The Premier League continues to fascinate football fans not only in the United Kingdom but all over the globe. Taking the fourth spot in the ranking for biggest sports league revenue in all sports, the EPL is the clear favorite when it comes to which is the greatest football competition in the world.
Despite being outshined by the NFL, MLB, and the NBA, the EPL is the most broadcasted sports league globally. England’s top-flight has been around since 1888 but has been known as the Football League First Division throughout the majority of its existence. It was only in 1992 when a series of business decisions went about to establish the Premier League as we know it. So far, the EPL has seen 28 seasons conclude with 7 different clubs lifting the trophy.
However, today we will not be talking about the squads who did it, rather we will focus on the mastermind that made it happen. In this article, you will find information about the top 5 Premier League winning managers, and how they rose to success.
Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Mainz 05’s veteran began his managerial career with the same club with which he retired as a player – the Bundesliga 05ers. After 11 years playing both as a striker but mainly as a defender for Mainz, he became the club’s coach almost immediately upon ceasing his career as a player. It turned out that the man is good at the job, and the results weren’t late.
Klopp managed to win Bundesliga promotion for his squad in 2004 which was followed by a couple of decent mid-table finishes. It wasn’t until he took charge of Borussia Dortmund that his potential as a manager truly became apparent. He won back-to-back Bundesliga titles as well as the DFB Pokal and set the stage for BVB to become one of the most fearsome sides in European football.
2015 was the year in which the German was appointed as Liverpool’s manager and began his life in the Premier League. Succeeding Brendan Rogers, Klopp expressed his motivation to win the club trophies within the range of 4 years. It’s a well-known fact by most that the man held up to his word winning the Champions League during the 2018/2019 season exactly 4 years after taking over Liverpool.
The Merseyside hadn’t had success in European competitions for the last 14 years, so winning the biggest international club competition, definitely relieved some stress. However, the Champions League triumph is not what Klopp will be remembered for. As the domestic competition was the club’s biggest goal, the German managed to once again bewilder the crowd after lifting the Premier League trophy. Klopp’s Liverpool managed to put an end to one of the biggest league droughts in football history.
Despite having the record most Football League First Division wins in history, the Reds had never before won the English top-flight in its Premier League format. Furthermore, under Klopp Liverpool became one of the most feared sides in the world, and England, putting an end to the one-sided reign of Manchester City. The Mainz hero has certainly become Liverpool’s too and deserves the fifth spot in the top 4 Premier League winning managers list.
Pep Guardiola (Man City)
Up next is another man who couldn’t stay off the pitch for too long. Josep “Pep” Guardiola is one of the few managers who can proudly say that they’ve won an extreme amount of honors both as a player and as a coach. Being part of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Guardiola’s managerial career began in Barcelona. After spending a year with the Catalans’ B-team Pep was deemed good for the job and took charge of the senior squad. What followed was 4 exhilarating years which produced 14 titles including 2 Champions League triumphs, as well as every relevant Spanish competition. Guardiola’s career continued with Bayern Munich, where he managed to win the Bundesliga in every season in charge of the club. After proving that he’s capable of coaching a top-tier squad in not one, but two of the best football leagues in Europe, Pep got his call-up from Manchester City in 2016, which he gladly accepted.
It took some time for him to settle in the English top-flight, although he won every single one of his first ten league games. The campaign of 2016/2017 was also the first in Guardiola’s career that concluded without any trophies won. Picking up on this mistake, the ex-Barcelona player managed to bounce-back successfully.
Tremendous changes in the team’s line-up were required, but it was definitely worth it, once the squad lifted its first trophy under Pep – the Carabao Cup. Taking advantage of the momentum that has been amassed, the Spanish managed to keep up the club’s form and were pronounced champions prematurely on the 15th of April. City went on to finish the season with a record-breaking 100 points.
The following season featured a neck-to-neck league battle with Klopp’s Liverpool in which the Manchester side proved to be the more consistent one. Pep Guardiola managed to triumph with the slightest of margins – just a single point above the Reds, becoming the 4th most awarded Premier League winning manager.
Arsène Wenger (Arsenal)
Known for spotting and developing some of the greatest football talents, Arsène Wenger takes the third spot on our list. Having previously coached French clubs Nancy and Monaco, as well as the Japanese Nagoya Grampus, Wenger was actually rather unheard of when he first set foot in England. At the beginning of the 1996/1997 season, Arsenal struggled to find the most appropriate option for the manager job in the club, with Johan Cruyff being named as the favorite for the spot.
However, it came as a surprise once Wenger was announced to be the next Gunners coach. It didn’t take long to persuade the fans that he’s the man that will return Arsenal to winning. His first season ahead of the team saw them finish 3rd in the Premier League. The following campaign saw Wenger employ his exquisite sense for future talents when he signed Nicolas Anelka. The two compatriots alongside the whole Arsenal squad went on the become English champions that season which set the bar extremely high.
