High Press Episode 5 focuses on Premier League managers and their different styles, covering Thomas Frank’s top-five credentials, Mauricio Pochettino’s start at Chelsea and Unai Emery’s time at Aston Villa.
Is Thomas Frank ready for a top five job?
Alison Bender, Jason Burt, Dave Kidd and Jay Harris finish off their discussion by ranking their top five Premier League managers in 2023-24.
To start with, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are installed as the top two. There’s plenty of debate to be had over the other three spots, however, starting out with Brentford manager Thomas Frank.
Harris is quick to name Frank in his top five, citing that Brentford were the only team to beat Manchester City twice in the Premier League last season.
Bender asked about the prospect of Frank landing a job at a bigger club, where Burt believes he would do well, but noted that any speculation about a move has never gone anywhere.
Harris added that Frank might have seen Graham Potter’s Chelsea stint as a warning about how quickly your reputation can be damaged.
Bender responded, “But then at the same time, you’re never going to be regarded as one of the football manager greats no matter how well you do with Brentford.”
Kidd questioned whether any managers really turn down the big move if they are offered the chance to manage in the Champions League and a much bigger salary.
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle
The conversation moves on to Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, who Bender names in her top five.
Kidd added, “I think Howe’s job at Newcastle can easily be underestimated because he’s got the money.”
Burt was more cautious about including Howe, saying some of Howe’s football can be ‘cynical’.
Pochettino needs time at Chelsea
After a discussion about Roy Hodgson’s remarkable managerial career, the panel take a look at Pochettino’s track record and first few months at Chelsea.
Burt said, “I don’t accept the argument he’s never won anything. Tottenham were runners-up, and they would’ve been nowhere without him.”
Kidd responded, “Players absolutely love Pochettino, and they respect him, and they’re worked very, very hard by him…“If you asked Gareth Southgate for his top five managers in the Premier League, he’d have Pochettino right up there. No one’s done more to bring through young English talent.”
Ange Postecoglou wasn’t on Spurs’ original list!
While the panel seemed to agree it was too early to include Ange Postecoglou in the top five, they were all full of praise for the former Celtic manager. Burt added further detail about Postecoglou’s open-door policy and training schedules.
Were Mikel Arteta and Arsenal a flash in the pan?
Harris questioned whether last season was a ‘flash in the pan’ for Arsenal before Bender pondered if Mikel Arteta has the ‘right temperament’.
Top five managers ranked
While all of the quartet named Guardiola and Klopp one and two, there was considerable disagreement over the next three spots, with eight different managers named. Who would make your top five Premier League managers?
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