Rating the 10 managers to have won the Premier League title
Posted on November 27, 2019
Only 10 managers have tasted the ultimate success since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, owing largely to the serial success of a certain Scot at Old Trafford.
Remarkably no English manager is yet to win the country’s top flight since the formation of the Premier League, Howard Wilkinson at Leeds the last Englishman to have seen his side crowned champions in the season prior to the competition’s inaugural campaign.
That said, several coaching greats have plied their trade in English football in the years since, and we’ve decided to rate each of the exclusive eight title-winning managers.
Here is the Football Faithful‘s rating of the eight managers to win the Premier League, according to iSports API.
Sir Alex Ferguson
The Manchester United great would guide the club to the league title in the Premier League’s first-ever season, ending the club’s long title drought before overseeing two decades of domestic dominance.
During his 26-year dynasty at the club he would win 36 trophies, including a record-breaking 13 Premier League titles as he evolved his winning machine at Old Trafford.
Ferguson once famously said his greatest challenge was knocking arch-rivals Liverpool ‘off their f****** perch’, a promise he made good on as he eclipsed their 18 title landmark before retiring following United’s 20th league success in 2013.
From the iconic hairdryer to the manipulative mind games, they simply don’t make them like Fergie anymore, arguably the greatest manager in the history of the game.
The first side to challenge the dominance of Manchester United were Blackburn Rovers, who backed by Jack Walker’s millions began an ambitious project to conquer English football.
Guided by former Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish and propelled by the goals of Alan Shearer, Blackburn would deliver the ultimate success following a tantalising title race that would go down to the final day.
Dalglish had guided the club to promotion to the top flight and on to a Premier League title triumph, but his switch to a Director of Football position coincided with the club’s decline.
He would later enjoy less successful spells at Newcastle and Liverpool, though remains one of a select few managers to have won titles with two different English clubs, having won the old Division One three times in his first spell with Liverpool pre-Premier League.
An unknown upon his arrival at Highbury from Japanese football, Arsene Wenger would go on to become a revolutionary figure in the history of the Premier League.
The Frenchman would help end Arsenal’s famed drinking culture and introduced innovative sports science methods, whilst his ability to unearth unheralded gems from foreign soils helped him develop a formidable side in North London.
His early years would see him twice win a league and FA Cup double, before embarking on one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of English football by guiding Arsenal to an unbeaten season in 2003/04, becoming the first side in 115 years to complete a season without defeat.
Wenger would spend an incredible 26 years at the club, though his latter years were hindered financially by the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium and saw Arsenal endure a nine-year trophy drought, as per iSports API.
New challenges following billionaire takeovers of Chelsea and Manchester City also made silverware more difficult to obtain, though Wenger undoubtedly produced one of the Premier League’s great teams in the early 2000’s.
** Jose Mourinho**
From the moment Jose Mourinho declared himself as ‘The Special One’ at his unveiling as Chelsea manager, the Premier League sat up and took notice.
The charismatic Portuguese coach arrived at Stamford Bridge after guiding underdogs Porto to Champions League glory, and backed by Roman Abramovich’s millions turned Chelsea into a force in English football.
His first season saw Chelsea end a 50 year wait for a league title, remarkably conceding just 15 goals in the process, before back-to-back titles were secured the following year. However, as has been the way for much of Mourinho’s career, his spell was short, sweet and then a little sour and he departed in surprise circumstances in 2007.
Successful spells in Italy and Spain followed before a return to Chelsea, where he again guided the West London club to the league title. After leaving Stamford Bridge for a second time he would join rivals Manchester United, though despite League Cup and Europa League success a runners-up finish would be as good as it got at Old Trafford, Mourinho famously declaring their second-placed finish as amongst his greatest achievements.
Undoubtedly a brilliant manager who often gains the full respect and admiration of his players, however, Mourinho’s magic often fades a little too fast.
Few managers in European football possess a CV as impressive as that of Carlo Ancelotti, who has won league titles in four countries and lifted three Champions League trophies during an illustrious career in charge of some of the continent’s leading sides.
It was no surprise then that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich turned to the serial winner to take charge following unsuccessful spells under Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari, and the Italian certainly delivered instant results.
Ancelotti’s debut season began with the club winning the Community Shield, before he guided Chelsea to the club’s first ever domestic double, becoming the first team in the Premier League era to score over 100 goals as his attacking side pipped Manchester United to the title.
