Ranked! The 20 most successful Premier League managers – based on their win percentage
5. Carlo Ancelotti
Win percentage: 63.2% (76 games)
Ancelotti’s two seasons in the Premier League are a wonderful example of Chelsea in their sublime, hiring/firing pomp. First season: Premier League and FA Cup double. Next season: second in the league to Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. Result: you’re fired, Carlo. Who wouldn't raise an eyebrow at such stratospheric standards?
The Italian's excellent win percentage pays homage to his strong league form, although what got him the boot was not impressing enough in the Champions League. We might have given him another crack at that one, Roman: it’s a competition Ancelotti has an OK record in.
4. Jose Mourinho
Win percentage: 63.4% (278 games)
Clubs: Chelsea, Manchester United
A special win percentage. It was even higher after his first spell at Chelsea – a ridiculous 73.3% after 120 games as Jose won two of this his three Premier League titles. It’s suffered since, particularly during that Bizarro World Premier League season of 2014/15 where Ranieri won the title with Leicester and Mourinho’s Chelsea hovered above the relegation zone.
Anyway, he’s got things back on track (more or less) at Manchester United, and as one of only two managers who’s taken charge of 200+ matches yet maintained a win rate above 60%, he can be very proud. No prizes for guessing who the other one is.
3. Alex Ferguson
Win percentage: 65.2% (810 games)
Club: Manchester United
Hold on, we’ll need to explain this. Most observers would rank the cantankerous old hairdryer as the most successful Premier League gaffer ever, having won just the 13 titles. How can he be just third here? Well, one reason is the fluctuations of managing for 20+ years – there are bound to be dips (even if they’re just followed by rage, then more success).
There’s also the increasing, modern gap between a handful of clubs and the rest. Back in 1999, Fergie’s treble-winners claimed the league with 'only' 79 points. That would be good enough to sneak fourth spot last season. So managers of the 1990s and early 2000s won the league with a much lower win percentage, hence the bias towards current day managers on this list. Speaking of which…
=1. Pep Guardiola
Win percentage: 70.3% (64 games)
Club: Manchester City
We have joint winners! Not an issue that Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will face this season, you suspect, as they’re currently on course to break multiple records – including 95 points, the benchmark set by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2004/05.
Given City’s sparkling form, it's no surprise that Guardiola is up here, improving dramatically on the 60.5% ratio from his debut season. Critics will point to the £438m spent during his short reign to improve a richly gifted squad, but at least they’re bulldozering the league in style with a team that’s just getting better. Expect this sky-high ratio to go upwards still.
=1. Antonio Conte
Win percentage: 70.3% (64 games)
Huh. So the chap with – as it stands – the joint-highest win ratio in Premier League history is also said to be facing the axe. To be fair, Conte's 70% mark owes a lot to a barnstorming first season where his Chelsea side went on a 13-game winning streak as they claimed the Premier League title.
The Italian ended that season with a big grin and a 79.5% win ratio, but someone clearly pinched his panettone in the summer as he’s had a face like a slapped backside ever since. Still, at least he’s nailed the Chelsea MO of glory one year, in-fighting and implosion the next. He also owns the highest win percentage of any Blues boss.