Top five managers in the world

As promised, here are my top five managers in the world!

Pep Guardiola – Bayern Munich

First up is who in my opinion is the best manager in the world, fair enough the two clubs Pep has managed have been ridiculously talented but you can only work with what you have and he worked tremendously well to make Barcelona and Bayern two footballing machines. He is currently regarded as one of the best managers of his generation due to his success which will no doubt continue.

In 2008, which was his first season in charge of Barcelona, he guided them to the treble and in doing so became the youngest manager to win the Champions League, Barcelona were also the first Spanish club to achieve the treble. The following season Guardiola won the Supercopa de Espana, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, achieving a sextuple. In 2011, Guardiola was named the FIFA World Coach of the Year, in the same year he was awarded the Catalan Parliament’s Gold Medal (their highest honour) for his services to football.

In 2012 Guardiola resigned as manager of Barcelona after winning 14 trophies in 4 years at the club. At the beginning of the 2013-14 season he took charge of Bayern Munich where in his first season he won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. His current Bayern team are well on course to win the Bundesliga as they are 11 points clear at the top.

Guardiola’s coaching style has very much been based on the tiki-taka style of play, focusing on ball possession using short passes and clever movement and a disciplined, aggressive pressing style where the ball is won much higher up the pitch. The style is associated with Johan Cruyff’s spell as Barcelona manager whom Guardiola played under, adopting the style in his coaching days.

Guardiola has a win percentage of 73.3% and he has managed Barcelona B, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. As a manager he has won one Tercera Division, three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, three Supercopa de Espana, two UEFA Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups, one Bundesliga and one DFB-Pokal. 

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea

Mourinho made a name for himself in his first spell at Chelsea when he described himself as “The Special One” but he had been making a name for himself in Portugal and Spain way before that. He is regarded by many pundits, coaches and players as the best manager in the world and one of the best managers ever. 

The Portuguese manager started off as an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson and broke off to do his own thing, he had brief but successful spells with Benfica and Uniao de Leiria (who he took to their highest ever league finish). He went to Porto in 2002 and won the Champions League, the Taca de Portugal and two Premeira Liga titles before moving to Chelsea in June 2004.

At Chelsea he won their first league title in 50 years, delivering it with a record points total of 95, in his second season Chelsea retained the Premier League title. In 2008 Mourinho moved to Inter Milan where he guided them to the treble in 2009-10, becoming the first Italian team to do so. In winning the Champions League with Internet became one of five coaches to win the European Cup with two different teams. In 2010 he moved to Real Madrid where he won the La Liga title in 2012, making him one of four managers to win league titles in at least four different countries. After leaving Madrid in 2013, he returned to Chelsea for a second spell.

Mourinho’s style of play is very much based on his tactical knowledge, his emphasis on getting results over playing beautiful football has been both criticised and admired, just like his charismatic personality. Between February 2002 and April 2011, Mourinho went 150 home league games unbeaten. His second unbeaten home league record stretched for 45 games, the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland also ended a 77 game unbeaten league streak at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has a win percentage of 66.9%, he has managed at Benfica, Uniao de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He has won two Premeira Liga, one Taca de Portugal, one Supertaca Candido de Oliveira, one UEFA Cup, two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, one FA Community Shield, two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, one Supercoppa Italia, two UEFA Champions League titles, one La Liga, one Copa del Rey and one Supercopa de Espana.

Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid

Ancelotti is a manager who is regarded as one of the best of his generation, as well as the second most popular eyebrow in the world behind The Rock. He was a successful player before his managerial days, being one of six men to win the European Cup/Champions League as both a player and manager. 

After spells at Reggina, Parma and Juventus, Ancelotti was appointed AC Milan manager in 2001. He won the Serie A in 2004 and UEFA Champions League in 2003 and 2007. He is one of only two managers to have one three European Cups and is one of five to win it with two different clubs. In 2009, he was appointed Chelsea manager and in his first season led them to a historic League and Cup double, becoming the second non-British manager to win the double. The league win saw Chelsea finish the campaign with 103 goals, becoming the first team to score more than 100 goals in a season.

In December 2011, he signed with recently rich Paris Saint-Germain and in his first full season with the club he won the Ligue 1 title. In June 2013, Ancelotti signed for Real Madrid and in his first season he delivered the historic 10th Champions League title that the club had craved, he has also won the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid which was the clubs 19th Spanish Cup win.

The Real Madrid boss lets his teams express themselves on the pitch which leads to entertaining football. His craving and demand for dynamic attacking football allows him to explore various tactics and embrace different systems while delivering entertaining attacking displays.

The Italian has a win percentage of 59.7% and he has managed Reggina, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. He has won one Intertoto Cup, three Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups, one Serie A, one Coppa Italia, one Supercoppa Italiana, one Premier League, one FA Cup, one FA Community Shield, one Ligue 1 and one Copa del Rey.

Joachim Low – Germany

Personally I couldn’t have a top five managers in the world without having the manager of the holders of the World Cup, Low had a decent pedigree as a club manager but like the story of so many international managers before him, finds his comfort and real skills managing at the international level.

Low started his managerial career at VFB Stuttgart where he won the DFB-Pokal, he had spells at Fenerbahce for a year before going to Karlsruher SC before returning to Turkey as manager of Adanaspor. In October 2001, Low became manager of Tirol Innsbruck and led them to the Austrian Championship, the same year the club was unfortunately declared bankrupt and liquidated, he had a nine-month spell with FK Austria Wien before joining the German national team as assistant manager.