The following year, however, saw Chelsea finish without silverware and Abramovich’s trigger-happy nature was once again evident, sacking Ancelotti at the end of the 2010/11 campaign despite him boasting the third best win percentage in Premier League history, according to iSports API.
The second of four Italian’s to have lifted the Premier League title, Roberto Mancini will be an ever-popular figure at Manchester City after guiding the club to their first silverware since their billionaire takeover in 2008.
Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club catapulted City into the elite of English football, and Mancini was the winner who oversaw their transition to regular contenders for the game’s biggest prizes.
Having ended the longest trophy drought in the club’s history the previous season, Mancini would lead City to the Premier League title in the most dramatic conclusion to a season in history in 2011/12.
Needing to win to pip rivals Manchester United to the title, City trailed at home to QPR in stoppage-time before scoring twice late on to snatch the title on goal difference, Sergio Aguero immortalising himself in Premier League history with an iconic late winner.
He would, however, fail to build on that success and was sacked at the end of the following season, though his place in the club’s history is assured.
**Manuel Pellegrini **
The first and so far only non-European manager to win the Premier League title, Manuel Pellegrini was the second Manchester City manager to see his side crowned champions of England in 2013/14.
The former Real Madrid boss saw his side pip a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool to the title, Steven Gerrard’s now infamous slip handing City the title initiative and a flawless end of season run delivered the club’s second Premier League title.
Pellegrini would spend three unassuming years in charge at the Etihad and whilst always a likeable character, was never truly regarded as the man to take the club to the next level as they sought Champions League success.
Ushered out of the door and replaced by Pep Guardiola, he is currently in charge of West Ham where he has overseen an indifferent beginning to his time at the London Stadium.
Perhaps the hardest of the eight managers to rate, given his relatively mediocre Premier League career was crowned with arguably the biggest anomaly in the history of English football.
The former Chelsea boss was appointed as Leicester City manager in 2015, a decision which was questioned by many given the Italian’s relevant lack of success in recent roles.
With Leicester having performed a miraculous recovery to escape relegation the previous season many anticipated another season of struggle despite the new coach at the helm, though what followed will live long in the memory for football fans worldwide.
A strong start to the season saw Leicester build momentum, momentum which would not slow as Ranieri guided his team of underdogs to an unthinkable title triumph, the Foxes being crowned champions for the first time in their 132-year history despite being odds of 5000-1 at the season began.
Their success would not transfer to the following season, however, and Ranieri was sacked, later being appointed at Fulham but lasting less than four months after winning just three of his 17 games in charge.
Ranieri’s managerial career in the Premier League may be entirely forgettable, but for one unforgettable season, though that’s enough for a solid score from us.
Another Chelsea manager who brought instant rewards, only to be swiftly shown the door as things began to take a turn for the worse.
Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016 having previously guided Juventus to three Serie A titles, and would deliver Chelsea the ultimate success in his maiden campaign in charge.
The Italian’s title-winning season was notable for a defining mid-season change in tactics, switching to his preferred 3-5-2 formation following a humbling defeat at Arsenal which proved the catalyst for a 13-game winning streak, as per iSports API.
Conte would become the first manager in history to win three consecutive Premier League Manager of the Month awards, securing the title with two games to spare and setting a new record for most wins in a season in the process.
Despite FA Cup success the following year the club the wheels had already begun to come off for the fiery Italian, and he was sacked amid unrest in the dressing room in July 2018.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager arrived in English football with a reputation as one of the greatest coaches of his generation, with the Manchester City hierarchy convinced the Spaniard was the right man to finally deliver Champions League success.
Whilst that is yet to happen in Guardiola’s first three seasons at the Etihad, there can be no denying that the current City boss has left an everlasting mark on the Premier League.
His first season saw the club finish third as he acclimatised to the demands of the English game, though having identified his side’s weaknesses, he would strengthen to form arguably the best team the division has ever seen.
That second campaign would see City romp to the Premier League title, breaking a whole host of records including most wins, most goals, biggest winning margin and becoming the first side in history to reach 100 points.
They would follow that up with another similarly impressive campaign, pushed all the way by Liverpool but delivering back-to-back titles and a huge 98 point haul. That title was joined by FA Cup and League Cup success, making City the first side ever to complete English football’s domestic treble.
Aside from the extensive silverware Guardiola has implemented innovative and attractive football, his City side a relentless winning machine in what is often regarded as the most competitive league in world football.
