Who Is The Best All-Round Manager In The Top Four? (Part 2)

Posted: May 5, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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Yesterday we looked at the Liverpool and Manchester City managers, Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Today it is the turn of Manchester United’s José Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino.

Can they beat scores of 27/30 and 26/30? Let’s see!

Manchester United – JOSÉ MOURINHO


José has famously fallen out with players at Real Madrid and Chelsea which suggests that this category is not his strongest. He has also fallen out with other managers, physios and probably his wife on occasion, but those have not affected results or his future whereas the ones with the players almost certainly have!

On the other hand there are players who would run through a brick wall for him so he is able to manage some of them successfully.

Unfortunately, even in his time at Manchester United, his “management”of the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw doesn’t really display any real understanding of what makes others tick. With Mourinho, apparently, he either likes you or he doesn’t and he can’t hide either of the emotions.

Score: 5/10


There are times, watching this Manchester United team, when their motivation has been questionable. Defeats against Huddersfield away, Bristol City in the Carabao Cup and Sevilla at home in the Champion’s League had supporters wondering what was going on and why the players just didn’t appear to be good enough against these teams.

It may have been the tactics they were ordered to play or it may have just been an off day but, either way, it is up to the manager to sort it out. Whether that is through changing the tactics or additional motivation doesn’t really matter, something needed to be done and, at the time, wasn’t.

Turning up against the rest of the top six doesn’t really require any motivation from the manager as everybody wants to play in these games.

Score: 6/10

Respect from the players

This is one where Mourinho can expect a decent score. His record as a manager is without equal and, on that basis alone, he deserves respect.


Mourinho famously blamed his Chelsea team of disobeying his instructions!

There were times, as previously mentioned at Real Madrid and Chelsea, when he didn’t get that respect from some of the players and there are those who think he brought a lot of those problems upon himself. Whether he did or not he seems to have found a way of dealing with it now and, if any players are unhappy with him, they are certainly not showing it publicly.

That is a measure of the respect they have for him.

Score: 8/10

Total score: 19/30



This seems to be the strongest part of Pochettino’s “off the field” abilities. Players wanting to leave are doing so because they are either greedy for more money or think they will be more successful elsewhere, not because of the manager.

Everybody seems to be happy at Spurs and the job of the manager is made that much more difficult by having Daniel Levy as Chairman. He is good for the club but must be a nightmare for Pochettino when he wants to sign a player or give one of his existing players a pay rise.

So for being able to juggle the needs of his players with one hand and the demands of his Chairman with the other, he has proven to be very adept at the man-management aspect of his job.

Score: 9/10


This is another category where it must be harder for Mauricio Pochettino than for any of the other top four managers.


Toby Alderweireld – Rumoured to have ambitions higher than those of his club!

He has to motivate his team to perform when they are paid less than many opposition players. Whilst we accept that professional footballers, even at Tottenham, are paid a king’s ransom and could retire whenever they wanted to, it must still be quite difficult because human nature is such that we all want the same as, or more than, somebody else, not less.

Also, Spurs tend to lose games through lack of concentration, not lack of motivation.

So again, he scores well here simply because he has the most difficult circumstances of the top four.

Score: 8/10

Respect from the players

This is the hard one. Kyle Walker, apparently, wanted to move back north as does Danny Rose. Toby Alderweireld, to our knowledge, hasn’t expressed any dissatisfaction with the manager. In fact, probably out of respect, he hasn’t expressed anything. He appears to want to leave because he doesn’t feel that Spurs can match his ambitions.

There is also never any evidence of unrest from any of the players and they seem to be a happy bunch.

Bear in mind, Pochettino has been relatively successful with this team in regularly qualifying for the Champion’s League so there is little for anyone to complain about. He deserves the respect he has built up whilst in London.

Score: 8/10

Total score: 25/30

As we have said, these scores do not prove who is the most successful manager. That is proven by number of titles and cups won. They do prove, however, which of them has a better understanding of players and how to treat them. Unfortunately, in these days of “win at all costs”, they are skills in much less demand than they used to be.



  1. Low Chang Hong says:

    Try asking Pochettino to manage Man United.


  2. RedMe says:

    So Manchester United ended up with the worst, but most succesfull manager of the lot. The question is; will he bring that success to United? That is the most important. For now he didn’t fail and we had trophies last year and are still on course to win the FA Cup. He needs a team of his own, at the moment he still has too many left-overs from previous managers and they still need to play for him until he can replace them. Pep Guardiola had a better team to start with and needed to replace less players.


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