Battle of the Managers

Usually we’re captivated by the stars on the field, but this season it’s the characters on the sidelines who will draw the most attention. Five legendary managers will take their places behind the top Premier League teams in a war of wits, tactics, and very big personalities.

Click through to compare their personal triumphs and decide for yourself – Who will add another title victory to their laundry list of trophies in the 2016/2017 season?

Antonio Conte
Claudio Ranieri
Jurgen Klopp
Pep Guardiola
José Mourinho
Antonio Conte
Win percentage
55.4%
Games managed
328
Trophies won
6
Avg. points per game
2.25
Manager of the season
X3

Manager’s Description

During his professional career, Conte’s fiery attack in Juventus’s midfield allowed them to secure five league titles and a Champions League cup between 1991 and 2004. He carried this taste for victory through to his managerial role with the team, adding another three league titles to his trophy tally. With a tactical approach based in creating a solid, defensive foundation, Conte has stepped away from Serie 1 for the first time, moving into the Premier League to take on the task of reconstructing Chelsea.

“I consider defeat to be a state of virtual death.”

Claudio Ranieri
Win percentage
47.2%
Games managed
964
Trophies won
10
Avg. points per game
2.05
Manager of the season
X1

Manager’s Description

Nicknamed ‘The Tinkerman’, Ranieri has tweaked and tampered with formations and teams across four different top level leagues. Known for fidgeting with his squad until he’s created the perfect game-winning combination, he led champions in Serie 1 and La Ligue, before making history with Leicester City in the Premier League. Last season he seemed to have laid his tools to rest, instead keeping a solid structure to support the relentless brilliance of lead striker Jamie Vardy.

“We were told that being a manager was like parachuting - sometimes the chute doesn't open and you splatter on the ground.”

Jurgen Klopp
Win percentage
49.1%
Games managed
641
Trophies won
5
Avg. points per game
1.9
Manager of the season
X2

Manager’s Description

Known for his quirky glasses and his signature “Gegenpressing” approach to counter-attack, in his professional career Klopp was signed to FSV Mainz. An average playing career led to a successful managerial role, and he moved up the ranks to helm Borussia Dortmund in 2008. By prioritising possession and energetic pressure, he oversaw Dortmund become champions twice over before moving to the Premier League to apply his tactics and reinvigorate Liverpool FC.

“You cannot win without tactical things but the emotion makes the difference.”

Pep Guardiola
Win percentage
74.4%
Games managed
451
Trophies won
21
Avg. points per game
2.4
Manager of the season
X4

Manager’s Description

Pep Guardiola has applied his possession-minded approach and conquered across top level leagues. Originally a rock in Barcelona’s midfield, he needs two hands to count the titles secured during his playing career, and both feet to add up the trophies he’s accumulated since becoming a manager. He’ll bring his passing-driven tactics to the Premier League this year, with the hope that Manchester City will frustrate and dominate their way to the top of the table.

“My only merit is loving my job.”

José Mourinho
Win percentage
66%
Games managed
765
Trophies won
22
Avg. points per game
2.3
Manager of the season
X2

Manager’s Description

Mourinho has victory built into his biological clock – he won at least one trophy a year between 2003 and 2012, and has secured eight league titles across four different countries. But, can he continue this success at Manchester United? There’s no formula to success for The Special One: a tactician by nature, the only thing anyone can be sure of is that he’s got an answer to whatever unfolds on the field – and plenty to say (or refuse to say) in the post-match interview.

“Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.”