It took the Gunners four more years to win the Premier League for a second time under Wenger. Furthermore, throughout that time, they finished 2nd on three consecutive occasions. All of the Frenchman’s work with Arsenal so far had been just a warm-up for what was about to come – arguably the most memorable Premier League club performance in history.
After having the first-place slip away from them in 2003, during the season of 2003/2004 the Gunners did something never done before – finish the campaign without a single loss. Yes, you read it right, Arsène Wenger managed to lead his squad through an unbeaten season, which is perhaps the greatest achievement in his career. This was his third and last Premier League trophy, which ranks him in the top-3 most PL honored coaches.
Furthermore, Wenger will always be credited with introducing players such as Nicolas Anelka, Kolo Toure, Patrick Viera, Cesc Fabregas, Sol Campbell, Thierry Henry, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, and many others.
José Mourinho (Chelsea / Man United / Tottenham)
On to the next spot in our Premier League winning managers list is José Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician had only 3 years of active experience as a coach before he joined the Premier League. This, however, didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most influential managers in the English top-flight.
Mourinho is also the first and only one to feature in this article who has been in charge of multiple Premier League clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham. “The Special One” as he dubbed himself is tied with Arsenal’s legend Wenger in the amount of EPL trophies – 3. In fact, it was Mourinho’s arrival in English football, that led to disrupting the Gunners’ reign following their unbeaten campaign.
The Portuguese was appointed by Roman Abramovich who recently had bought the club. It was made clear from the beginning the Abramovich meant business and he needed a man who could make Chelsea’s performances skyrocket. Despite being fairly inexperienced,
Mourinho proved capable after triumphing in his homeland’s top-flight and winning the Champions League with Porto in the previous season. Abramovich’s decision was quick to reap the benefits after Mourinho won back-to-back Premier League titles in his first two seasons ahead of the team. It was during this time that he came up with his own nickname “The Special One”, but judging from his success it might be as accurate as it comes. The Portuguese will also be credited with attracting one of Chelsea’s biggest legends – Didier Drogba, alongside numerous other players whose impact on the club was crucial.
After joining Inter Milan in 2008, Mourinho embarked on a small get-away from the Premier League. He continued his success in Italy and later in Spain with Real Madrid, before returning to England for his second stint with Chelsea in 2013. Now matured and much more experienced as a manager “The Special One” reunited with his ex-club and once again managed to rise to the top. He earned his 3rd Premier League title in 2015 after setting-up the magnificent linking teamplay between Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, and only losing 3 games in total. Despite facing a rough start to the next season which saw him lose his job in December, Mourinho remained in the Premier League with Manchester United.
Even though he didn’t have any further league success he led the Red Devils to win the EFL Cup, the FA Community Shield, and the Champions League. Mourinho later joined Tottenham, where he is still waiting for his first trophy.
Sir Alex Ferguson (Man United)
There is a certain name that everyone recognizes when it comes to the English Premier League. The name of Sir Alex Ferguson – undoubtedly the greatest ever Premier League manager. The Scottish man has set an extensive list of records while in charge of Manchester United in the PL. Not only various records, but Ferguson also has a record amount of Premier League titles won with 13 as well as over 25 other major honors. Some of his records that are relevant to this article are:
- Most PL Manager of the Season awards, and most consecutive – 11 and 3
- Most PL Manager of the Month awards – 27
- The longest duration as a Premier League manager – 9704 days
Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial career began in his homeland with St. Mirren and Aberdeen and he even spent a year in charge of Scotland’s national team. Despite being rather successful with Aberdeen, Ferguson rose to prominence as a Manchester United coach. Taking over in 1986 the Scottish did a great lot to reinvigorate the squad and return it to its winning ways.
It took some time for the first trophy to arrive, but it finally happened in 1990 after United won the FA Cup, and this was just one of many. By 1992 Ferguson had established a well-working coherent squad that began netting in results. What followed was a severe dominance over the other English sides which never really managed to grind to a complete halt during his years as a coach.
United triumphed in the first-ever Premier League season, which was also the club’s first league title in 25 years. This was followed by a whopping 12 more league wins throughout Sir Alex Ferguson’s stay at Old Trafford.
The Scottish will also be remembered for all the star and key players he gave a career to and brought to Manchester United. In 1995 he acquired what was dubbed a generation of stars, which included Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary, and Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes.
Ferguson is also the man responsible for Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo’s epic careers. The expertise with which he managed to remain relevant ahead of United years after years has no duplicate. Ferguson was able to shine in the darkest of times for the Red Devils, creating several trophy-winning line-ups throughout the years. He will remain in history as the greatest Premier League winning and Manchester United manager.