10 MOST SUCCESSFUL MANAGERS IN THE HISTORY OF EPL

Managers from different part of the world have headed English Premier League (EPL) teams bringing glory and honor to such teams at one point or the other.

These managers have imprinted their foots on the sands of time and will not be forgotten in the coming years.

Talks about their amazing wits, tactics, strategies, formations brought to the EPL teams have indeed changed the way football is being played.

Therefore, the top 10 Premier League most successful managers have been chosen and ranked according to successes and achievements in England.

Although, we appreciate that the list is open to debate, these 10 successful managers are the only to have tasted the ultimate success of winning the EPL title.

10. Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri Grande is an Italian football manager and former player who is the current head coach of Serie A club Sampdoria.

In 2000, Ranieri moved to England to become head coach at Chelsea.

His four seasons there saw Chelsea improve their points total season on season, with them finishing runners-up in 2004 and reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-final the same season.

Ranieri later dismissed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that May, progressed to manage other teams in different part of Europe.

However, the climax was achieved when Ranieri returned to England once more in the summer of 2015 as manager of Leicester City.

Raneiri kisses EPL Title

He went on to win the 2015–16 Premier League, after the club had narrowly avoided relegation the season prior, and was named the 2016 Premier League Manager of the Season, and LMA Manager of the Year.

The Italian also awarded the Grand Officer of the Italian Order of Merit and the Enzo Bearzot Award as best Italian manager of the year,as well as the 2016 Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award. 

Leicester’s 4-4-2 is a classic English formation that usually has significant flaws, especially when employed by a team who want to put emphasis on possession football.

Ranieri’s 4-4-2 provided more presence upfront, while it was also easy to maintain spatial compactness in defence which won them the league.

9. Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Luis Pellegrini Ripamonti is a Chilean professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Real Betis.

As a coach, he has managed teams in Spain, England, Argentina, Chile, China and Ecuador. Pellegrini has won national leagues in four countries. 

On 14 June 2013, he was appointed manager of Manchester City, and won the Football League Cup and Premier League in his first season as manager.

Pellegrini poses with EPL trophy and a big grin on his face

He also went on to win another Football League Cup (now Carabao Cup), also claiming the Premier League Manager of the Month award on four occasions during his time at the club.

In the process becoming the first manager from outside Europe to manage a team to the English Premier League title.

The title winning season was also noted for goal scoring prowess with Manchester City scoring 151 goals in all competitions – an English football record.

Pellegrini also managed to take Manchester City to their first ever semi-final in Champions League in 2015–16, which was his last season after finishing in fourth-place with 66 points.

The hallmark of Pellegrini’s 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 is  aggressive wing play with frequent overlapping or supporting runs by the full-backs.

After three seasons at City, Pellegrini was replaced by Pep Guardiola (who is the current Man City manager).

8. Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte is an Italian professional football manager and former player. He is the head coach at Serie A club Inter Milan.

Conte wins EPL in first attempt

He won the title at the first attempt, while also taking the Blues to the FA Cup final, where they lost to Arsenal.

Conte made amends for that defeat by winning the trophy a year later in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Chelsea announced that they had parted company with Conte on 13 July 2018.

Among Conte’s achievements is one of which is the club’s record breaking 13-game winning streak.

After suffering back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, Conte changed the team’s formation to 3-4-3 with which they won the EPL title with.

The Italian remains the only manager to have won league titles with a back 3 as the line of defense.

This tactical alteration paved the way for a winning streak which ultimately secured the title for Chelsea.

Conte may have had a disappointing second season at the Bridge but his first is amongst the most memorable in Premier League history.

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7. Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini is an Italian football manager and former player who is the manager of the Italy national team.

Manchester City renaissance when Mancini was appointed in December 2009.

He guided City to 5th place in the Barclays Premier League in 2009/10, their highest ever Premier League finish.

This resulted in European qualification for the first time since 1978 as a result of their league position.

Under his stewardship, he instilled a winning culture at the club, taking Manchester City from a mid-table club to the top level of English football, combining defensive solidity with attacking flair.

Mancini’s preferred formation, and the most common one he deployed was the  4-3-3 setup. He also switched at times to 4-5-1, which is the most defensive option for the Cityzens.

In the 2010–11 season, his first full season at Manchester City, Mancini guided the club to Champions League football and the FA Cup, the club’s first major trophy in 35 years.

Mancini with the EPL title

In the 2011–12 season, Mancini guided Manchester City to the club’s first league title in 44 years in an enthralling last day of the season, winning 3–2.

Two goals in injury time in what was called “the best match of the best last day of the season in English football history.”

Under Mancini, City progressed to the 2013 FA Cup Final, but were defeated by the soon-to-be relegated Wigan Athletic 1–0.

6. Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti OSI is an Italian professional football manager and former player who manages Premier League club Everton.