Five of the most iconic football kits of all-time
As all fans know, a football shirt is more than just a shirt. The plainest kit can become a vessel for euphoric emotion when worn by a winning side, while even the most lavishly designed shirt can’t cover up the disappointment of a dismal defeat. That’s why the combination of a classic shirt and a truly exceptional team feels so special to football fanatics – when you find a truly iconic kit, just looking at it can summon up memories of winning goals and incredible skills, and wearing it is like putting on a piece of sporting history. With this in mind, the team from iSports API have put together a rundown of five of the most iconic football kits of all time, digging into what they have come to represent for fans all over the world – and why they will never be forgotten. Liverpool FC – 1982 As any Reds fan will tell you, Liverpool FC are a club with more than their fair share of historic moments to choose from, and an equally generous selection of iconic kits to pick out. However, few are more instantly memorable than the instantly recognisable pinstriped design they sported during their glory days in the 1980s. Emblazoned with the distinctive Crown Paints logo, this striking shirt conjures instant memories of the Red Machine in full effect, with players like Ian Rush, Alan Hansen, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and King Kenny Dalglish driving the side to First Division and European Cup glory, as per iSportsAPI football data. Although the white pinstripes on the famous red would only last for a few years, from 1982 to 1985, it has become so associated with success at Anfield that the side has revived the look for the 2019-20 season – and Scousers everywhere will be hoping that they prove to be a lucky omen as they compete once again for a long-overdue league title! Brazil – 1970 This list is all about picking out legendary kits worn by legendary players – so how can we leave out the one worn by the man who perhaps remains football’s most enduring icon? To be fair, there are endless reasons why the Brazil side who competed in this classic yellow-and-green kit at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico ended up as superstars of the sport. From the attacking talents of players like Jairzinho, Rivelino and captain Carlos Alberto, to their defeat of reigning champions England, there was much to remember about the side who earned Brazil the right to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy for good. But even so, it’s hard to see this shirt without thinking of one name – Pelé. For this was the World Cup that Edson Arantes do Nascimento cemented his reputation as maybe the greatest player of them all, being named player of the tournament and becoming the only man ever to win the World Cup three times. What could be more iconic than that? Barcelona – 1974 You couldn’t have a list of the most iconic football kits of all time without at least one entry from the legendary FC Barcelona, purveyors of the greatest red-and-blue kits of all time (with apologies to Crystal Palace fans). The incredible purity of that classic striped kit is such that the Catalan club were able to maintain a tradition of keeping the shirt free of commercial sponsorship for 111 years, creating a real sense of timelessness around their aesthetic, according to iSports API. With so many iconic Barca kits to choose from, we’ve gone for the edition worn by their 1973-74 side. Why? Because this was the shirt worn by the indelible Johan Cruyff in the year that he led the Blaugrana to their first La Liga title since 1960, thrashing bitter rivals Real Madrid 5–0 at the Santiago Bernabéu and being named European Footballer of the Year along the way, that’s why! Argentina – 1986 The blue-and-white stripes of the Argentina national side are difficult to ignore in any conversation about iconic kits – especially those worn by Diego Armando Maradona, one of Pelé’s few rivals for the title of football’s greatest icon. Even so, it’s hard to think of a football shirt with so many specific memories attached as the kit worn during Argentina’s 1986 World Cup campaign in Mexico, during which Maradona created some unforgettable moments – both good and bad! – as he practically single-handedly hauled Argentina to the title Although the 3-2 final victory over West Germany was a hugely memorable encounter, the tournament will always be best known for Argentina’s intense 2-1 victory over England in the quarter-final – during which Maradona first scored the infamous “Hand of God” handball goal, before following it four minutes later with a virtuoso solo effort that became known as the “Goal of the Century”. That’s a lot of legacy for one player and one shirt to hold! England – 1966 Perhaps it’s true that England’s unassuming red long-sleeved kits from 1966 don’t have the same cultural weight worldwide as many of these others – but for those born and raised with stories of Gordon Banks, Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore, there is no shirt that means more. For generations of England fans, the kit worn by the national team’s only World Cup-winning team has become both a promise and a curse. It’s a constant reminder of the 50-plus years of despair and disappointment that fans have felt as England have fallen short in every subsequent tournament – but it’s also a beacon, a symbol of what’s possible, and how much it would mean if history were to repeat itself. That’s why generations of England fans will continue to revere and wear this shirt for years to come, even if their fathers weren’t even alive during that 4-2 final victory over West Germany in 1966 – because it’s come to represent everything they hope for, as per iSports API. And if that’s not the true meaning of the word “iconic”, we don’t know what is!
