Who Is The Best All-Round Manager In The Top Four? (Part 1)

Posted: May 4, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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This debate is one of overall managerial ability, not just results. We have taken into account man-management skills, motivational skills and overall respect from the players.

We haven’t included either Antonio Conte or Arséne Wenger in this article as they are unlikely to be at their current clubs next season so, to an extent, their abilities are irrelevant

Today we look at the Liverpool and Manchester City managers with the other two discussed tomorrow. So, first in alphabetical order is;

Liverpool – JÜRGEN KLOPP

The German has taken three years to get his team where they are today and some would say that, particularly in the Premier League, is too long and third place isn’t good enough, (bear in mind Liverpool finished as runners-up under Brendan Rodgers)!

Reaching the final of the Champion’s League has taken a lot of the pressure off him though and winning it would ensure legendary status at Anfield. Here’s how he scores:


He seems to get along very well with the majority of his players but also appears to be able to dish out the rollickings when needed. Perfectly comfortable playing both roles in the “good cop – bad cop” scenarios he also manages to keep “unhappy” players in order, an example being Simon Mignolet, who thinks he is better than he is and that he should be the first choice goalkeeper. He shouldn’t and Klopp knows it and handles the situation very well.

Score: 9/10


It is only possible to motivate others if one is motivated oneself”. So said some expert, somewhere, some time ago, probably. It is true though and one thing that can never be thrown at Jürgen Klopp is that he isn’t motivated.

He can appear depressed occasionally but he snaps out of it almost immediately as his thoughts turn to other things.

Watching his team play is, most of the time, an example of motivation at the highest level and the way he can get all of his players doing exactly as he wishes is testament to how good his motivational skills are.

Being a successful team also helps.

Score: 9/10


Simon Mignolet – Not as good as he thinks he is!

Respect from the players

He has this in abundance. Players now actually want to go to Liverpool since he has been there because they can see exciting times ahead and it is all down to Jürgen Klopp.

His decisions are rarely questioned even when he, occasonally, gets it wrong. This is because of the respect gained from making tough decisions and being proved right in making them, of that he has a pretty decent track record.

Score: 9/10

Overall: 27/30

Manchester City – PEP GUARDIOLA

The City boss may have been more successful than his counterpart at Liverpool but is he a better all-round manager? Let’s see.


Guardiola can isolate players he doesn’t feel can contribute to the success of the team. He did exactly that with Joe Hart who is currently on loan at West Ham United. His assessment of the goalkeeper was spot on but, as with Yaya Touré, the impression is that the situation could have been handled better.

As far as his man management of his preferred players goes, it cannot be faulted. He is behind them all the way and will always defend and protect them whatever the circumstances.

Score: 7/10


It is very unusual to see Manchester City put in a lacklustre performance. It happens every now and then, but not for long. This is due to the motivational skills of Guardiola. Whoever he brings into the team knows they are being given a chance to stake a claim.

He also makes sure that the players are aware that it is squads which win titles nowadays, not just teams.

In this aspect of management he is up there with the best, if not the best himself.

Score: 9/10


Samuel Eto’o – Didin’t see eye to eye with Guardiola

Respect from the players

Again this is something, like Klopp, that he has in abundance although there are one or two from his past who don’t quite think he was all he thought he was.

Zlatan Ibrahimović doesn’t have a lot of good things to say about him and neither does Samuel Eto’o who had an ongoing feud with the Spaniard.

These were big players with big egos and not the type who appreciated being dropped or even told what to do. It is fair to say, however, that Guardiola isn’t universally respected by all players.

He is respected by the ones that matter at The Etihad and it is this that counts.

Score: 8/10

Overall: 26/30

So, in the grand scheme of things Klopp would appear to be, marginally, a better all-round manager than Guardiola. Unfortunately for him, he will be judged, ultimately, on results, nothing else.

  1. RedMe says:

    Zlatan and Eto’o thought that they where the soul of the Barcelona team and they left when proven wrong. With Messi, Pep knew that he was the soul of the Barcelona team and he wouldn’t win if he isolated Messi, so he left. Klopp seems to be a hypocrite, Pep seems to be more genuine.


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