On 1 June 2009, Ancelotti succeeded interim manager Guus Hiddink when he was confirmed as the new Chelsea manager after agreeing to a three-year contract, and formally assumed his duties on 1 July.

Ancelotti became the club’s fourth permanent manager in 21 months, following José Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

On 9 August 2009, Ancelotti won his first trophy as Chelsea manager, the Community Shield, beating Manchester United on penalties, following a 2–2 draw.

Ancelotti raising EPL high

In his first season in England, Ancelotti became the first Italian manager to win the Premier League, and he also secured Chelsea’s first ever double as the Blues beat Portsmouth in the FA Cup final.

On the 9th of May 2010, Ancelotti led Chelsea to the Premier League title, beating Manchester United by one point and setting scoring records.

The team finished the campaign with 103 goals, becoming the first team in the Premier League to score more than 100 goals in a season.

Chelsea secured the title with an 8–0 victory over Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti also became the first Italian manager to win the Premier League and only the fifth manager overall in the League’s 18 seasons.

On 15 May 2010, Ancelotti led Chelsea to victory in the 2009–10 FA Cup, beating Portsmouth 1–0 in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Ancellotti continued with 4–4–2 diamond formation used previously at teams where he coached especially A.C Milan.

He later switched to the 4–3–2–1 “Christmas Tree” formation he had used at Milan, and also used 4–2–3–1 and 4–3–3 to be less predictable and better use creative players.

Chelsea’s third victory in the FA Cup in four years, equaling a record set by Arsenal between 2002 and 2005. The FA Cup win secured Chelsea’s first ever domestic double.

5. Pep Guardiola

Josep Pep Guardiola Sala is a Spanish professional football manager and former player, who is the current manager of Premier League club Manchester City.

He is considered to be one of the greatest managers of all time and holds the record for the most consecutive league games won in La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League.

After three years in Munich, the former FIFA World Coach of the Year agreed a move to Manchester City for the 2016/17 Premier League season.

Man City finished third and then, in the next campaign, broke the Premier League record for most consecutive wins, with 18 victories between August and December 2017.

Pep popes with EPL title

Guardiola lifted his first trophy in England following a 3-0 win over Arsenal in the 2018 Carabao Cup final.

The Cityzens dominated throughout the 2017/18 Premier League season, with Guardiola securing his first league title in English football with a record of 106 goals, 32 wins and 100 points.

In summary, Guardiola as won 2 EPL titles, 1 FA Cup title and 3 EFL Cup. He will be looking forward to equaling  Mourinho’s record of 3 EPL titles with Chelsea.

Man City being the league leaders at the moment are favourites to winning the 2020-21 EPL title.

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Hence, should Man City lift the EPL this season, Guardiola will equal the success titles of Mourinho in EPL.

Guardiola as introduced different tactics to the game such as the six-second rule, in that the team should aim to win back possession of the ball within six seconds as this was the time when opposition players may still be out of position.

He also evolved the idea of countering an opponent’s pressing by ensuring his goalkeeper and defenders are comfortable on the ball and capable of retaining possession to counteract.

At Manchester City, he evolved this idea one step further by utilising the fact players cannot be offside from a goal kick and ensured a goalkeeper with the necessary kicking force to kick the length of the pitch in signing Ederson.

Guardiola is known with the tweaking of different diamond formation such as the use of 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 to get past his opponents and leading to winning titles.

4. José Mourinho

José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, is a Portuguese professional football manager and former player.

Currently, the three-time Premier League champion Jose Mourinho is the head coach of Tottenham Hotspur.

He is widely considered to be one of the greatest managers of all time, and is one of the most decorated managers ever.

Mourinho remains the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history; he won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups during his two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge.

As Roberto Mancini is to Manchester City, it won’t be out of place to say Jose Mourinho is to Chelsea as in his first campaign at Stamford Bridge in 2004/05, Chelsea won their first top-flight title for 50 years with a record haul of 95 points.

They retained the Premier League crown a year later and won the FA Cup and the League Cup twice with Mourinho in charge and left in 2007.

Mourinho gesticulates 3 fingers for EPL titles

Mourinho returned to England ahead of the 2013/14 Premier League season for a second spell with Chelsea.

In his first season back at Stamford Bridge, he guided the Blues to third place, four points away from title winners Manchester City.

In the 2014/15 campaign Mourinho earned a third League Cup triumph with Chelsea after a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. A third Premier League title was then secured following a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday 3 May 2015.

Chelsea’s fortunes were to change in the following campaign and Mourinho left the club by mutual consent on 17 December 2015.

He departed for a second time with the Blues sat in 16th place and one point above the relegation zone.

Mourinho has been noted for his tactical prowess, game management and adaptability to different situations.

He has used all different formations over the years and achieved positive growth but same cannot be said for Spurs at the moment.

