The Premier League is finally back after a coronavirus-enforced break of 100 days. Assuming Liverpool go on to collect their first title of the Premier League era, many Reds fans will consider Jurgen Klopp to be one of the greatest managers in the competition’s history. But which bosses provide the elite company the charismatic German is seeking to join? Here’s our list of the 5 greatest Premier League managers.
5 greatest Premier League managers of all time
5. Claudio Ranieri
Some people consider Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League triumph in 2015-16 to be a fluke. But they are wrong.
Claudio Ranieri had already won silverware at five different clubs before becoming the Foxes’ boss but it is his achievement at the King Power Stadium that will be his career’s crowning glory.
Leicester benefited from many of the regular title contenders having poor seasons but they finished the campaign a huge 10 points clear at the top, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez unplayable at times.
Ranieri masterminded Leicester’s success with canny man-management and cleverly handling expectations to keep the pressure off his players. He deserves massive credit and a place on our list of the greatest Premier League managers.
4. Arsene Wenger
It is a shame that Arsene Wenger was virtually hounded out of Arsenal by unhappy fans who were concerned about the club’s drift but he is undoubtedly a Premier League great. Wenger, who spent 22 years at the club, is credited with revolutionising the diet of Premier League players and his impact at the Gunners simply cannot be understated.
Just two years into Wenger’s reign, he won his first double, a trick they repeated in 2002. However, it is the 2003-04 season that Wenger’s Arsenal will be remembered for. Inspired by the brilliant Thierry Henry, they went an entire Premier League season without suffering defeat become known as the Invincibles.
Wenger won seven FA Cups with Arsenal but it is a blot on his career copybook that European success eluded him, the Gunners having lost the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona.
3. Jose Mourinho
Matching Wenger on three Premier League titles is Jose Mourinho, who is looking to rebuild his reputation at Tottenham after a chastening spell in charge of Manchester United.
Mourinho was truly box office on his arrival at Chelsea and the Portuguese, fresh off Champions League success with Porto, made an instant impact after dubbing himself a “Special One”. Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles in his first two years in charge.
After successful stints at Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho made a triumphant return to Stamford Bridge where he won the league again, as well as collecting a third League Cup crown.
Mourinho’s charisma appears to have faded and he is moodier than most managers these days but he is among the greatest Premier League managers for sure.
2. Pep Guardiola
Mourinho’s old rival Pep Guardiola has to make the cut, even though it took the former Barcelona boss some time to start making a real impression at Manchester City.
After a trophyless maiden campaign at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola then led City to the Premier League title in record-breaking fashion, setting landmarks for the most points and most goals.
City were pushed much harder by Liverpool in the following season but still retained the title, becoming the first Premier League team to do so in a decade, after winning their last 14 matches.
Guardiola’s City have played some of the most beautiful football the Premier League has seen, though it should also be noted he has had plenty of cash to lavish on an already strong squad.
1. Sir Alex Ferguson
There can be no arguments when it comes to the greatest ever Premier League manager. It must be Sir Alex Ferguson for his amazing achievements in charge of Manchester United.
Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford in 1986 and was famously close to being sacked but for a Mark Robins goal at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup that earned him a stay of execution.
United’s patience with the Glasgow-born boss was richly rewarded as they came to dominate the Premier League era, winning 13 titles as well as five FA Cups, most of which came with a homegrown squad of academy stars such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
While United arguably should have enjoyed more European success, a brace of Champions League crowns is nothing to be sniffed at. Their incredible late comeback against Bayern Munich in the 1999 final was one of the most memorable football moments ever.
That treble success earned Ferguson a knighthood and it is yet to be repeated in England. Comfortably top of our list of the greatest Premier League managers and it’s tough to imagine him ever being dethroned.
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