RANKED! The Best 10 English football managers right now

Coaching in this nation has vastly improved in recent years, and there is currently a slew of interesting English managers available.

The film Mike Bassett: England Manager is fond of portraying English managers as eccentric. Coaching in Blighty is developing, as old-fashioned as we may be on this rainy isle, with a propensity for 4-4-2.

We’re in the midst of a golden era of talent in our nation on the pitch, and while we don’t have nearly the same depth of managerial skill, there are plenty of exciting English managers out there, as well as a few grizzled old faces that just can’t be beaten.

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10. Gareth Ainsworth

Gareth Ainsworth appears to be one of football’s nice men, as well as a fascinating character. He may appear more like a rock band dad with his long hair, trousers, and leather jacket than a football manager, but he’s done miracles at Wycombe Wanderers since 2012.

That also makes him one of Britain’s longest-serving CEOs, and it’s a period during which he’s brought the Chairboys to new heights.

They may have been relegated from the Championship in their first season, and the football may not have been attractive, but his resume is one of the best in the country for what he’s accomplished, and he deserves a place on this list.

9. Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder was a no-nonsense right-back who toured the lower levels as a player. No one else has ever been promoted from each of the top five divisions as a manager.

Wild stuff Wilder got Sheffield United promoted to the Premier League in style in his last position, playing with one of the most bizarre back threes anyone had ever seen.

Wilder has been consistently outstanding throughout his tenure, innovating, going on cup runs, and taking chances on players that other teams would not touch. For the past two decades, he’s been a fantastic manager.

8. Dean Smith

Dean Smith’s departure from Aston Villa was particularly heartbreaking.

It wasn’t one of those dismissals that brought a breath of relief; rather, supporters exclaimed, “Is there nothing further we can do?” as if they’d been handed a terminal diagnosis.

When things were going well at Villa, they were magnificent – and Smith’s inability to function without Jack Grealish should not be used to judge him as a manager.

After all, he was the one who got the most out of the No.10, improving greatly in Villa’s second season in the Premier League after avoiding relegation. Don’t worry, he’ll be a major coup for another team before long.

7. Scott Parker

During Fulham’s relegation last season, there was a sense that Scott Parker was doing everything he could with the resources he had.

Okay, so the fact that he got absolutely no response from Aleksandar Mitrovic was perplexing – especially given the former midfielder’s recent form – but the former midfielder’s dedication to playing thoughtful, passing game was laudable.

He’s taken up where he left off with a Bournemouth team that missed out on promotion the previous season. Parker is a superb organizer, yet his expressiveness allows the Cherries to play with a lot of freedom.

His team appears to be well-drilled and deadly, thanks in part to their gaffer.

6. Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard was unable to live up to Chelsea’s ever-increasing expectations.

Since then, Thomas Tuchel has stepped in to show what a true Champions League-winning manager looks like, which is a tragedy for Lampard since what he had accomplished at Chelsea was admirable.

After guiding Derby County to a promotion final the season before, he led a club that had lost Eden Hazard to third place in the league and an FA Cup final.

He’s certainly a great supervisor with a proven track record with kids. Tuchel’s similarities are unmistakable, but the Chelsea icon is still a capable manager in his own sense.

5. Eddie Howe

Newcastle United’s new manager has accomplished feats that few of his contemporaries have.
It’s the stuff of Football Manager to take Bournemouth from -17 points at the bottom of League Two to survival – and then three promotions.

The fact that Howe accomplished it while in possession suggests that front-foot football is even superior.

He maintained the Cherries in the league by outscoring opponents rather than folding – an uncommon occurrence in English football – and at a club in financial trouble, he guaranteed that they would be alright if they folded by signing talented, young players with resale value.

Howe has excelled in management since his debut as a rookie, and he remains one of England’s greatest coaching stars.

4. Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard the manager and Steven Gerrard the player have a lot in common.

He’s kept the same dogged passion and drive he shown in midfield, but his game is also a lot more clever than you’d think at first appearance.

The new Aston Villa manager has broken Celtic’s supremacy by winning the Scottish Premier League with Rangers. He’s largely expected to take over Liverpool for a reason: he’s a smart coach with ostensibly strong man-management abilities who’s now ready to refine his trade as one of Europe’s greatest young coaches.

3. Sean Dyche

The ginger is a delicious spice. Mourinho is the Premier League’s longest-serving coach for a reason.

In over a decade, he has brought the Premier League to Burnley, even leading them to Europe for a brief period, and he has done it with a style of play that is identifiable with his gruff voice and trademark frown.

Dyche is a master of defensive football, employing the traditional 4-4-2 formation to keep the opposition at bay. He’s converted average footballers into Premier League regulars and has become synonymous with compactness and strong tackling.

Big teams may be hesitant to sign him, but there is perhaps no one in the country who is better at what he does.

2. Gareth Southgate

We wouldn’t have had the waistcoat, penalty redemption, and following penalty misery three years later of Gareth Southgate’s England reign if it hadn’t been for Sam Allardyce and his pint of wine.

The former defender has become a national treasure throughout his tenure as England’s captain, linking the team’s goals to fairness and advancement, fostering youngsters, and providing England with a solid platform to reach the semi-finals and finals in the previous two tournaments.

What Southgate may lack in tactical knowledge, he more than makes up for in man-management abilities.

He’s a fantastic leader, and anyone who can restore faith in England supporters must be very brilliant at what they do, right?

1. Graham Potter

Graham Potter has had an unusual journey to get to where he is now, traveling the circuitous road through Swedish football’s lowest ranks.

Now he’s at Brighton, where they play some of the league’s greatest football.
Potter checks all of the boxes for a coach.

His teams are tenacious and sturdy at the back, superb in the attacking third, and fun to watch. He appears to be able to work with both experienced and young, eliciting unexpected brilliance from everyone he works with – and the data back up his claims.

If he isn’t already a superstar, the Brighton manager is on his way to being one. The fact that the Seagulls offered him a new deal after only a few games at the club says a lot.

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