Football

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer rank greatest ever Premier League managers


Ian Wright and Alan Shearer were both in agreement on the greatest Premier League manager of all-time – despite their opinion differing with that of Gary Lineker.

The former England internationals were debating who the best top-flight boss has been since the Premier Leagues’ inception in 1992 for the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast.

Wright was fortunate to play in the trailblazing Arsenal side under Arsene Wenger in the 90s, who shared plenty of fiesty title battles with Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominant crop of Man Utd stars.

Shearer had also experienced challenging United for the title, first successfully under Kenny Dalglish’s champion Blackburn team, before narrowly missing out during his time at Newcastle.

And both pundits believe Ferguson should be regarded as the Premier League’s greatest manager for topping the table a record 13 times.

Both Shearer and Wright named Sir Alex Ferguson as the greatest manager
Both Shearer and Wright named Sir Alex Ferguson as the greatest manager

Shearer said: “What was impressive about him was how he continued to build his team when he knew that team was at its peak and he had to start again.

“He wasn’t afraid to get rid of players – as soon as their time was up they were out the door.

“He would adapt if he managed today. It’s what great managers do.”

Wright added: “Alex Ferguson knew he needed different people around him at different stages, to freshen it up and bring in a new idea.

Klopp and Guardiola were both in the frame for consideration
Klopp and Guardiola were both in the frame for consideration

“Even when you look at the 2013 side – people say, ‘oh that’s the worst Manchester United team to win the league under Ferguson’ – they could not have won that league with that team with any other manager.”

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The top 10 contenders including some standout names from the league’s history, including Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benitez, Sir Bobby Robson, as well as current bosses Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola.

Naturally presenter Lineker offered a different view, picking Claudio Ranieri as his number one for his work in Leicester’s miracle triumph of 2016.

Lineker feels Ranieri is the greatest boss for his role in Leicester's title win
Lineker feels Ranieri is the greatest boss for his role in Leicester’s title win

“People ask me, ‘what’s the best sporting moment of your life?’ Lineker said. “And I say it’s not playing or even winning the FA Cup, it was actually when Leicester won the league.”

Wright replied: “I remember when we were in the Match of the Day green room and you started crying, and I thought to myself, ‘I’m not going to make a joke’.

“I just looked at you and thought, ‘oh my God, Gary Lineker is crying’. I’ve never seen you be emotional.”

Shearer conceded the ‘Tinkerman’ did a magnificent job of leading the Foxes to the title.

Wright praised Wenger for being ahead of his time
Wright praised Wenger for being ahead of his time

There were honourable mentions for Wenger, who Wright says was “so far ahead of his time”, while Shearer hailed the “genius of man management” Robson.

They also had a word on Mourinho, who they feel is not the manager he once was.

“Jose’s record is just incredible,” Shearer said. “When he first came in he had this arrogance that I think people loved and enjoyed – he had incredible belief in his ability and rightly so.

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Shearer and Wright feel Mourinho is not the same manager he once was
Shearer and Wright feel Mourinho is not the same manager he once was

“But he’s slightly changed over the years.”

Wright added: “When I watch the Chelsea team, especially of his second tenure there, I believe that was the best football I’ve seen for many years, rivalling ‘the invincibles’ of Arsenal.

“But you look at his time at Manchester United and it’s almost like a demise – he’s constantly moaning, it’s always someone else’s fault.

“He’s lost something.”

Here’s how they each ranked the top 10 bosses:

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SHEARER

  1. Sir Alex Ferguson
  2. Arsene Wenger
  3. Jose Mourinho
  4. Pep Guardiola
  5. Sir Kenny Dalglish
  6. Jurgen Klopp
  7. Claudio Ranieri
  8. Sir Bobby Robson
  9. Rafael Benitez
  10. Carlo Ancelotti

WRIGHT

  1. Sir Alex Ferguson
  2. Arsene Wenger
  3. Jose Mourinho
  4. Pep Guardiola
  5. Sir Kenny Dalglish
  6. Jurgen Klopp
  7. Rafael Benitez
  8. Sir Bobby Robson
  9. Carlo Ancelotti
  10. Claudio Ranieri

Listen to Match of the Day: Top 10 only on BBC Sounds





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