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The Ladbrokes Guide to Premier League Managers

| 01.03.2018

The manager is arguably the most important person for any Premier League club. They must be tactically astute, be able to inspire a team and keep a keen eye on potential signings. A manager is only as good as their last game they say, check the latest odds for the next manager to get the boot.

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has overseen more Premier League games than any other manager. The Frenchman has won the league three times, but it’s former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who is the most successful.

The Scot guided Man United to 12 Premier League titles, and has won more matches and gained more points than any other manager.

Sam Allardyce has managed more Premier League clubs than anyone else, taking charge of seven different teams.  In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at what makes Premier League Manager so successful.

Head to over to our manager news pages to find out the latest odds on Premier League manager sackings and more.

Background matters/doesn’t matter

Premier League managers take all kinds of journeys to get to the top. Some, like Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, has turned a successful playing career into a spell in the hot seat.

Others left their playing days behind long ago to take up coaching roles.

Jose Mourinho worked as Sir Bobby Robson’s interpreter when the Englishman was in charge of Barcelona. Arsene Wenger coached in France and Japan before taking over at Arsenal.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola made his name during a glittering 11-year career with Barcelona. Learning under the great Johan Cruyff, the defensive midfielder won six La Liga titles and the European Cup.

After hanging up his boots, the Spaniard began his coaching career with Barcelona’s B team. He then succeeded Frank Rijkaard in 2008 as manager of the senior squad.

Barcelona lost just 11 league games under Guardiola’s leadership, as he transformed the club into one of the greatest sides ever seen.

He left in 2012 and became Bayern Munich manager in 2013. The German side won the Bundesliga three times in a row under Guardiola, before the Spaniard moved to Manchester City in 2016.

Pep’s influence was easily seen last season as the Citizens romped to the Premier League title, claiming a record 100 points. This time around they’re looking to retain their domestic crown and secure a first ever success in the Champions League.



 Maurizio Sarri 

After parting ways with Antonio Conte, Chelsea have moved in a new direction by hiring Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian has a unique background in the modern world of professional world. He never played the game at a senior level, and only took-up coaching full-time when he was 40-years-old.

Sarri’s path to the Premier League is at complete odds with Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, both of whom spent their entire playing and coaching careers in the professional arena.

The 59-year-old has developed his own brand of football, nicknamed ‘Sarriball’ by the media. The Naples-born coach got his first big role with Verona in 2008, and impressed with a three-year spell at Empoli.

That saw him courted by his hometown club, and Sarri was Napoli coach from 2015-2018, turning the Azzurri into one of the most exciting and free-scoring sides in Europe.

Sarri and Napoli came agonisingly close to the Serie A title in 2018, before he left to seek a new adventure with Chelsea in the Premier League. Can he take Chelsea to the Premier League title? Check out the latest odds, here.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho arrived in the Premier League in a blaze of glory in 2004 after spending more than a decade honing his managerial skill.

The Special One got his break when he came translator for Sir Bobby Robson at Sporting in Portugal and then again at Barcelona.

Mourinho stayed at Barcelona for four years, first under Robson and then Louis van Gaal.

After stints with Benfica and Uniao de Leira, Mourinho moved to Porto in 2002.

In a little over two-and-a-half seasons, Mourinho guided the club to the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2004.

He moved to Chelsea in 2004 and has won three Premier League titles. Mourinho has won 175 Premier League games, winning 589 points.


Sacking managers works/doesn’t work!

With Premier League competition so fierce, teams often make a managerial change mid-season.

It’s always a risky move, but the impetus of a new manager and change of style can bring the desired success.

Opta statistics show that hiring a new manager regularly brings about a significant short-term improvement in results.

Last season, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Leicester City all saw big improvements in results after changing the manager.

Head to over to our manager news pages to find out the latest odds on Premier League manager sackings and more.

Claudio Ranieri

Few people thought Leicester City had made a good move when they appointed Claudio Ranieri as manager in 2015.

Though respected after successful spells across the globe, the Italian was deemed to be the wrong choice with Leicester seemingly set for relegation.

What followed was a sporting miracle. Ranieri’s jovial approach inspired the Foxes, who won the Premier League title at odds of 5000/1.

But just 12 months later, Leicester were facing relegation and sacked Ranieri.

It was a controversial move, but it paid off as Craig Shakespeare stepped in and steered the team to safety. Shakespeare yielded a 53% win ratio following his appointment, compared to 20% under Ranieri.


David Moyes

West Ham sacked Slaven Bilic earlier this season after the club won only two of their opening 11 games.

After difficult spells in charge of Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, West Ham fans were unimpressed when David Moyes was chosen to succeed the Croatian.

Despite a lack of support from the fans, Moyes has since guided the club away from the relegation zone and towards mid-table safety, so far vindicating the club’s decision.


Frank De Boer

Eyebrows were raised when Crystal Palace chose to hire Premier League novice Frank de Boer last summer.

The Dutchman was given little time to infiltrate his style of football, and a dismal start to the season saw him sacked after just four games.

