Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and the Premier League's five world-class managers right now


The Premier League plays host to some of the greatest managers in world football.

Besides, there's good reason to think that half of the 'big six' clubs have the three greatest managers of the last decade in their dugouts: Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.

Now, that statement alone might have incited debate and protestations amongst football fans but in that case, strap yourselves in, because we're about to have a close shave with controversy.

Premier League coaches

Having looked at the players that we consider to be worthy of 'world-class' status in Europe's top five leagues this week, we're now turning our attention to Premier League managers.

Naturally, the definition of 'world-class' is a debatable one because you could argue that all 20 coaches deserve that label for the incredible achievement of managing in England's top-flight.

But we're here to separate the great from the good and the inimitable from the incredible, so we've counted five Premier League managers who pass our threshold for being considered 'world-class'.

That, for the record, is boasting the quality to be considered amongst the world's very best coaches and we're judging that on recent career accolades, 2020/21 quality and pound-for-pound achievements with the resources at their disposal. 


World-class Premier League managers

At the expense of stating the obvious, those metrics are - of course - subjective, so this is nothing more than our own opinion within our own parameters, so it's by no means a definitive reckoning of the competition's managers.

But before you let us know how many Premier League managers are world-class in your eyes, be sure to check out our five selections and see how much they line up or - as they case be me - do not:

1. Pep Guardiola

Like, duh. I don't think anybody can disagree with me here because Guardiola is one of the greatest managers in history and on course to win his third Premier League title by miles and miles.

Sure, he hasn't won the Champions League since 2011, but we're talking about a coach who's led the Citizens to six major honours and a record-breaking 100-point season in just four years.


2. Jurgen Klopp

Say what you like about Liverpool's recent form, but you'd be barmy to let that undermine his staggering achievements at Anfield when injuries and misfortune have been so rampant in 2020/21.

The difference between the Reds side that Klopp inherited and the one he led to Champions League and Premier League glory is night and day, so of course he should be considered world-class.


3. Brendan Rodgers

Ok, now we're getting into controversial territory and we're starting with arguably our most divisive choice of the bunch in a spirit akin to tackling a cold swimming pool by jumping in all in one go.

But let's take a moment to zoom out and talk about a manager who almost led a top-heavy Liverpool side to Premier League glory and dominated at Celtic by winning an unprecedented 'double treble'.

And now, he's spearheading a superb Champions League charge at the wheel of a club that, barring their 5,000-1 miracle, have largely competed for the top half at best since their 2014 promotion.

So, for my money, Rodgers more than deserves his world-class status as it stands, but it would be simply irrefutable if he can lead the perpetually-selling Foxes to consecutive top-five finishes.


4. Carlo Ancelotti

I won't deign to exhaustively list Ancelotti's historic achievements as a coach, winning everything under the sun at AC Milan and Real Madrid, but the Italian makes the cut based on more than just legacy.

We can't underplay the fact that Everton are competing for their best Premier League finish in decades, even if he did arrive on the back of a disappointing Napoli spell and benefits from big spending.

So, sure, we'll happily agree that Ancelotti has seen his stock fallen since Bayern Munich sent him packing, but his pound-for-pound achievements are still worthy of the 'world-class' label in our eyes.


5. Thomas Tuchel

Argue as you might that winning trophies at Paris Saint-Germain is as easy as getting your hands on chicken at Nando's, but try telling me that leading them to a club-first Champions League final is quite so simple.

Marry that to an impressive Borussia Dortmund spell as well as a stunning start to life at Stamford Bridge and I don't think it's controversial to consider Tuchel amongst the world's best head coaches.


No Jose Mourinho

Let's address the elephant in the room: there's no place for Mourinho.

While I think you might understand our decision to leave out coaches like Mikel Arteta and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I'll happily admit that Mourinho's absence may seem strange given Ancelotti's presence, in particular.

But I'm inclined to think that Mourinho hasn't truly deserved his world-class label since winning his third Premier League title with Chelsea in 2014/15.

At Manchester United, Carabao Cup and Europa League triumphs papered over the cracks of an underwhelming first season and his second-place finish the following year has only been made to look good in hindsight. 


Meanwhile, there's no denying how poor the third years of his United spell and Chelsea return were and even his Spurs tenure threatened to implode recently during a spell of five league defeats in six games.

And if you're wondering why Ancelotti is getting the nod over Mourinho right now, you needn't look any further than the Premier League table to see who's performing better - and with lesser resources to boot.

Are we right? Are we completely wrong?

But other than Mourinho and his managerial rivals in the 'big six', we're happy to admit that Marcelo Bielsa and Nuno Espirito Santo are leading the chasing pack for 'world-class' status in England.

That being said, it's only our opinion and it's by no means beyond refute, so be sure to let us know how many Premier League managers you think should be considered 'world-class' across our social channels.


Besides, we're going to take a leaf out of Mourinho's book and park a bus to hide behind because we've probably angered a fair few fans of the 'Special One'. I love you, Jose, I promise...

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