It’s one of those pub debates that is never ending and may well be influenced by who you support, where you live or indeed how you measure success.
Who makes it into the top ten British managers of all time? Can you place them in order of success, importance or influence on the beautiful game?
PLZ Soccer has come up with our top ten. Who makes it in and in what position? Do you agree with our selection?
In tenth position, Bill Nicholson –
Nicholson managed Tottenham Hotspur during their golden era in the 1960s, winning the First Division, FA Cup, and after a 5-1 win over favourites Atletico Madrid the UEFA Cup, making him the first British manager to win a European trophy.
Next on the list, at number nine Walter Smith –
Smith worked under Jim McLean, Graeme Souness and Sir Alex Ferguson but made his name as a manager in his own right, winning 10 league titles as Rangers boss over two spells at Ibrox. He also won 5 Scottish cups, 6 League cups and guided Rangers to the runners-up spot in the UEFA cup final of 2008. Smith is the second most successful Rangers manager behind Bill Struth.
In eighth place, Sir Bobby Robson –
Robson had successful spells with Ipswich Town and Barcelona, but his most notable achievement was leading the England national team of names such as Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and Terry Butcher to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup. Robson was known as one of the greatest England managers of all time.
In at number seven, Sir Alf Ramsey –
Ramsey managed the England national team to their only World Cup triumph in 1966, solidifying his place as one of the greatest British football managers. Nicknamed “The General”, he played for England between 1948 and 1953, captaining the side three times, scoring three goals and appearing at the 1950 World Cup.
Number six, Sir Matt Busby –
Busby rebuilt Manchester United after the Munich air disaster and led them to five First Division titles and one European Cup, becoming the first English team to win the prestigious competition. Busby was awarded the CBE in 1958 and was knighted following the European Cup victory in 1968, before being made a Knight Commander of St Gregory by the Pope in 1972.
In fifth place, we have Bob Paisley –
Paisley took over from Bill Shankly at Liverpool and guided the club to unprecedented success, winning six First Division titles, three European Cups, and three League Cups. Paisley won 20 major honours in his time as Liverpool manager, he remains, to this day, the most successful manager in the club’s history and the most successful English manager of all time.
Making it into the top 4, Bill Shankly –
Shankly transformed Liverpool into a dominant force in English football, winning three First Division titles, two FA Cups, and one UEFA Cup during his 15-year reign.
“My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Had Napoleon had that idea he would have conquered the bloody world. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in.” – Shankly
Taking third spot, Jock Stein –
Stein led Celtic to nine consecutive Scottish league titles and became the first British manager to win the European Cup in 1967 against Italian side Inter Milan in a 2-1 win. Stein was very confident at the beginning of the 1966–67 season, he even said to players that he believed “we could win everything”.
In at number 2, Brian Clough –
Clough achieved remarkable success with Derby County and Nottingham Forest, winning two First Division titles and back-to-back European Cups with Forest. Regarded by many as the best manager never to manage England, ‘Cloughie’ was overlooked by the FA because of his brash and abrasive style of management. However, his partnership and achievements with Peter Taylor at the City ground looks unlikely to ever be replicated in top flight football.
Taking the top spot as PLZ Soccer’s greatest manager of all time, none other than, Sir Alex Ferguson –
Sir Alex Ferguson is widely regarded as the greatest manager of all time. He managed to break the old firm monopoly in Scotland guiding Aberdeen to three Premiership titles and European success with the Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup in 1983.
He won 38 major trophies during his 26-year tenure at Manchester United, coaching some of the best players to grace the Old Trafford pitch such as, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. During his time as “The Boss” Sir Alex won 13 Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League titles. He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for his services to he game in 1999.