The Eagles turned to experienced hand Roy Hodgson to try and save their season. And the Englishman is showing what a difference a change in manager can make.

He guided the South London side to a famous win over Chelsea, and their results have improved dramatically with Palace climbing up the table.

Frank de Boer Manager

Experience trumps youth

Premier League managers vary greatly. Attilio Lombardo is the youngest Premier League manager. The Italian took charge of Crystal Palace in 1998 at the age of 32.

The Eagles also made the oldest managerial appointment in the Premier League when they hired 70-year-old Roy Hodgson in September.

Sir Bobby Robson is the oldest-ever Premier League manager at 71. The average age of Premier League managers last season was 51.

Eddie Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is one of the youngest managers in Premier League history. He took charge of his first game in the top division aged only 38.

The former defender likes to play an attacking brand of football, and his close-knit style of management has won plaudits.

Howe has successful kept Bournemouth in the Premier League for three seasons, despite the club being one of the smallest in the division.

Howe is the only manager in the Premier League who has managed his current club at all four levels of the Football league. He has been in charge of Bournemouth for all of their promotions from League Two.

Eddie Howe ManagerJose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho arrived in the Premier League in 2004, having just won the Champions League with Porto.

He declared himself the Special One, and quickly ushered Chelsea into a new era. In his first two seasons in charge, Mourinho guided Chelsea to their first two Premier League titles.

His divisive style saw him come to blows with the Blues in 2007 however, and he found success in Europe with Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

A second stint at Chelsea produced another Premier League title and another departure. Mourinho is now Manchester United manager, but has yet to win the league with the Red Devils.

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger almost single-handedly pushed the Premier League into a newer, healthier world when he arrived at Arsenal in 1996.

The Frenchman was adamant that a better lifestyle and better diet would produce better results. And he was correct. He won three titles in his first seven years as Arsenal boss.

Other teams have since caught up and the Gunners have struggled against clubs with bigger budgets.

But they remain a force in the Premier League with Wenger still in charge more than 20 years later at the age of 68.

Managing Footballer’s Diets

The lifestyle and diet of a footballer has changed beyond recognition in the last two decades.

Back in the 1980s and even the 1990s, it wasn’t uncommon for a footballer to smoke and enjoy a drink after a match.

But now science has moved the game on, and such traits are detrimental to a player’s performance. A good diet is now crucial to a good result.

Arsene Wenger

Many believe Arsene Wenger is more responsible than any other manager for the shift towards a healthy diet and lifestyle in football.

The Frenchman overhauled Arsenal’s eating habits, bringing in his learnings from his time in Japan. Wenger focused on healthy carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and fish, instead of eggs and chips.

Wenger also brought in healthy and fitness gurus from France. It was an unprecedented move at the time but is now a standard for all clubs.

The seismic changes provided the basis for Arsenal to win the league in 1998, 2002 and 2004, while it also extended the careers of several key players.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte became Chelsea manager in 2016 and quickly set about improving the players’ diets.

The Italian removed tomato ketchup, fizzy drinks and pizza in an effort to improve the club’s results. He even brought in balsamic vinegar instead of the regular version.

Conte has also introduced salads and chicken at Stamford Bridge, while pasta has been given the boot.

It certainly worked, Chelsea cruised to the Premier League title in 2017, winning 30 of their 38 matches.

Antonio Conte Chelsea ManagerPep Guardiola

Given his attention to detail, Pep Guardiola unsurprisingly had some changes when he became Man City manager in 2016.

The Spaniard quickly banned pizzas, while any players deemed to not be in shape were forced to train away from the senior squad.

It’s paying dividends with the Citizens running away with the Premier League title this season.

City players can now expect a diet influenced by Pep’s homeland in Spain. There’ll be plenty of rice, fish and eggs.

Football Managers Nationalities

The Premier League has seen managers from all corners of the globe. In the first season in 1992-1993, all the managers were from Britain and Ireland. This season managers from 12 different nations have managed in the Premier League.

Avram Grant is the only Premier League manager from Israel, while Christian Gross is the only Swiss to have managed in the division.

At the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season, the 20 managers came from 11 different nations. They include four Englishmen, four Spaniards, three Portuguese, an Italian, a Chilean, a Serbian, one Frenchman, one American, one Welshman, one Irishman, an Argentine and a German.


More than 150 managers from the United Kingdom have managed in the Premier League.

116 Englishman have managed in the Premier League, but they have produced only a 31% win ratio.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s success at Manchester United is a large part of Scotland’s 40% win ratio.

Welshman Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes have taken charge of more than 760 Premier League games between them.


The most successful European nations in Premier League management are Portugal, France and Italy.

Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho and Frenchman Arsene Wenger have won three Premier League titles each.

Italian duo Antonio Conte and former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri are both Premier League winners too.

Eight Spaniards have managed in the Premier League, but only three Germans, including current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Norway has the lowest win ratio of any European nation at 18%. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Egil Olsen are the only two Norwegians to manage in the Premier League.

Rest of the World

Only one non-European manager has won the Premier League and that honour goes to Chile’s Manuel Pellegrini when he was in charge of Manchester City.

