England’s top flight has a habit of attracting the best managers in the world. Huge sums of money change hands in an effort to appease, entertain and delight fans of the beautiful game.
Although there is one GOAT who towers above all contenders in the form of the now retired Sir Alex Ferguson, there are three ‘young guns’ and one tried and tested legend vying for contention. Who do you think deserves the title of the greatest of all time?
Arsène Wenger: Arsenal
Arsène Wenger may have raised the ire of Arsenal fans in recent times but the 68-year-old Frenchman is in a class of his own. In his 22 years at the helm of the club Wenger has achieved what most other managers can only dream of; three league titles, seven FA cups and the only – yes, the only – undefeated season in the long and colourful history of the Premier league.
He is also credited with revolutionising English football with his more scientifically-based training methods that embrace diet as the cornerstone of player fitness. In addition, the lanky Strasbourg native has instilled a style of football into the team that is attacking, exciting and entertaining for both players and fans alike. As one pundit so succinctly put it Arsenal under Wenger is “the most fluid, devastating team the British Isles has ever seen”
Despite the kudos the club has not won a league title in 14 years, prompting Wenger to announce his retirement at the end of the current 2017/18 season. All that’s left to say is Bon Voyage and thanks for the memories! Is Wenger a Premier League GOAT? In our humble opinion, he sure is!
José Mourinho: Manchester United
José Mourinho is one of the undisputed giants of international football. A contentious though charismatic character, the 55-year-old Portuguese is a shoe-in for GOAT status. He has not only racked up the highest points tally in England’s top flight – not once but twice – he’s marshalled his troops with intelligence and zeal to register an overall win rate of 65.5 percent across all domestic and international leagues.
In his first spell at Stamford Bridge in 2004, the outspoken visionary guided Chelsea to their first league title in 50 years with a record 95 points. The recipient of the 2010 FIFA World Coach of the Year Award has scooped up a litany of personal honours and is one of only five football managers to have lifted the Europa Cup with two different teams.
To date, the incumbent Manchester United coach has added two UEFA Champions League titles and eight domestic league titles, including three Premier Leagues and one FA Cup, to his Europa League double. Mourinho is known for his tactical nous, quickfire adaptability and superior game management but his unrelenting thirst for wins occasionally comes at the cost of an all-round beautiful game.
Antonio Conte: Chelsea
Antonio Conte may be a relative newcomer at Stamford Bridge – having stepped into the head coaching berth in 2016 – but he has already been compared to two of the luminaries of the Premiership; Sir Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho.
The 48-year-old Italian has set and smashed records in his short tenure with the Premier League club and is only the second manager ever to win the title in his first season at the helm. He is also the first coach in history to win three back-to-back Manager of the Month awards and under his meticulous guidance, Chelsea set a new top flight record for the most wins in a single season, registering 30 victories out of 38 matches!
Conte is revered for his tactical versatility, attention to detail and winning mentality and is credited with transforming Chelsea with a smart three-at-the-back tactical change that has clearly paid off… big time. To date the strong but silent manager has bagged three Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana and a maiden premier league title. All indications are Conte has the makings of a genuine GOAT. We look forward to watching in awe as he progresses slowly but surely towards superstar status!
Josep Guardiola: Manchester City
At just 47 years of age Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola is already a coaching legend. The man who José Mourinho loves to hate has bagged so many domestic and international trophies he’s probably had to build a special room for the silverware. The precociously talented player has successfully transferred his awesome skills to the management role and although he only joined Manchester City in 2016, he has already guided the club to a league title.
In his first season in charge at Camp Nou, Barcelona claimed the club’s first ever treble, winning the UEFA Champions League, the La Liga and the Copa Del Rey. In doing so he became the youngest ever manager to win the Champions league… and he ain’t done yet!
An overall win percentage of more than 71 percent coupled with three La Liga titles, two Copa Del Ret, Three Supercopa Espania, two UEFA Champions League, three UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups, three Bundesliga titles, Two DFB-Polka and one Premiership title prove without a shadow of a doubt that Guardiola will go down in the annals of history as a GOAT, not only in terms of coaching ability but as a player too.