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The Guardian calls them the “Magnificent Seven”, (that’s quite original for the Guardian!). These are the seven teams they reckon have a realistic chance of winning the Premier League title. They even have a natty little video to demonstrate which teams they are referring to. Have a look here, it’s quite good.

Now, even more realistically, which of the following managers will lift the trophy next May?

Arsene Wenger:

There isn’t much to say about Wenger that hasn’t already been said in his long time at Arsenal. There does seem to be some truth in the rumour that he is happy to finish in the top three, top four at a push, so that qualification for the Champion’s League is assured each year. This keeps the board happy but leaves the fans frustrated. Because this attitude seems to prevail at the Emirates, they will not win the title and may even struggle for top four this time out.

Antonio Conte:

One of the two unknown quantities in the top teams this season. He has the experience of winning multiple titles in Italy which suggests that his teams, like most Italian teams, can defend, a fact he also proved whilst managing the national team. It will be interesting to see if he can get Chelsea scoring enough goals to put themselves in contention for the title. His record elsewhere suggests that he can but, this isn’t elsewhere!

Jose Mourinho:

The Special One doesn’t really have anything to prove having won the title on three occasions with Chelsea. If hairs are to be split then he has to prove he can do it at another English club and he has to prove he can bring success for more than two years. It would appear that the wanderlust which dictated his moves in the past has finally turned into a wish to steady the ship and settle down for a while. The impression is that, if possible, he would like to be at United for a long time. Winning the title in his first year would go a long way to help achieve that goal.

Pep Guardiola:

The other unknown quantity who has to prove that he can achieve success in England. Again has proven himself to be a serial winner in Spain and Germany, although some at Bayern Munich consider him a relative failure for not winning the Champion’s League. City will also be expecting to go further in that competition than they have previously but this does not mean that Pep can take his eye off the ball which is the Premier League, definitely the fans favourite trophy. He needs to bring that one back to Manchester ASAP.

Mauricio Pochettino:

His credentials are not in question and he will surely win titles somewhere, someday. Whether or not that is at Tottenham Hotspur remains to be seen. Can the club match his ambitions? Can Daniel Levy bring in the players to achieve his ambitions? Spurs are still a bit of an enigma. They have qualified for the Champion’s League but don’t appear to be doing much to improve their squad. Is Pochettino happy with what he has at the club? Maybe one or two new faces will suffice, maybe not. This one will be interesting next season as making the top four will be a little harder.

Jürgen Klopp:

Mister Charisma himself! He worked wonders with Borussia Dortmund in all but his final season. Proved conclusively that he could build teams without spending fortunes and could make money for the club with some shrewd sales. At Liverpool he has to be the opposite. He cannot let himself get involved in the profit and loss side of the club, he must buy who he feels is the right fit at the time and he must sell whoever isn’t, regardless of the money involved. If he can find some consistency in his team he should be challenging the top four.

Claudio Ranieri:

Can he pull the rabbit out of the hat again? It is always more difficult the second time around and, as has often been said, successfully defending the title is a lot harder than winning it. The problem now is that the others know how the trick was done. They may have discovered the secret a little late but they have discovered it. Add to that the loss of N’Golo Kanté to Chelsea and the possible departure of Riyadh Mahrez , (to Arsenal?) and Leicester’s chances seem to be diminishing daily. However, Claudio Ranieri is such good manager that he will keep the club in the top half of the table, I don’t think any more than that can be expected.

The title race, according to some “experts” is as open as ever. The top players are still coming to the Premier League and, as long as this continues, the competition will remain the best in the world. Which one of the above seven will prove to be the best manager in the world? (Or will Ronald Koeman surprise everybody)?

And finally. Don’t forget the poll on my website, to the left of this article, it’s an interesting one!

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