Ask most people who the best current managers in the world are and you’ll get some pretty predictable responses.
Diego Simeone, Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp usually get onto most peoples’ lists, but there are two usual suspects that’ll crop up time and time again.
I am, of course, talking about Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
Both men have experienced outstanding success.
Both have won the Champions League.
Both have carved out reputations as master tacticians.
I think it’s time we rethink things a little bit.
A cursory glance at the Premier League table sees Manchester City and Manchester United, the two teams managed by Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho respectively, in fourth and fifth.
City are 15 points off league leaders Chelsea, and 11 behind Spurs in second.
United are another point back.
Not exactly stellar is it?
Pep Guardiola can now officially not win at least one trophy in a season for the first time in his managerial career.
Reality check. pic.twitter.com/ybLh9yZmqr
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 30, 2017
And when we consider who the highest-paid managers in the league are, and which managers have had the most money to spend, it seems even more absurd to cast these managers in such a positive light.
Both Guardiola and Mourinho have spent well over £100 million in their time in charge, and yet here they are scrapping for Champions League football.
And it’s not even as if they’ve taken on jobs at clubs who have never been at the top table.
United were the dominant side in the UK for 20 years, and City have won the league twice since their new ownership completely changed the sum of their ambitions.
Both managers have severely underachieved.
It might seem harsh, but it’s true.
Jose Mourinho: “At the moment, we can walk from the bed to the toilet and break a leg”
Probably not that much of an exaggeration 😂 pic.twitter.com/NmH21k0xcg
— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) April 30, 2017
And yet, go onto any street, and you’ll find them both being talked about as the best managers out there.
Would Mauricio Pochettino or Antonio Conte receive the same sort of plaudits?
I don’t think they would.
And yet Pochettino and Conte are the only two managers in with a shout of the Premier League title.
The teams that they’ve built, managed and mentored are by far and away the two best sides in the division, but yet they don’t receive the acclaim that the underachieved Mourinho and Guardiola get.
It’s odd. And it’s time it changed.
Just as Arsene Wenger can no longer be considered a world class manager, is it time for us to consider whether Guardiola and Mourinho have the Midas touch they used to?
Current evidence suggests not. Things might change, but until they do, can we revise our view of managers in general?
Pochettino and Conte deserve to be lauded. Mourinho and Guardiola? Not so much.