With the dust now settling on another Premier League campaign, the outcome at the top was the same as it has usually been in recent times and with Pep Guardiola leading Manchester City to a fourth crown in five years, a rather pertinent question needs to be asked. One that is as simple as it is controversial – Is Pep Guardiola The Best Premier League Manager Of All Time?
Can Pep Challenge Sir Alex?
A question that may well have Manchester United supporters refusing to read the rest of the article, if only because of their staunch support for Sir Alex Ferguson and the 13 Premier League titles he oversaw during his lengthy reign at Old Trafford.
Not only that, but the legendary Scottish manager was also someone who delivered four crowns in five years and although the blue half of Manchester are dominating right now, one cannot forget that the red half have been there before.
This means although Pep Guardiola is only emulating Sir Alex Ferguson in terms of a five-year sample of success, there is a feeling that the game has changed since the former Barcelona and Bayern boss arrived at the Etihad.
Not only that, but with the Spanish maestro working his magic on the likes of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany in the past, it is fair to say that further change in the Premier League has been cultivated by himself alone.
A Numbers Game – Best Premier League Manager
Of course, if you were to look at this from a pure numerical standpoint, then obviously the man who ran the Theatre of Dreams for more than a quarter-century would be clear at the top by virtue of his 13 league titles.
Although an interesting counterpoint to this, would be the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson has won more titles because of a far greater length of managerial tenure – admittedly you still have to be an incredible coach, but there is validity in this point.
This means if we look at the 21 seasons in which Manchester United and Ferguson were intertwined in the Premier League, he delivered the Old Trafford outfit an average of 0.61 league titles per year of his tenure in the competition.
While if we take a look at the six seasons that Guardiola has been in charge of Manchester City and applied the same equation, it means that the ex-Barcelona midfielder is delivering 0.66 titles per year of employment.
On an average basis, it is the blue corner that comes out on top through this measure and if we were to extrapolate Guardiola’s ratio to the same length of Ferguson’s tenure, it would mean 21 years at the Etihad would deliver 13.86 Premier League crowns.
A haul that would make Manchester City supporters punch the air in delight, as their domestic dominance goes on for another couple decades and Liverpool fans bemoan the fact that they are once again the bridesmaid.
However, those Liverpool fans and supporters of any Premier League outfit can at least take solace from the fact that City’s current boss is unlikely to still be in charge at the end of the 2036/37 Premier League season.
Best Premier League Manager – Building A Dynasty
Because although there is no doubt that Manchester City are now entering the territory of trophy dynasty, there is one thing that makes Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Manchester United even more impressive.
That being the Scot’s incredible power to regenerate his squad over the years and not just create one dynasty but continual cycles of dominance across the 21 years that the Premier League saw the former Aberdeen supremo in charge.
Something that is unlikely to happen at Manchester City – not because their current manager does not have the ability to carry out such a remit, but you get the feeling that the now 51-year-old will burn himself out in the end.
A trait that comes with his continual desire to be the absolute best and for someone who eats and breaths and when he rarely sleeps, dreams about football, the prospect of another 15 years in Manchester seem rather unlikely.
Especially as Guardiola has gone on record to state that his next desire is to coach an international team and after conquering club football, he will now look to get his hands on the World Cup in either 2026 or 2030.
Reasons Why Pep Might Leave the Premier League
While if the does decide to leave the theatre of club football behind, the list of suitors will be as long as every competitive nation in the world and although the likes of Brazil, Spain or even England will be appealing, he could also take up a role from leftfield.
Because with Guardiola having such positive links with the nation of Qatar – by virtue of spending some of his later playing days with Al Ahli in the Q-League, he may relish the idea of turning the Middle Eastern nation into a global football powerhouse.
With that said, this is a man who is still yet to conquer the European club circuit with his current employers and although a switch to international football is a clear and obvious desire, it may need to be put on the backburner until the Champions League finally arrives at the Etihad.
A trophy that in light blue colours, has eluded him until now and because of such a gap in his management C.V., it is also a reason why Sir Alex Ferguson is perhaps viewed with more of a glorified sheen when it comes to the best ever Premier League debate.
Because although both have conquered a domestic front with their own Manchester entity, only the Red Devils have ruled the European roost and although Guardiola is undoubtedly the most successful non- British manager in the Premier League, he is not quite the overall best yet.
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