Ranked! The 20 most successful Premier League managers – based on their win percentage
Important note: we’ve imposed a 20-game minimum here, because it’s probably unfair to judge a win percentage on half a season of games or less. However, we do have to give – in the pundit’s parlance – “all credit” to the only manager with a perfect 100% win record.
Yes, it’s the former Robin to Arsene Wenger’s endless Batman – Pat Rice! Rice was briefly Arsenal caretaker boss in 1996 and put the might of Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Sunderland to the sword, compiling a record of three wins from three games.
Good show, Pat. Now, onto the countdown.
20. Brendan Rodgers
Win percentage: 46.9% (160 games)
Clubs: Swansea, Liverpool
Outstanding news: Brendan is in. In our mind, all of his victories came in that rip-roaring ‘so very near’ Liverpool season of 2013/14 – but as 75 wins in one season isn’t mathematically possible, clearly he did chalk up a few triumphs around it.
In fact, Rodgers can be proud to appear here. If you’ve spent your career solely managing Prem super-clubs it bolsters your win ratio, but Rodgers also spent a season with Premier League newcomers Swansea in 2011/12. So he’s done well to feature, edging another former Liverpool boss – Gerard Houllier – into 21st.
19. Gianluca Vialli
Win percentage: 47.9% (94 games)
The likeable Italian with a twinkle in his eye and not a hair on his head was a successful Blues boss around from 1998 to 2000. His greatest glories came in domestic and European cup competitions, but he also took Chelsea to a third-place league finish in 1998/99, back in the pre-Abramovich era when that was an impressive feat rather than a recipe for your instant sacking.
18. Roy Evans
Win percentage: 48.3% (172 games)
A very Scouse man, born in the Boot Room and only emerging to manage Liverpool in 1994. After his four-year Liverpool reign finished, it was widely viewed as a mild disappointment due to his failure to mount a sustained title challenge. Yet history has been kinder.
He took over the shambles that Graeme Souness had honed into a crack, eighth-placed unit; then took the Reds to fourth, third, fourth and a final third. All this while playing entertaining football with the likes of Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Stan Collymore in attack.
17. Kenny Dalglish
Win percentage: 48.3% (238 games)
Clubs: Blackburn, Newcastle, Liverpool
Ultimate respect to King Kenneth as he still makes this list, despite a serious disadvantage (we don’t even mean managing Newcastle). As we’re just looking at the post-1992, Premier League era, Dalglish’s ratio here doesn’t even take into account his first spell as Liverpool boss, where he won England’s top tier three times between 1985 and 1991.
He claimed another title with Blackburn in 1995, becoming just the fourth manager to win England's top division with two different clubs, before stints with Newcastle and a second at Liverpool.
16. Claudio Ranieri
Win percentage: 49.8% (209 games)
Clubs: Chelsea, Leicester
Dilly bloody dong. Left Chelsea in 2004 boasting a good win percentage, then returned to these shores in 2015 to take over odds-on relegation favourites Leicester. There, he naturally upped his win percentage to 60% in the season his Foxes side claimed the league title – all thanks to pizza promises and bell noises.
Season two didn’t go to plan, but let’s be honest: that’s not what anybody really remembers now.