of his team and translate onto the field and in the table standings. 

Brendan Rodgers -- Liverpool (68 points, second place)

Only Barcelona has scored more than Liverpool’s 84 goals this season, and Brendan Rodgers has created a team that can do damage in a number of different ways. Liverpool leads the league with eight goals from counterattacks and 20 goals from set pieces, which implies that even if opponents keep numbers back to protect against a counter, they still struggle to keep pace with all of the movement that Liverpool’s attack provides.

Rodgers uses Liverpool’s dynamic attackers to his ...