Surprisingly, an English manager has never won the Premier League. The truth is, since the introduction of the Premier League, England has struggled to produce managers that could compete with the very best.
So, who out of the current English managers in the Premier League is best? And which one has the best chance of being the first English manager to lift the coveted trophy?
Eddie Howe is the first man on the list. Despite his time at Bournemouth ending in relegation, his achievements there should not be overlooked.
When Howe took charge of Bournemouth in January 2009, the club was languishing at the bottom of League 2, 17 points from safety.
It was a desperate situation and The Cherries needed a miracle. Eddie Howe was the man to provide that Miracle. Just 6 and a half years later, he turned the club’s fortunes around and they were promoted into the Premier League for the first time in their history. Despite being on a tight budget, Howe managed to keep them there for 5 seasons.Embed from Getty Images
After their relegation, Howe’s reputation as a promising English manager dipped and he was not revered as highly. However, it seems to be on the rise again following his arrival at Newcastle.
Not everyone was convinced by this appointment, myself included, but he proved us all wrong. When he took charge of Newcastle in November, the club was in turmoil and sat bottom of the Premier League. However, come the end of the season, The Magpies had rallied to an 11th-placed finish. Of course, he was aided by the fact that Newcastle spent big in the January transfer window, around £90 million in total, but this is still a remarkable turnaround.
There’s definitely an argument for Eddie Howe being the best English manager currently, but he’s not my choice.
Neither is the next man on my list – Steven Gerrard.
There was a lot of excitement when Gerrard took over the reins from Dean Smith at Aston Villa on 11th November 2021, but the remainder of the season fell short of the hype.
The pull of Gerrard was evident when they were able to bring Phillipe Coutinho to Villa Park, however, for the most part, that signing too failed to live up to its expectation. All in all, Gerrard’s first season was average. It wasn’t particularly bad, but it definitely wasn’t overly impressive either.Embed from Getty Images
Nevertheless, his stint at Rangers suggests there’s plenty more to come from him as he gains more experience in the Premier League. He was able to stop Celtic from winning a record 10th straight triumph in the Scottish Premiership, and his Rangers side did it in style. They went unbeaten for the entirety of the 2020/21 season, winning 32 of their 38 league games.
He also laid the foundations for their superb Europa League run last season, building a team capable of eventually reaching the final.
Overall, Gerrard has shown signs that he can become a top manager, but he’s not there yet in my opinion.
I’m not convinced by Lampard as a manager at all. He did well at Derby, but not amazing, and his time at Chelsea was fairly underwhelming in my opinion.
Many fans will point to the fact that he had a transfer ban to contend with in his first season as well as being without Eden hazard who had just left for Real Madrid, and whilst that definitely made his job harder, I don’t think what he achieved was impressive.
Chelsea still had the 4th best squad in the league in my opinion, and they finished 4th. An average season, which given it was his first managerial experience in the Premier League, is respectable, but nothing more than that. It was coupled with an FA Cup final appearance, which they lost to an Arsenal side that finished 8th. So once again, this was a good run, but it ultimately ended in failure.
The next season, Chelsea spent around £200 million, giving Lampard the tools he wanted, and needed, to kick on and improve. But that never happened. Chelsea was in 8th place when he was sacked. He did take them into the Champions League knockout rounds, but given the squad at his disposal, that is hardly an achievement in my eyes.Embed from Getty Images
At Everton, he did his job and kept them in the Premier League. But it was not glamorous and their pre-season form suggests it could be another arduous season for The Toffees.
One thing I will say is that Lampard does have the ability to improve and nurture young players. Many players at Chelsea, such as Mason Mount and Reece James, have already benefited from this and I would say that it is his biggest strength.
However, as you can tell, he definitely isn’t my pick for the best English manager at this current moment in time.
Before I reveal who my pick is, I would just like to mention that I have excluded Gareth Southgate from this list as I am focusing on club football, rather than international.
In my opinion, Graham Potter is currently the best English manager around. He is yet to win any silverware in England, but his quality is clear.
The job he has been doing at Brighton is nothing short of remarkable. Every year, they are among the lowest spenders in the league, and yet they are very rarely anywhere near the relegation zone.Embed from Getty Images
A look at their core statistics shows that Graham Potter has built a perfectly balanced side, and if given more funds, could do an even better job. According to Understat.com, they ranked 10th in the league for expected goals and also had the 6th lowest expected goals against figure. In this regard, Brighton are punching well above their weight when you look at their squad compared to those around them.
With better players, these figures would only improve and I believe he is destined to one day become a manager of a top 6 club in the Premier League. Not only are the core stats positive, but his style of football is expansive and based around being on the front foot, making his transition to a bigger club much easier.
I am a massive fan of Graham Potter and in my opinion, he is, without question, the best current English manager.
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