Ranking the PL managers 22/23

Aakash Rao
6 min readOct 20, 2022

Welcome back to my blog, and after a very, very long break, I’m back with a banger of an article. The Premier League kicked off back in August, and suddenly it’s already Matchday 11! Some clubs have done spectacularly over these 11 weeks, while some… have struggled. Let’s take a look at each club’s manager and how I rank them in a tier list based on their managerial ability, tactics, man-management and more!

Championship level

Steven Gerrard

Steve Davis and James Collins

This tier has the least managers, with only one permanent manager making the list. Steve Davis and James collins are Wolves’ caretaker managers, and honestly they’re really out of their depth. Hopefully Wolves sort out their managerial conundrum before their next match. However, Steven Gerrard is the only permanent PL manager making this list, which may come as a surprise to some of you. While this may seem biased coming from a United fan, I genuinely believe Gerrard is still a Villa manager only due to his big name, and not because of his managerial aptitude. The stats back me up, with Gerrard only having a 34.2% win rate since taking over Villa, an appallingly terrible win rate considering the quality of players Villa have. The Villa board have backed Gerrard with some amazing signings, and while Diego Carlos’ injury does not help them this season, Gerrard has to do better with the resources given to him. Trust me, he will be gone by December and his next job will be at a club like Sunderland or Blackburn Rovers. Just watch.

Distinctly average

Marco Silva

Jesse Marsch

Ralph Hassenhuttl

This next category is for managers who are quite ‘meh’. Not really terrible, tactically decent, but certainly not great managers. All 3 fit perfectly in this category, given the average start to the season they have had. Marco Silva will always be remembered for the disaster-class of a job he had at Everton, but he has been pretty ok with Fulham. Not great in the PL, but certainly better than everyone expected him (and Fulham) to be this season (so far). Meanwhile, Jesse Marsch is the definition of overhyped, as the American has got a Ted Lasso-esque following from American fans and Leeds fans, who have glorified his football beyond its true merits. Sure, Leeds have been pretty decent, but for the quality of players they have they could do better in certain games. Finally, Hassenhuttl gets a major downgrade as I have pretty much realised that the Austrian is more suited to a different league. He will do a wonder job at a club like Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen or even Sevilla, but I think he’s been pretty average in terms of results at the South Coast. His style of play is fun to watch, but he needs results.

Class

Brendan Rodgers

Frank Lampard

De Zerbi

Gary O’Neil

Patrick Viera

Thomas Frank

These managers are tactically astute and definitely can do a job at any team outside the top 4 (as of now). They may not be tactical geniuses, but you can be sure they have done decent work at their current clubs. While Rodgers may be in the mud as of now (since Leicester are 19th), he is definitely one of the best managers in their history, winning them an FA Cup recently. He has been consistently good (till now) with the Foxes, and he would have been higher if not for the terrible season he is currently having. Lampard, meanwhile, has redeemed himself and proven that he is NOT a managerial dunce, utilising the limited resources available at Everton to elevate the club. Sure, they may not be challenging for European football yet, but give Lampard time and I’m sure he may finally be the one to bring them back to their glory days by winning an FA Cup and perhaps gaining European competition in a few seasons. De Zerbi, on the other hand, is a manager who definitely could rank higher based on his other top class jobs, but he will have to settle for ‘Class’ till I see more of him with Brighton. Gary O’Neil has arrested Bournemouth’s terrible form, with the Cherries unbeaten for the past few games till their unfortunate defeat to the Saints recently. Viera has done a spectacular rebuilding this Palace side, and with his attractive brand of football, will look to elevate them to a top half this season. Finally, the Danish manager Thomas Frank can be more than content with his job at Brentford. While he is no tactical genius, he has helped the Bees overachieve in the Prem, and should continue to do so barring some major hiccup.

Tactical Geniuses

Eddie Howe

Steve Cooper

Erik Ten Hag

Moyes

Mikel Arteta

Graham Potter

These 4 managers are world class managers in the making, as all of them have done spectacular jobs for their teams, revitalising their sides with astute signings and great football. Eddie Howe has become the central figure of the Saudis’ Newcastle rebuild, and he has made some good signings while also establishing an attractive, eye-catching brand of football which gets results. Mark my words, Newcastle will win the Premier League in the next 10 seasons. Just watch. Meanwhile, despite Forest’s struggles in the Prem, Steve Cooper has been on-point with his tactics, and the only thing left for Forest to do is to ensure their new signings gel ASAP for them to avoid the drop. I think Forest will end up like Villa, escaping relegation at the last gasp. There are many similarities between the two sides, so I foresee Nottm Forest avoiding the drop barely in a similar fashion to the Birmingham side. Erik Ten Hag may have just joined United in May, but he has done a wonderful job at Old Trafford. He has truly brought about change, and for once I am genuinely excited for the major matches as I no longer fear a mess-up. His tactics are sound, he is not afraid to drop big names, and has revitalised this broken United squad. From the current United manager to one of the worst in our history, David Moyes has truly revived his career by leading West Ham to greater heights. The Hammers have overachieved under the careful guidance of the Scot, and he looks on course to establish them as a top half or even top 8 club for the next 5 years or so. On the other hand, Arteta has exceeded expectation in his 3rd year at the Emirates by leading Arsenal to the top of the Prem, but he definitely has a long way to go to truly be called world-class. While not all Arsenal fans may have agreed with his appointment when Emery was sacked, he has revolutionised the club and with some youthful signings plus some great football, he has led Arsenal from being a meme club to being a top 6 club once again. Finally, Potter has earned a huge move to Chelsea after impressing with his ‘hipster’ football on the South Coast, and I can honestly say he is a future England manager in the making. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he is the next Johan Cruyff or SAF, but he’s definitely better than Gareth Southgate. Let him replace Southgate in 2 years, and lead England to glory in 2026. Thank me later, English FA.

World Class

Klopp

Guardiola

Conte

Enough has been said of these 3 world-class managers, but let me go through their achievements once again. Despite Liverpool’s recent struggles, Klopp has achieved nothing but success in his 7 years at the club, and he has truly set up the club to remain footballing giants for the next 7 years. His rebuild has worked perfectly, and his revolutionary tactics are something everyone who loves football know about. The hearty German has been an icon for the Scousers, and deserves all the plaudits he get for his top class management.

Meanwhile, Guardiola continues to lead City to even more success, with the signing of Erling Haaland firmly placing the PL title as City’s to lose for the next 10 years. Guardiola may be seen as a manager who only does it if he has enough money, but not everyone can consistently make top signings like he did. His signings coupled with his great tactics has allowed City to win 4 PL titles in 5 years, and the only thing he now needs to win to truly be one of the best managers in England is the CL. That may be achieved pretty soon, given the rate at which Haaland is scoring at.

Finally, Conte has done a classy job at Spurs, leading them to the top 4 last year. He has done what Mourinho couldn’t; bring results while playing decent football, and many Spurs fans are surely worrying about the Italian leaving them for a bigger club soon. For now, however, Conte is aiming to break Spurs’ trophy curse, and he genuinely looks like the man to do it.

That’s all for this article, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Do check out my older articles, and till next time, adios!

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Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!