Guardiola, Klopp, Conte: Which Premier League manager has best points per game?

Klopp and Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are creating levels nobody can match atop of the Premier League.

The two managers, in charge of Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, have pushed each other to the absolute limit in the last several seasons, resulting in epic, 90+ point title races between the two sides.

It’s a level that is simply unthinkable for the other 18 managers in the league who, for one reason or another, have absolutely no chance of finding a consistent level of dominance like City and Liverpool.

And while it has been City who have almost always come out on top, winning four of the last five Premier League seasons, Liverpool have every right to feel short changed.

The Reds have put together three 90+ point campaigns, including a 97 point season in 2018/19 that still somehow wasn’t enough to clinch the crown, but only have their 2019/20 title to show for it.

In an era where transfers are getting more and more ridiculous, sports science and technology continues to increase in importance and the need for elite coaching methods and an established brand of football only becomes greater, the pressure is on managers more than ever at the top level.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola embrace on the touchline
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shares a joke with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on April 10, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

And with so many coming to the Premier League to try and prove their worth – just like players – the competition is obscenely high.

City pipped Liverpool to the title again in 2021/22, storming to what was a comfortable claim for Guardiola in the end, with the Reds falling away in pursuit of a quadruple, and Chelsea’s challenge falling apart early on, despite carrying all the hype going into the season.

We say this every year, but the 2022/23 campaign is gearing up to be potentially the most exciting Premier League season yet. Let us explain.

Arsenal have regrouped and finally look capable of sitting among the big hitters once again. Manchester United are quietly rebuilding under Erik ten Hag, who could well be the man to finally change their post-Fergie fortunes. Tottenham have gone all in on Antonio Conte and could mount a title challenge, closing the gap on Chelsea, Liverpool and City.

Man Utd close in on Martinez (Football Terrace)

And this is before you even consider Newcastle, who are now the richest team in the world and will undoubtedly be back among those big hitters in the next few seasons.

So, with the league only getting more and more competitive but also more difficult, it’s time for us to look at which managers are performing the best, using their points-per-game statistics.

Quite simply, ‘points per game’ refers to the average number of points a manager has scored from the games they’ve played and is calculated by dividing the total number of points, by the total games played.

With help from stats provided by both Transfermarkt and FootyStats.org, we have put together a list of the top ten managers in the Premier League with the highest points per game ratio, that considers each manager’s points per game in the English top flight. Let’s take a look.

Managers with the highest Premier League PPG

Brendan Rodgers smiles on the touchline
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 08: Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park on December 08, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

10. Patrick Vieira – Crystal Palace – 1.26 PPG

9. David Moyes – West Ham – 1.34 PPG

8. Bruno Lage – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1.36 PPG

7. Frank Lampard – Everton – 1.5 PPG

6. Brendan Rodgers – Leicester City – 1.67 PPG

5. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal – 1.84 PPG

4. Antonio Conte – Tottenham – 2.05 PPG

3. Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool – 2.09 PPG

2. Thomas Tuchel – Chelsea – 2.12 PPG

  1. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City – 2.33 PPG

A lot to break down. Let’s start by saying that we didn’t include Ten Hag nor did we include Nottingham Forest’s Steve Cooper, because neither of them have any data from managing in the English top flight.

Interesingly, though, Ten Hag’s PPG from his tenure at Ajax sits at 2.34 per Transfermarket, which would actually land him ahead of Guardiola. Wow.

Ten Hag looks on while at Ajax
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – MAY 15: AFC Ajax Head Coach / Manager, Erik ten Hag looks on prior to the Dutch Eredivisie match between Vitesse and Ajax Amsterdam held at Gelredome on May 15, 2022 in Arnhem, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

As for Steve Cooper, his PPG with Nottingham Forest thus far is an astounding 2.04, which would put him ahead of Mikel Arteta in fourth.

Of course, the reason we didn’t include them is because we cannot compare unti they’ve managed in the Premier League, but knowing those impressive figures certainly creates healthy expectations.

Guardiola’s eye-watering 2.33 PPG in charge of City is astounding, but not surprising. What is perhaps surprising, though, is Tuchel pipping Klopp for second place, albeit by 0.03 PPG. They all count, though. Just a shame Chelsea couldn’t sustain that standard last season.

Best of the rest

Rodgers has pulled together an excellent PPG haul in England when considering his time at Leicester, Liverpool and Swansea City, while Bruno Lage has made a fine start as Wolves manager in eighth. Frank Lampard currently just about sits ahead of him, but we must remember that there are managers in this list – like Lampard – who have got much more Premier League management mileage on the clock than others.

Lage’s developments next season, as well as Patrick Vieira’s at Crystal Palace, will certainly be interesting, as the latter creeps into the top ten with 1.26 PPG. Notable absentees include Eddie Howe (1.2), Steven Gerrard (1.25), and Graham Potter (1.23).

Vieira claps the Crystal Palace fans
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Manager Patrick Vieira of Crystal Palace applauds the fans after the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park on May 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

The stats ultimately aren’t everything, though. David Moyes’ work since returning to West Ham and his excellent work at Everton have been marred by tricky spells in between, but there isn’t a Hammers fan who would complain about the work he’s done with them in the last few seasons.

What matters most is that Premier League table after 38 games. The PPG shows us just how competitive next season is set to be, however, and looking at the data, we’re in for another exciting one.

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