Is José Mourinho The Best Premier League Manager?


Being a football manager is not a position I envy. Managers are often the first to receive the blame for anything that goes wrong, and any success is usually quickly passed on to the players.

It is however, impossible to ignore Chelsea boss José Mourinho and his brilliant managerial record, along with the often entertaining interviews that have made him an idol at the London club. He definitely enjoys it.

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Mourinho has a big reputation for his tactical ability, and with good reason. His highly consistent results against fellow rivals provide supporters with the belief that points can be gained, whether it be home or away.


It’s gotten to the point where it is a huge surprise when Mourinho’s sides don’t finish the season with a trophy. In fact between 2003 and 2012, he won at least one major piece of silverware each season, with spells at FC Porto (2002-04), Chelsea (2004-07), Inter Milan (2008-10) and Real Madrid (2010-13).

In terms of individual recognition, he has been awarded Manager of the Season domestically each time as a reward for a title winning season in 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2009-10. While Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone prevented Mourinho from receiving the award while at Real Madrid, he still won La Liga by a nine-point margin in 2012.

Winning record

Mourinho’s Premier League record currently stands at a stunning winning percentage of 69.8% with 125 wins in 179 matches, having played part in six seasons with the Blues.

It gets interesting when you compare this with fellow Premier League heavyweights such as Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City. Wenger is in his 18th season as manager, Rodgers in his 3rd and Pellegrini in his 2nd. This does make it difficult to take these figures at face value but I believe they’re still useful.

Wenger’s Premier League winning percentage is 57.7% with 402 wins in 697 games.

Rodgers’s Premier League winning percentage is 46.7% with 63 wins in 135 games.

Pellegrini’s Premier League winning percentage is 69.5% with 41 wins in 59 games.

If we are to look back at Sir Alex Ferguson’s record, he achieved a winning percentage of 65.2% with 527 wins in 808 games (26 seasons).

Perhaps it is harsh to include Brendan Rodgers considering the current circumstances at Liverpool and the difference in quality between the mentioned clubs. However his achievement of finishing 2nd last season with a side predicted to challenge (and likely miss out) for a top 4 spot made my mind up.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that passing a 50% winning record often results in a team finishing in European Qualification.

Winning percentages don’t paint the full picture, as they neglect points from draws, but nonetheless I think they provide a good indication as to how successful a manager has been.


Mourinho’s success in recent years have been at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea where there is an expectation to finish top, reach the finals of each cup and have an impressive performance in the Champions League. However I believe his accomplishments at FC Porto and Inter Milan shows he does have the ability to turn any side with reasonable ambitions into a title-winner.

Of course, it can be argued — and rightly so — that teams with bigger budgets and more quality available within the squad make a manager’s life a lot easier than that of those fighting for survival.

Aug 7, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the first half of the International Champions Cup Championship finals against Real Madrid at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Because of this, perhaps it’s more useful to look at managers lower down the table whose teams are deemed to have overachieved from those preseason predictions.

When teams such as Manchester City or Manchester United each spend more money in a transfer window than the rest of the league combined, it does make it hard to take seriously any praise directed at the top teams when they string a few wins together.

Garry Monk’s Swansea and Sam Allardyce’s West Ham have surprised pundits and perhaps even their own fans with a fantastic first half of the 2014-15 season. The highest praise naturally has to go to Ronald Koeman for Southampton’s current 3rd place position, proving their incredible start wasn’t just temporary.

It is certainly too early to start thinking of who this year’s Manager of the Season will be, but if these three keep it up then they’ll each be in consideration for the award.


How do you assess a manager? It’s a difficult subject really. With each club in their own unique circumstances, it makes it hard to look at the table and decide who deserves to be crowned the best.

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Last year it was awarded to Tony Pulis who did the impossible and kept Crystal Palace up, despite claims (when he took the job) that they were already doomed. Brendan Rodgers won the League Managers’ Association Manager of the Year for guiding Liverpool to a surprise 2nd place finish, yet they ultimately didn’t win anything.

José Mourinho is without a doubt an extremely talented individual, and it is my opinion that he is the best manager compared to those at clubs with a similar stature. As a result, I’m backing Chelsea to be 2015 Premier League Champions.

Stats correct up to 14 January 2015

Next: Swansea vs Chelsea: Thoughts And Prediction