Pellegrini is the only Chilean to manager in the Premier League, while Luis Felipe Scolari is the only Brazilian manager.

Southampton have hired two of the three Argentinean Premier League managers in Mauricio Pochettino and Mauricio Pellegrino. Fellow Argentine Ossie Ardiles managed Tottenham Hotspur in the early 1990s.

Former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is the only manager from Uruguay, while David Wagner and Bob Bradley are the only two managers from the USA.

Nationalities of Managers in PL & Most/Least Successful:



Country Managers Games Wins Draws Losses Points Points per Game Win %
Chile 1 118 70 21 27 231 2.03 59.30%
Brazil 1 25 14 7 4 49 1.96 56.00%
Portugal 5 441 247 102 92 843 1.91 56.00%
France 7 1283 651 324 308 2277 1.77 50.70%
Italy 7 1283 651 324 308 2277 1.77 50.7%
Germany 2 122 63 34 25 223 1.83 51.6%
Argentina 3 294 130 81 83 471 1.60 44.2%
Spain 9 790 334 204 252 1206 1.53 42.3%
Scotland 34 3420 1383 903 1134 5052 1.48 40.4%
Netherlands 8 573 234 142 197 844 1.47 40.8%
Israel 1 94 34 26 34 128 1.36 36.2%
Sweden 2 45 17 10 18 61 1.36 37.8%
Northern Ireland 7 746 256 211 279 979 1.31 34.3%
Switzerland 1 26 9 7 10 34 1.31 34.6%
Wales 8 1040 347 282 411 1323 1.27 33.4%
Croatia 2 105 34 30 41 132 1.26 32.4%
England 118 9284 2926 2507 3851 11285 1.22 31.5%
Republic of Ireland 7 1002 317 261 424 1212 1.21 31.6%
Denmark 1 62 17 19 26 70 1.13 27.4%
Uruguay 1 60 14 21 25 63 1.05 23.3%
Norway 2 54 10 14 30 44 0.81 18.5%
USA 2 53 11 14 28 47 0.89 20.8%

With the growth of Premier League popularity around the world, many teams now take part in tournaments outside of the UK.Pre-season training starts in July, and allows every Premier League team a few weeks to get their players ready for the new season.Training and pre-season

The International Champions Cup is the biggest pre-season tournament. It takes place right across the world.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool played in the USA last year, while Chelsea and Arsenal enhanced their brands by playing in Australia and Asia.

Mauricio Pochettino

Having spent the best part of 18 years with Espanyol as player and manager, Mauricio Pochettino holds a strong connection to the city of Barcelona.

So it’s no wonder the Tottenham boss loves to take his team there for a mid-season break.

For three Januarys in succession now, Spurs have jetted off to the Spanish city for a short getaway.

Pochettino has used it as a chance to bond with the squad, to get some warm weather training and to recharge the batteries.

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not a fan of the British Christmas schedule. When most European leagues take a break, the Premier League undergoes a rigorous few weeks of fixtures.

So in January Klopp took his team to Dubai for a week to relax and enjoy some warmer weather.

There was no major training or friendly match involved. The trip was used to focus on relaxing and recharging the batteries ahead of the crucial second half of the season.

Jurgen Klopp

Pep Guardiola

Like many of his modern day contemporaries, Man City manager Pep Guardiola is keen to ensure his players are rested and sharp for when it matters.

That’s why the Spaniard allowed his team four days off in early February.

This wasn’t a team trip. The players were allowed to go wherever they pleased.

It can be seen as a key piece of man management on Guardiola’s part.

Allowing players to take control and remove themselves from the rigours of club environments can help them relax and return more focused. 

Guardiola v Benitez v Mourinho

Pep Guardiola, Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho are three of the most successful and famous managers in the Premier League.

Between them they have managed some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Statistics from Opta show that Guardiola is the most successful of the three with a 76.5% win ratio.

That number drops to 70.8% when applied to the Premier League.

Mourinho holds a 67.1% win ratio overall and a 63.2& win rate in the Premier League.

Benitez has a 48.9% win rate from his career. The Newcastle manager’s ratio increases to 51.9& when applied to only the Premier League.

Success Abroad

Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez have enjoyed much success in Europe.

They have all won the Champions League, in addition to an array of league and cup successes.

Benitez is known for his tactical flexibility and his perfectionist style.

The Spaniard is also known to be an excellent man-manager with the ability to bring out the best in his players.

Mourinho’s style is to make his sides hard to beat. His Chelsea teams rarely conceded and the same now goes for his current Manchester United squad.

Commonly focusing on defence, Mourinho’s teams often need to score just one or two goals to win a game.

Guardiola prefers a high-intensity pressing style of football. The Spaniard has raised the bar for the focus he gives his teams when it comes to working off the ball.

When on the ball, his players must always be on the move, finding space and offering outlets for team-mates in order to keep and dominate possession.   

Want to know more on the news surrounding the Premier League managers and the latest odds on the next appointments? Find out here.  

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.