Does the Premier League Have the Best Coaches in the World?

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The Premier League is renowned for attracting many of the world’s top players. The two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, may be playing elsewhere but big wages (average wage bill €153.9m), a £8.4bn TV deal, high-tempo football and the highest average attendances in the world, make the English top flight appealing to players looking to test themselves at the pinnacle of the sport.

But does the Premier League also boast the best selection of coaches of any league in the world? Let’s look at the evidence.

Elite roll call

At the start of the 2018/19 campaign, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery, Maurizio Sarri and Jose Mourinho will lead the top six teams, while Manuel Pellegrini, Marco Silva, Nuno Espirito Santo, Javi Gracia, Rafa Benitez, Claude Puel, Eddie Howe, David Wagner, Slavisa Jokanovic and Sean Dyche are just some of the other highly-rated technicians who will be plying their trade in England this term.

Five of those coaches were ranked in the top 11 by a recent think tank in Spain while a sixth, Antonio Conte, only left a few weeks ago.

Guardiola. Klopp, Benitez, Emery, Mourinho, Puel and Pellegrini have won the following trophies between them:

  • UEFA Champions League: 5
  • UEFA/Europa Cup: 5
  • UEFA Super Cup: 3
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 3
  • Premier League: 5
  • FA Cup: 2
  • EFL Cup: 6
  • La Liga: 6
  • Copa del Rey: 3
  • Spanish Super Cup: 4
  • Bundesliga: 5
  • DFB-Pokal: 3
  • DFL Super Cup: 2
  • Serie A: 2
  • Coppa Italia: 2
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 3
  • Ligue 1: 2
  • Coupe de France: 2
  • Coupe de la Ligue: 2
  • Trophee des Champions: 3

Coaches’ coach heading for the Premier League?

There is also a scenario where we could see Marcelo Bielsa (mentor to Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino) join them next year should he manage to guide Championship club Leeds United back to the top level.

Bielsa has been an inspiration to many top coaches. His unorthodox methods, training regimes and team formations have helped transform the way that many of today’s top technicians operate. And for many, seeing him coach alongside his disciples in the biggest league in the world is a prospect to be relished.

A change of guard

Despite some new faces, there are still a few of the old guard knocking around. Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes and Neil Warnock will all take charge of teams for the upcoming season but none are expected to achieve much beyond survival.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho can also be included in this category having managed Premier League clubs on three separate occasions over the last 13 years. Despite his excellent track record and considerable trophy haul, the Manchester United boss is second favourite with Betway to be first manager sacked. Even young Spanish coach Javi Gracia, in charge of trigger-happy Watford, is expected to last longer.

Other regular faces such as Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis are all out of the picture for now. Although, Pulis will be hoping to lead Championship side Middlesbrough back to top flight.

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Inspiration to young coaches

Having so many top coaches in one league is a dream for any aspiring coach. Those looking for ideas on how to build out from the back might want to study Sarri, while those hoping to boost the confidence of their young players might draw inspiration from Klopp.

By studying Guardiola, coaches can learn how to make the most of possession while others may learn a thing or two about defensive setups from Rafa Benitez. In fact, there is something to be learned from all the top coaches in Premier League.

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The mixture of styles is much more pronounced in the Premier League and it gives aspiring coaches a chance to see how different systems can work against each other and how one can be used to counteract another. Only the Champions League offers an experience even close to this.

So, while La Liga still has Messi, Serie A has Ronaldo and Ligue 1 has Neymar, the Premier League boasts the best selection of coaches anywhere on the planet.