As Spurs Manager, Mourinho will be aiming to make history yet again as he hopes to win Carabao Cup (and increases titles won in England), delivers to  Tottenham their first major trophy in years.

Mourinho’s Tottenham will face Guardiola’s Manchester City in 2020-21 Carabao cup’s final. A day of another history.

3. Arsène Wenger

Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger OBE is a French former football manager and player. He is currently FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.

He was the manager of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, where he was the longest-serving and most successful in the club’s history.

His contribution to English football through changes to scouting, players’ training, and diet regimens revitalised Arsenal and aided the globalisation of the sport in the 21st century.

Wenger was named manager of Arsenal in 1996, and two years later, he led the club to a Premier League and FA Cup double.

The club won another league and cup double in 2002 and retained the FA Cup a year later.

Wenger celebrates EPL trophy

In 2004, Wenger managed Arsenal to an undefeated domestic league season, a feat last accomplished by Preston North End, 115 years previously.

The 2004 Arsenal’s team were nicknamed the Invincible for not losing any EPL game that season.

Arsenal later eclipsed Nottingham Forest’s record of 42 league matches unbeaten and went seven more matches before losing in October 2004 (which resulted in the so-called “Battle of the Buffet”).

The team made their first appearance in a Champions League final in 2006, though they lost to Barcelona.

After a period of almost nine years without a trophy, which coincided with the club relocating to the Emirates Stadium, Wenger guided Arsenal to further FA Cup success in 2014, 2015 and 2017, before stepping down as manager a year later.

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In total, Wenger won 3 EPL tittles, 7 FA Cups and 7 EFL cups, an amazing achievement it was for Wenger and Arsenal.

The nickname “Le Professeur” (French: usually translated as “The Teacher”) used by fans and the British media to reflect Wenger’s studious demeanour.

His approach to the game emphasises an attacking mentality, with the aim that football ought to be entertaining on the pitch.

Wenger’s Arsenal teams have been criticised for their indiscipline; his players received 100 red cards between September 1996 and February 2014, though the team has won awards for sporting fair play.

At Monaco, Wenger earned a reputation for spotting young talent, and he has remained focused on developing a youth system.

2. Kenny Daglish

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish MBE is a Scottish former football player and manager.

In 1977, Liverpool manager Bob Paisley paid a British transfer record of £440,000 to bring Dalglish to Liverpool.

His years at Liverpool were among the club’s most successful periods, as he won six English league championships, the FA Cup, four League Cups and five FA Charity Shields in England.

Dalglish became player-manager of Liverpool in 1985 after the resignation of Joe Fagan, winning a further three First Divisions, two FA Cups and four FA Charity Shields, before resigning in 1991.

Eight months later, Dalglish made a return to football management with Blackburn Rovers, whom he led from the Second Division to win the Premier League in 1995.

Dalglish with Tim Sherwood

Soon afterwards, he stepped down as manager to become Director of Football at the club, before leaving altogether in 1996.

In January 1997, Dalglish took over as manager at Newcastle United.

Newcastle finished as runners-up in the Premier League during his first season, but they only finished 13th in 1997–98, which led to his dismissal the following season.

Between 2000 and 2010, Dalglish focused on charitable concerns, founding The Marina Dalglish Appeal with his wife to raise money for cancer care. In January 2011.

In October 2013, Dalglish returned to Anfield as a non-executive director, and Anfield’s Centenary Stand was renamed after him in May 2017.

1. Alex Ferguson

Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE is a Scottish former football manager and player, widely known for managing Manchester United from 1986 to 2013.

He is considered by many to be one of the greatest managers of all time and he has won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football.

Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986.

During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles.

He was knighted in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to the game.

Ferguson is the longest-serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby’s record on 19 December 2010.

He retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season. 

Ferguson ended Man Utd’s 26-year wait for a top-flight title in the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/93.

He went on to enjoy unprecedented success over the next two decades until his retirement at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson

The basis of the Red Devils’ success was the “Class of 92”, with Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt among the “Fergie’s fledglings” coming to prominence in the early to mid-1990s.

During his reign at Old Trafford, Ferguson also won the FA Cup five times and the League Cup on four occasions.

United also claimed two UEFA Champions League trophies under his management, including the 1999 win in Barcelona with two stoppage-time goals in a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.

United’s 13th Premier League title and 20th top-flight triumph overall came with four matches to spare in 2012/13 as Ferguson exceeded 800 Premier League matches managed and 1,400 matches in all competitions.

In total, he lifted more than 30 trophies in his time in charge at Old Trafford.

He won Premier League Manager of the Season on 11 occasions, as well as picking up the monthly accolade 27 times and numerous other individual awards, such as LMA Manager of the Year and LMA Manager of the Decade.

His all-time Premier League record stands at 528 wins from 810 matches.

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