Low was named head coach in 2006 following Jurgen Klinsmann’s departure and at Euro 2008, Low’s first major tournament in charge, Germany were beaten finalists ultimately losing out to Spain. Germany collected the bronze medal in World Cup 2010 and eliminated in the semi-finals in Euro 2012. Germany kicked off their 2014 World Cup campaign with a resounding 4-0 win over Portugal, which wasn’t their biggest win in their campaign. Low masterminded a 7-1 demolishing of Brazil in the semi-final which was Brazil’s worst ever World Cup defeat to book their place in the final where they beat Argentina 1-0 after a Mario Gotze goal in extra time.

Low continued the philosophy which he developed with Klinsmann in the German national setup to play an offensive style. During his tenure he has increased the pace of the German play which has seen them become the best international team in World football, also due to the players at his disposal. He won the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2014 for his World Cup winning efforts.

Low has a win percentage of 54.6% and he has managed at VFB Stuttgart, Fenerbahce, Karlsruher SC, Adanaspor, Tirol Innsbruck, Austria Wien and Germany. He has won one DFB-Pokal, one Austrian football league, one Austrian Supercup and World Cup 2014.

Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid

Simeone is a player who I didn’t like in his playing days but I couldn’t doubt his talent but since his switch to management I can’t help but love his passion and tenacity – which were synonymous with his playing style throughout his career. 

The Argentina international ended his playing career at Racing in 2006, he then became manager for the same team. When a new manager was elected, Simeone was replaced three months later. He joined Estudiantes in May and led them to their first league title in 23 years. In an October 2006 poll,  Simeone was voted the best manager in the Argentine league. He continued to manage in Argentina until 2011 when he joined Catania. Simeone left Catania after staving off relegation, when he joined Racing for a second spell.

In December 2011, Simeone joined Atletico Madrid and his first season ended in winning the UEFA Europa League. In 2012-13 Simeone won the UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey by beating rivals Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu, Atletico finished the season in third place, the club’s best finish since 1996 win they won it. In 2013-14 Atletico recorded eight straight league victories which was their best start in the club’s history, they won the league on the final day of the season and Simeone became the second person to win La Liga as a player and a coach. Atletico collected 90 points in La Liga making the 2013-14 season the most successful in the club’s history.

Simeone’s coaching style is based on his own playing style; he has to mould the team into his own image. He has embedded the same fearsome passion for success he had into Atletico’s setup, the Argentine demands passion and aggression from his players as well as a defensive solidity which has become Atleti’s trademark. Simeone also has an ability to improve the ability of those who he works with, allowing him to reap the rewards.

The Argentine has a win percentage of 54.8% and he has managed Racing, Estudiantes, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Catania and Atletico Madrid. He has won two Argentine Primera Division, one La Liga, one Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de Espana, one Europa League and one UEFA Super Cup.


What did we learn from this weekend’s football?

This weekend’s football basically showed us that Man United’s strike force is potentially the best Man United has ever seen, even eclipsing the great 1999 treble winning side. Although their defending hasn’t quite been up to title winning standards this year, neither has the rest of their contenders. Speaking of contenders, Man City’s title defence looks to be going out with a whimper – after their 3 – 1 defeat to Southampton at St. Mary’s they are now 12 points off top after Man United’s 2 – 0 victory over Everton earlier on today. But City can’t just blame Man United firing from all cylinders on them seemingly having to relinquish their short-lived crown, City’s team has lacked spirit and the quality which it boasted last year. A summer of lavish spending was expected and they only brought in a right-back at the twilight of his career in Maicon, a promising English youngster in Jack Rodwell who has shown he isn’t up to title-winning standards, a winger in Scott Sinclair who was a pivotal part in Swansea’s excellent showing last season – but it almost reeked of panic buying on Roberto Mancini’s part. The only decent purchase from City’s summer was Javi Garcia who has filled in well when needed in defensive midfield and could prove to be a key player in seasons to come.

Another problem at the Etihad is the under-performing of last terms key players – where Man United’s have stepped up, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero have not. It also begs the question, if Mancini had pulled out all the stops in the summer to sign Robin Van Persie like Sir Alex Ferguson did, would City be at the pinnacle and reaping the benefits of the Dutchman’s prowess?

Speaking of Van Persie, his former club Arsenal aren’t bearing too well without his services. Yes the scoring burden isn’t on one player with all of their regular front three reaching double figures this season but none of them quite reaching the heights which Van Persie has this season for United – it shows the gulf in class which has developed between Arsenal and Man United in recent years that with Van Persie, Arsenal managed to scrape a third place spot, but with Man United it seems that the Dutchman will be firing United to a record 20th league title.

Onto another topic of spending, QPR’s acquisitions this season could have seen them field another team but it seems that their players haven’t gelled like fans, staff and members had hoped. The spending continued in January with Chris Samba replacing the departing Ryan Nelsen and Loic Remy bolstering the front-line along with Peter Odemwing-…. oh no wait sorry that didn’t happen. But QPR’s season seems destined to rely on beating others around them and ‘Arry needing to work his much publicized magic that they signed him up for.

The Champions League returns this week with Cristiano Ronaldo welcoming Man United to his Bernabeu domain with open arms in a mouthwatering tie being the major talking point and Jose Mourinho calling it ‘the game the world has been waiting for’, we sure hope you’re right Jose!

Also a massive congratulations to any Nigerians out there after your team just won the African Cup of Nations, well done!