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Greatest Premier League Managers Ever

by Rob Joyce

May 16, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Across the pond, the weekend gave us the end of a legendary managerial career, as Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger oversaw his final match with the Gunners, a 1-0 Arsenal victory. In recent years a target for the club’s lack of Premier League championships, time will remember Wenger as one of greats in the league’s history.

After 22 years with Arsenal he’s calling it quits, and here’s where he ranks among managers in the Premier League’s 25-year history:

5) Claudio Ranieri:

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Frankly, Ranieri could go winless for the remainder of his career and still make the list. In a stint with Chelsea from 2000 to 2004 he never won a Premier League title, but helped build the core that would win a pair after his time with the Blues. Then in perhaps the greatest managerial feat in football history, he led little Leicester City – the favorites for relegation at the start of the season and a 5,000-to-1 longshot – to the 2016 Premier League title. Just seven years prior the club was in the English third-tiered division, making it the second-fastest climb to a title ever.

4) Kenny Dalglish:

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A manager for three English clubs from 1985-1998, Dalglish was with Blackburn when the Premier League was formed, having led the Rovers to promotion for the first time since 1966. Fast forward three years, and Blackburn held off Manchester United to win the Premier League title, the first time one of the non-primary clubs was crowned the victor. He also became the fourth manager in history with top-division championships in English history, as he led Liverpool to three First Division titles in a four-year span from 1986-90.

3) Arsene Wenger:

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Over 22 years and 1,235 matches, Wenger made Arsenal the model of consistency. From the time of his takeover in 1996 through 2015, Arsenal finished in the top four every season, automatically qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. This year’s sixth-place finish was the worst in his tenure, and the only time the Gunners missed the Champions League.

Overall he won seven FA Cups and three Premier League titles, most recently with the 2003-04 “Invincibles” that finished with 26 wins, 12 draws and no losses. The only other team to go unbeaten in the Premiership: Preston North End in 1888-89.

2) Jose Mourinho:

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He’s been around the block, but wherever he goes, winning follows. Currently the manager at Manchester United, Mourinho won three Premier League titles (2005, 2006 and 2015) in two stints with Chelsea. In between his times at Stamford Bridge he won a pair of Serie A championships with Internazionale and a La Liga title with Real Madrid. The 2010 FIFA World Coach of the Year, he’s only 55, meaning there’s time to add even more to the trophy case.

1) Sir Alex Ferguson:

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There’s no debating who tops this list. The Premier League in its current state formed in 1992. From that point through Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, he led Manchester United to 13 titles – winning 62 percent of the time – more than twice as many as any other top-division manager in English football. Added to that are five FA Cups and a pair of Champions Leagues. He’s the standard-bearer, and likely will be for years to come.