The English Premier League is renowned as one of the best and most competitive on the planet. Factors which contribute towards the league’s popularity with fans and those assessing the latest betting offers, and also make the task of winning that famous trophy a notoriously difficult task.
To win the Premier League once is an achievement – to do so on multiple occasions is an especially noteworthy accomplishment.
However, great managers revel in the face of such challenges, and since the competition made its debut back in 1992/93, a total of 11 managers have led their sides to glory. Here we take a look at the five men who have the best record in the latest incarnation of the top flight of the English game.
Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Titles: 13
Other Trophies: 2 Champions Leagues, 1 European Cup Winners Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 10 Charity/Community Shields.
Where else to begin than with one of the greatest managers in the history of the game?
Heading to Manchester from Aberdeen in 1986, United were second bottom at the time of Ferguson’s arrival. Improvement was hoped for, but few could have dreamt of the highs to follow.
Not that it was all plain sailing. Despite an initial upturn in form, by the end of the decade, United were loitering just outside the relegation zone, with sections of support calling for Ferguson to be relieved of his duties. Luckily, the board didn’t listen.
The FA Cup arrived at Old Trafford in 1989-90, followed by the European Cup Winners Cup in 1990-91, before the side were crowned the first-ever Premier League Champions in 1992-93, and followed up in 1993-94. The side lost out to Jack Walkers Blackburn Rovers in 94-95, but they were back on top of the tree in 95-96, 96-97, 98-99, 99-00, 00-01 and 02-03.
A lull followed between 03-04 and 05-06 as Arsenal and Chelsea kept the title in London, but United reclaimed the limelight with five successes between 06-07 and 12-13.
Ferguson retired at the end of that 2012-13 season – Manchester United have not won the title since!
Racking up 38 domestic and European trophies during his time in charge, this titan of the game remains well clear of the competition.
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Premier League Titles: 4
Other Trophies: 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cups, 2 Community Shields
We only need to shift the focus to the other side of Manchester for the man in the second spot. A three-time La Liga winner with Barcelona, and triple Bundesliga champ with Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in 2016 with a lofty reputation and considerable hype. It is fair to say he has delivered.
Finishing third in his opening season as the side adapted to his unique brand of possession football, by the 17-18 campaign Pep had the Citizens purring to Premier League success. Following up in 18-19, they then lost out to a rampant Liverpool in 2018-19. That, however, proved to be no more than a temporary blip, as the blue side of Manchester was celebrating again in 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
Premier League Titles: 3
Other Trophies: 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups, 1 Community Shield
It wouldn’t be a list of the greatest Premier League managers without a place for the self-proclaimed “Special One”.
Despite being a dual Primeira Liga winner, and Champions League champ with Porto, some viewed Jose Mourinho as a slight gamble when handed the keys to the Chelsea manager’s office in 2004.
The Portuguese native wasted little time dispelling those concerns, winning the 2004-05 title during his first season in charge, and proving that to be no fluke when following up in 05-06.
Departing for Inter Milan ahead of the 2008-09 campaign, Mourinho grabbed two Serie A titles, before stopping off in Madrid to win La Liga with Real. Returning to Stamford Bridge in 2013 as one of the most lauded coaches in the global game, Mourinho showed he still had the magic touch when leading the Blues to the title once more in 2014-15.
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)
Premier League Titles: 3
Other Trophies: 7 FA Cups, 7 Charity/Community Shields
Upon joining Arsenal during the 1996-97 season, Arsene Wenger became the first Frenchman to manage in the Premier League, arriving from the relative backwaters of Naguya Grampus Eight in the Japanese J-League. Those in charge at the North London club had clearly spotted something in the ex-Monaco boss, and they were to be proved right in their assessment in spectacular style.
Remaining in charge – first at Highbury and then the Emirates – for a little under 22 years, Wenger transformed the club from top to bottom. Under his stewardship, Arsenal shed the “boring, boring” label to become one of the most attractive and exciting sides the league has ever seen.
When all was said and done, Wenger left the club having added a total of 17 trophies to the silverware cabinet, including three Premier League titles in 97-98, 01-02 and 03-04. It is the last of those wins which will forever remain engrained in footballing folklore, as Arsenal achieved the unprecedented feat of going through the entire Premier League season unbeaten – earning the well-earned nickname of “The Invincibles”.
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Premier League Titles: 1
Other Trophies: 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 FIFA World Club Cup,1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup, 1 Community Shield
Last but not least, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Twice successful in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015, bringing his high-octane brand of “Heavy-Metal” football with him.
Results were not immediate, but by the 2018-19 season, Klopp had Anfield rocking on a regular basis. It was a case of so near and yet so far that season, as the Reds lost out by just one point to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. There would be no such heartache in 19-20 as Liverpool roared to the title, finishing fully 18 points clear of the chasing pack.
Klopp is yet to add to his total but, having led the historic club to their first league title in 30 years and won all of the other major trophies during his reign, the German has earned a permanent place in the hearts of the Anfield faithful and just edges out the other one-time winners.
Manuel Pellegrini: Winner with Manchester City in 2013-14
Antonio Conte: Winner with Chelsea in 2016-17
Claudio Ranieri: Winner with Leicester City in 2015-16
Roberto Mancini: Winner with Manchester City in 2011-12
Carlo Ancelotti: Winner with Chelsea in 2009-10
Sir Kenny Dalglish: Winner with Blackburn in 1994-95