Klopp, Gerrard, Guardiola, Rangnick: All 20 Premier League managers ranked

  • Kobe Tong

The 2021/22 Premier League season is striding confidently towards its final act.

While some clubs haven’t quite hit the halfway mark just yet, the finish line feels in sight nonetheless as the title race, top four battle and relegation fight become clearer with each passing week.

As such, now feels like as good a time as any to take stock of everything that’s happened across the season so far and today, we’re honing in on the Premier League‘s managers in particular.

2021/22 Premier League

Since we last ranked and rated the current crop of coaches in England’s top-flight in July, there have been no less than six alternations despite there only having been four switches last season.

Marry that to the countless narrative threads that have unravelled since the campaign got underway and there’s plenty for us to unpack as we take another look at the Premier League’s head honchos.

1 of 20

Who is this manager who lasted just 84 days?

To do so, we’re turning to our trusty medium of Tiermaker to place each of the 20 coaches into the very same six categories that we’ve deployed since the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

The opinion of your humble writer will decide whether each coach will be placed in ‘sacked soon’, ‘middle of the road’, ‘criminally underrated’, ‘potential greatness’, ‘elite’ or ‘world-class’ at the top.

Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea Match Reaction (Football Terrace)

Ranking Premier League managers

So, bear in mind that this is ultimately a subjective exercise and that the quality of coaching in the Premier League is such that even the lowest-ranked managers are still downright fantastic.

However, enough with the disclaimers and housekeeping because we’ve got plenty of ranking to do, and you can check out how each Premier League coach lined up with our final Tiermaker below:

Sacked soon

Claudio Ranieri and Rafael Benitez

Now, we’re not necessarily saying that these coaches should sacked, but rather that their current situation within the context of how managers are treated suggests they could well be axed soon.

Besides, despite flashy wins over Everton and Manchester United, Ranieri looks set to become the umpteen-millionth Watford manager to lose their job on the back of six consecutive league defeats.

And the Toffees’ patience with Benitez surely can’t last much longer with the former Liverpool coach having overseen just one Premier League win and no less than eight losses since September 25.


Middle of the road

Dean Smith, Eddie Howe and Ralph Hasenhüttl

Look, being a ‘middle of the road’ manager in arguably the best league in the world is by no means an insult, but there just had to be a few coaches who paled in comparison to some of the big hitters.

There’s no denying that Smith did a fantastic job at Aston Villa, but he’s got his work cut out at Norwich City and we’ve not seen enough to either call him ‘elite’ or tip him for ‘potential greatness’.

Meanwhile, the hype train on Howe becoming a future England manager has ground to a halt after suffering relegation with Bournemouth and making a slow start to life at Newcastle United.

And although Hasenhüttl is starting to turn things around at Southampton with limited resources, there have been too many road-bumps along the way to call him a top 15 Premier League coach.


Criminally underrated

Graham Potter, Thomas Frank, Sean Dyche and Bruno Lage

This tier does what it says on the tin and it speaks volumes about the cut-throat world of Premier League management that we feel confident in saying that four coaches deserve far more credit.

What Potter is achieving at Brighton & Hove Albion this season is simply miraculous with only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea having lost few league games than the Seagulls in 2021/22.

Meanwhile, it’s great to see Brentford getting so much credit for their strong start to life in the big time, but when do you see it being attributed to Frank’s coaching? Not often enough, that’s when.

As for Dyche, Burnley might well go down this season, but what the 50-year-old has achieved to keep them in the top-flight for over half a decade is deserving of far, far more plaudits than it gets.

And boy has Lage been a breath of fresh air at Wolverhampton Wanderers, low-key staking a claim as the Premier League Manager of the Season for overseeing the division’s second-best defence.


Potential greatness

Steven Gerrard, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira

You get the picture: these are managers who have the potential to occupy the very highest rungs of the Tiermaker one day, but we still haven’t quite worked out how high they ceiling actually is.

Gerrard certainly has bags of promise on the back of winning the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, but we need a bigger sample size of results at Villa to truly assess his top-level pedigree.

Meanwhile, Arteta really pulled it around in 2021 as he guided Arsenal to fourth place in the Premier League table of the calendar year, duly doing enough to suggest that he can become elite one day.

And for all the bumps in the road at New York City FC and Nice, Vieira is quietly doing a fantastic job at Crystal Palace that gives us reason to think he could become a truly great coach in the future.



Ralf Rangnick, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes and Marcelo Bielsa

We’re getting towards the business end of the Tiermaker now and we’ve reached the category that essentially lists the Premier League’s best managers who just fall shy of earning ‘world-class’ status.

Perhaps we’ve been kind to Rangnick, but relegating him to ‘middle of the road’ just five league games into his United tenure would have been savage when you consider his standing in the sport.

Rodgers has punched above his weight wherever he’s gone and don’t let Leicester’s patchy form this season persuade you otherwise, particularly after bagging the FA Cup and Community Shield.

As for Moyes, the man has been working wonders at West Ham United and is rightfully starting to receive the very same praise that saw him heralded as one of the Premier League’s best at Everton.

Truth be told, Bielsa was the hardest coach to place in the entire Tiermaker because, well, none of the categories seemed to suit him and ‘elite’ – despite his pedigree – can’t help feeling generous.

However, we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt because Leeds have only lost twice to non-‘big six’ opposition in the league this season and guiding them to 9th in 2020/21 remains underrated.



Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel

Gosh, it really is a compliment to the Premier League that almost a quarter of the division’s coaches can not only be labelled as world-class, but with relatively little debate surrounding it too.

Conte remains unbeaten in the league with Tottenham Hotspur despite all the challenges that he’s up against and his success with Juventus, Italy, Chelsea and Inter Milan really does speak for itself.

Klopp’s project at Liverpool will be studied for decades to come with his breathtaking brand of football ensuring that the Reds became champions of Europe, the world and the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Tuchel has worked wonders at Chelsea by delivering Champions League and UEFA Super Cup glory as well as FA Cup and League Cup finals in the space of just 12 months.

However, if we had to pick one to rule them all, then it would be Guardiola because the City coach is nothing short of a silverware magnet and coaches some of the best football that we’ve ever seen.

And with the Citizens on course to win a fourth Premier League title in just five seasons, Guardiola is set to become the competition’s second-most decorated manager ever behind Sir Alex Ferguson.


Stunning level of management in England

The standard of managers in the Premier League at the moment is simply dizzying.

If somebody said to you that Guardiola, Conte, Klopp and Tuchel were the best four managers in the men’s game, then you couldn’t exactly say that it was an outrageous opinion with a straight face.

Everyone from Diego Simeone to Julian Nagelsmann and Mauricio Pochettino to Jose Mourinho might have something to say about that, but England really does feel like the place to be right now.


So, strap yourselves in, ladies and gentlemen, because there are plenty of exciting storylines and battles to enjoy before the season comes to an end with all 20 managers set to take centre stage.

Only time, and results, will tell how they’ll stack up and how many will remain come May. Stay tuned.



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