Five of the best all Premier League Champions League games
Sure, we already have the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and even the Charity Shield but there’s something about All-Premier-League games in the Champions League that really get the juices flowing. With that in mind, we thought we might as well take a walk down memory lane and revisit some of the best ever All Premier League Champions League games, according to iSports API! Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea 2005 Funny enough, Liverpool and Chelsea actually feature heavily in this list and this game at Anfield was an absolute doozie! Liverpool fans will often talk about the atmosphere at their ground on “Big European Nights” and never was that more true than in this game when the home crowd, hassled and harangued Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team while also driving their side on. Luis Garcia scored the goal that would go on to be known as the “ghost goal” that settled the game and helped Liverpool to a first final in twenty years and the rest, as they say, is history… Manchester Utd 1-1 Chelsea 2008 Another tough one for Chelsea to take here as Manchester United won the Champions League final having being brought the distance. Ronaldo gave the Reds the lead before Frank Lampard equalised and when John Terry placed the ball down to score what would have been the winning penalty it looked as though they would finally get their hands on the iconic trophy. A slip. some tears and another missed penalty from Anelka later and Sir Alex Ferguson had his second Champions League title. Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United 2009 Manchester United went into this Champions league semi-final looking to make their way to a second final in a row having won the competition the year before. Arsenal meanwhile were hunting a first European title having lost in the final in 2006. The problem for Arsenal was that this was a Manchester United side that featured Cristiano Ronaldo just as he was establishing himself as one of the best in the world. Two goals from the Portuguese superstar, including one long range free-kick, saw United ease past their league rivals. Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool 2009 A Steven Gerrard-less Liverpool were given little chance of overturning a 3-1 deficit from the first-leg when they travelled to Stamford Bridge to face a star-studded Chelsea in 2009. However, Chelsea hearts were soon in their mouths after a cheeky free-kick from Fabio Aurelio and a Xabi Alonso penalty saw the Reds move into a two-nil lead within 28 minutes, as per iSports API. Chelsea seemed to have regained control via a sensationally struck thunderbastard from Brazilian centre-back Alex and goals from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. However, Liverpool’s world-class duo of Dirk Kuyt and Lucas hit back in the 81st and 82nd minute to set up a blockbuster finish, only for Lampard to kill off Rafa Benitez’s side hopes of another famous comeback with a fine strike in the last minute. A truly classic game of football. Man City 4-3 Spurs 2019 Man City went into the game trailing Spurs 1-0 from the first leg, and well, words just can’t do what happened next justice.
PSG’s 5 Worst Transfer Signings of the Decade
Over the last decade, Paris Saint-Germain has transformed from a sleeping giant into one of the most feared teams in all of Europe. The Qatar Sports Investment takeover in 2011 started it all. Their financial investment made it so PSG could compete financially in the transfer market and build up a squad capable of winning the UEFA Champions League. Eight years in though, that particular trophy continues to elude them, but it’s not due to lack of trying. Every transfer window, PSG is one of the most active clubs and they have spent a lot of cash on world-class players. However, when you spend money at the rate PSG has, not all transfers are going to turn out as good as Kylian Mbappé. With that in mind, I have created a list of PSG’s five worst signings of the decade. The criteria for this list are simple. we looked at how much the player cost, his statistics while at PSG, and the number of seasons with the club, all data as per iSports football API. So let’s begin looking back at the top five worst transfers this decade for Les Parisiens. Jesé The often forgotten Spaniard kicks off the list as one of the worst signings of the decade. Before coming to Paris, Jesé spent two seasons with Real Madrid, appearing in 63 matches where he scored 13 goals and 12 assists. As a result of putting up these numbers at a club like Real Madrid, it made Jesé, a desirable player. PSG would be the club willing to pay to bring the winger in. Les Parisiens forked over €25 million (Marca) in 2016, which is a reasonable fee for someone like Jesé at the time; however, the club would never come close to recouping any of that money. Jesé would go on to flop with PSG, playing 10 Ligue 1 matches and only scoring one goal. Also, the Spaniard would appear for 16 matches in all competitions during his time with PSG and would produce two, that’s right, two goals. Since the 2016-17 season, Jesé has spent his time out on different loan stints. Appearing for clubs like UD Las Palmas, Stoke City, Real Betis, and Sporting CP but never finding a home. Currently on loan at Sporting, the now 26-year-old is worth €5 