For all his weird moaning and sarcasm, Pep Guardiola has never been shy when it comes to dishing out praise when he sees fit.
The most recent recipient of the Manchester City boss’ generous words has been Brighton manager Graham Potter, with Guardiola claiming he would ‘love to play’ in Potter’s team’ following City’s 1-0 win over the Seagulls on Wednesday night.
Now, we’re pretty sure had Brighton managed to come away with a point from the Etihad Stadium that the Catalan coach wouldn’t have been quite so enthusiastic about his opposite number, but nevertheless it was a nice touch.
So Guardiola is clearly a fan of Potter, and that got us thinking – who are the best English managers currently in a job? Here’s our top ten…
There aren’t many English managers who can boast a list of previous employers as long as Roy Hodgson’s.
Including caretaker roles, Hodgson has taken charge of no fewer than 21 teams, one of whom (Inter) he had two spells with.
While he may not have an overflowing trophy cabinet to show for his endeavours in the managerial game, spells with the likes of Liverpool, Inter and England make him more than worthy of a place on our list, and his achievements with Crystal Palace since joining the club in 2017 shouldn’t be underestimated.
Football’s a fickle game, and some of you are probably scoffing at the suggestion Chris Wilder is one of the best English managers currently in work, but rewind to the back end of last season and you’d have been nodding in agreement
The truth is, Sheffield United aren’t having a bad season – they’re having the kind of season you’d expect them to have with their squad of players.
Wilder has done unbelievably to even reach the Premier League with the Blades, and a ninth place finish in 2019/20 was quite frankly absurd.
There may yet be life in the Sheffield United relegation fight yet, but regardless of whether they finish rock bottom of the league or not, Wilder is a brilliant manager.
Dean Smith started out as a manager at League One Walsall, and he did well to steady the club after they’d found themselves flirting with relegation for a number of years.
Having moved to Brentford he was handed the unenviable task of picking up a team who were clearly struggling after coming so close to achieving promotion the following season, only to be knocked out of the playoff semi-finals by Middlesbrough.
He did a solid job at the Bees, playing some nice football and integrating a lot of new faces. However, his move to Aston Villa is where he’s really made a name for himself.
Smith achieved promotion in his very first season at Villa Park, and having hung onto their top-flight status last season, he’s proving that – given time and funds in the transfer market – he’s astute enough to compete at the top level.
Sean Dyche may not have the riches at his disposal that some other Premier League managers do – how do we know that? Well, he tells us every ten minutes, obviously.
Moaning aside, to take Burnley from the Championship and secure a place in the Europa League as he did in 2017/18 is a remarkable achievement, and despite languishing towards the lower end of the table at times you always fancy Dyche to lead the Clarets to safety.
With two promotions to his name already, Dyche will no doubt go on to enjoy much more success in his managerial career,
Steve Gerrard or Frank Lampard? It’s a debate which never really looked like being settled during their playing days, but it’s clear who’s getting the better of it in the managerial game.
The former Liverpool man landed on his feet when he was handed the reins at Scottish giants Rangers, but he’s more than making the most of his opportunity.
Say what you like about the quality of Scottish football, Rangers are a huge club, and the pressure that comes with the job shouldn’t be underestimated.
Gerrard looks destined to end Celtic’s dominance at the top of the Scottish Premiership this season, and what’s even more impressive is the fact he’s got his side playing some quality stuff in the process.
Good old Sam Allardyce.
Say what you like about his style of play, if keeping clean sheets and grinding out results was as easy as everyone seems to think it is, he wouldn’t keep getting jobs specifically because he can do both of the aforementioned things.
Being disciplined and organised is an integral part of football, and while fancy football is all well and good, there’s more than one way to win a football match.
Allardyce is a master of his craft and will never be short on job offers.
Pep’s favourite himself.
Potter has come under criticism at times for Brighton’s lack of end product, but the foundations of a good side have been laid, they just need that cutting edge to be able to progress as he would like.
Prior to Brighton, Potter spent a year in the Championship with Swansea, and while a tenth place finish for a side who were playing in the Premier League the season prior may seem underwhelming, it represents a solid return considering the upheaval following the club’s relegation.
Here we go, the man you think you hate but secretly love.
Neil Warnock is the kind of manager you can spend your life thinking you hate, then the second he walks into your club you absolutely love him.
The Middlesbrough boss has been in management for over 40 years now, and in that time he’s achieved eight promotions – more than any other manager in English football.
Since becoming Boro boss last season, Warnock has transformed the Teessiders from relegation fodder to genuine promotion contenders, proving that – even at 72 years of age – the man’s still got it.
Mark Robins may not boast the kind of CV that the likes of Roy Hodgson do, but that doesn’t make his accomplishments in the game any less impressive.
Robins very nearly managed to achieve an unlikely promotion with Rotherham in his first managerial post, despite the club receiving a 17-point deduction from the Football League.
Since being appointed Coventry boss in 2017, Robins has won two promotions and looks well set to keep the Sky Blues in the Championship this season.
Considering the financial turmoil the club have found themselves in over the last few years that’s mighty good going.
Laugh all you like, if you’re looking for a tried and tested manager who can get you out of the Championship then look no further.
England’s second tier is one of the most demanding leagues in the world, so to enjoy the success Steve Bruce has is pretty special.
The Newcastle boss has come in for a lot of criticism lately, though with Mike Ashley refusing to spend any money in the transfer market, Bruce’s hands are tied somewhat.
Nevertheless, he’ll keep them in the top flight and his achievements down the years shouldn’t be underestimated.