Now this will be a contentious piece, because the English Premier League has seen some of the best managers in the game, with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Louis van Gaal, and Rafa Benitez having stints in the top flight.
Managing a club at the top level demands a manager to be tactically savvy as well as display leadership in the locker room, and to achieve at the top, a manager must possess a good balance of a variety of characteristics.
The Premier League has produced some of the game’s best gaffers, and here’s our top five:
5. Claudio Ranieri
Prior to the commencement of the 2015-16 season, commentators and fans from all over the world placed their bets on either Chelsea or Manchester City to win the title.
By the season’s end, it was Leicester City under Claudio Ranieri who had written probably football’s greatest fairytale.
Ranieri’s incredible feat earned him the Premier League Manager of the Year, the LMA Manager of the Year, the European Coach of the Year, and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (coach) honors. Additionally, it earned him the FIFA Football Coach of the Year honor. Additionally, he was inducted into Italy’s Football Hall of Fame.
He may not have been the league’s finest manager, but he accomplished one of the league’s greatest exploits with the Foxes.
4. Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho spent his prime years were spent with Chelsea in West London, and his entrance in the Premier League in 2004 ushered in a sea change in the league’s top half.
Between 2004 and 2006, Mourinho’s marauding Chelsea side steamrolled to back-to-back titles, swatting away the Arsene Wenger-Sir Alex Ferguson stranglehold.
Not only did the Portuguese end Chelsea’s 50-year drought for a top-flight championship, but they also won the FA Cup and two League Cups during his tenure.
After his unceremonious dismissal in the 2007-08 season, Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in 2013 and helped the club win another league title and League Cup in 2014-15.
Mourinho would almost certainly have been rated higher in the league if he had stayed at a club for an extended period, and after being sacked from Chelsea for the second time, the former Porto manager was appointed manager of Manchester United.
He led the (weak) team to a second-place finish in the 2017-18 season, their greatest post-Ferguson league performance.
Mourinho’s most recent Premier League tenure was with Tottenham Hotspur, when he was terminated after 17 months and no titles.
3. Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is one of only four top-flight managers who have won more than two league championships.
The Spaniard transformed Manchester from red to blue in five seasons with the Cityzens after arriving in 2016 following phenomenally successful tenures in Spain and Germany.
Guardiola promptly replaced an aging City squad with new blood in his first season, a move that paid rewards the following season, when he won his first English league title with a record-breaking 100 points.
Guardiola’s sky-blue men won the domestic treble in the 2018-19 season — the Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup – becoming the first team in England to achieve it.
The 51-year-old won his third league title with the club on May 11, 2021, and with the Spaniard completely backed by the City owners, not just financially but also in terms of managerial stability, there is no reason why the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man cannot go on to become the league’s best ever.
2. Arsene Wenger
Would this list be complete without the mention of monsieur Wenger?
Arsene Wenger stayed at Arsenal for an incredible 22 years, winning three league crowns and a record seven FA Cups.
But probably his most notable and crucial accomplishment was winning the league without losing a single game in 2003-04, with a roster brimming with talent, including Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, and Robert Pires.
‘The Invincibles’, as they are famously known, concluded the season with 26 victories and 12 draws.
Regrettably, it was also Wenger’s final league title with Arsenal, but while league victory eluded him, Cup triumph arrived unexpectedly late.
Between 2013 and 2017, Wenger won three FA Cups, becoming the most successful manager in the Cup’s long and famous history.
1. Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson is not just the best manager in Premier League history, but probably the greatest in the game’s history.
Ferguson won a record 13 league titles during his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, and he also won three straight Premier League championships twice — from 1998 to 2001 and again from 2006 to 2009.
The former Aberdeen manager signed an oath to ‘knock Liverpool off their perch’ during his spell at Old Trafford, and he did just that!
He surpassed Liverpool’s tally of 18 league titles by concluding his career at the club in 2012-13, when United won their record 20th title.
Five FA Cups and four League Cups, in addition to his 13 league championships, demonstrate his dominance in English domestic football.