million, according to Transfermrkt, but it’s hard envisioning anyone paying that sum. Finally, in his time with PSG, Jesé is more known for producing a Reggaeton music video rather than the two goals he scored. Hatem Ben Arfa The only positive of this transfer was that Hatem Ben Arfa arrived at PSG on a free transfer in 2016 (ESPN). The season before arriving in the capital club, Ben Arfa scored 17 goals in 34 appearances for OGC Nice. On the surface, obtaining an attacker who was coming off a free was smart business. Then it went south, pretty fast. The 2016-17 season would mark Ben Arfa’s first and last season with PSG. In 32 appearances, he only scored four goals. That would be all for the Frenchman as the following season; he wouldn’t appear for PSG in any competition after falling out of favor with then manager Unai Emery due to his attitude. Ben Arfa’s rift with Emery will be the lasting memory for PSG supporters. The two would meet in the UEFA Europa League last season, where Ben Arfa laughed at Emery for looking agitated as Arsenal FC fell to Stade Rennais in a surprise result. This season, the 32-year-old is without a club and currently suing PSG over lack of playing time. Grzegorz Krychowiak The 2016 summer transfer window is the worst of the decade for PSG. Along with Ben Arfa, the club brought in defensive midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla FC. While at Sevilla, the now 29-year-old played two seasons for the club and made 90 appearances in all competitions for the club. In his final season with Sevilla, Krychowiak had impressive numbers. Winning 66 percent of his total duels and averaging 7.8 total duel wins per game, according to SofaScore. Other defensive numbers that stood out were his clearances per game (3.0), interceptions per game (4.5), and tackles per game (2.5), according to iSports API. With Thiago Motta at the end of his career, the Polish midfielder looked like a suitable replacement. PSG would pay €30 million to bring over Krychowiak (The Guardian). In his lone season with Paris, Krychowiak saw a dip in all his defensive numbers, which were his calling card. His total duels, interceptions, clearances, and tackles all went down. As the defending part of his duties took a hit, PSG supporters saw his other flaws, like his passing game. Then there was the rift with former manager Emery too. With Emery not playing him and his form not being up to par, it was a disaster from the start. After the 2016-17 season, Krychowiak went on loan twice. His first loan spell was to West Bromwich Albion, who would see relegation after that season. Krychowiak would then head to Russia on loan to FC Lokomotiv Moscow. Over the summer, he would make the move a permanent one as PSG were able to sell him to the Russian club for €12 million (iSports API). Benjamin Stambouli The 2016 summer window is one that keeps on giving as Benjamin Stambouli is the next name from that disastrous transfer window. The only positive about Stambouli is that the fee wasn’t high with PSG spending €8.6 million, according to Goal. Also, once they realize that Stambouli wouldn’t be a player for the long-term, Les Parisiens were able to recoup most of the money by selling him to FC Schalke 04 for €8 million as reported by ESPN. During his time with PSG, the Frenchman averaged 55 minutes per game and couldn’t cement a spot in the starting lineup for then-manager Laurent Blanc. Add in that Stambouli fell in the pecking order and was behind Krychowiak, Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi, and Adrien Rabiot, it made sense for PSG to move on from him and try to recoup some of the transfer fee. It’s not as bad as the other transfers I’ve mentioned since the club regained their money; however, seeing a transfer spend only one season with the club is never a good look. Layvin Kurzawa My choice for the fifth-worst transfer of the decade may be a debatable one. Unlike the previous four spots, there’s no clear-cut worst transfer. This choice will spark debate, but in this slot is Layvin Kurzawa (hey, at least I didn’t pick Neymar Jr. like ESPN!) When Kurzawa came over from AS Monaco, it appeared that PSG wouldn’t have to worry about the left-back position for a while. That wouldn’t be the case. After a few seasons, Kurzawa began breaking down. Since the 2014-15 season, the 27-year-old’s highest number of appearances in Ligue 1 is 20, as per iSports API. As a result of having an unreliable left-back, PSG has brought in competition for Kurzawa. In 2017-18, the club brought in Yuri Berchiche, who would take over the position. However, due to Financial Fair Play, Les Parisiens needed to offload Berchiche to make their numbers a little more palatable for investigators looking into their books. It looked as though Kurzawa would regain his left-back position, but PSG brought in someone cheaper to compete with Kurzawa. Juan Bernat would arrive ahead of the 2018-19 season to provide some depth and competition. During the summer, it didn’t look as though the Spaniard would usurp Kurzawa. Bernat was a flop with FC Bayern Munich but was able to eventually take over PSG’s left-back position, even scoring significant goals in the Champions League. Kurzawa’s inability to stay healthy and losing his starting position twice to newcomers is to why he will earn a spot for the worst transfer. 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