So, another amazing football season is coming to an end. It’s been full of love and heartbreak, shocks and surprises. But which of the world’s managers have done exceptionally well this season?
Sir Alex Ferguson – The legendary manager recently announced his retirement from football, and in a heart warming ceremony at Old Trafford he saw his team get a 2-1 win over Swansea in his last home game as Manchester United manager. But the old man still has it. In his final season as a professional football manager, Sir Alex guided his team to yet another Premier League title – his 13th and the 20th for the Red Devils, losing just 5 times along the way. He goes out on a high and is surely to be remembered as one of the best managers of all time.
Diego Simeone – A talented manager that not many may have heard of. Manager of Athletico Madrid, the Argentinian has been at the club since December 2011 and has only lost 16 games since. Boasting an incredible 61.9% win percentage, the former Athletico player has guided his team to the final of the Copa del Rey and a thrilling 4-1 win over Chelsea in the Super Cup last September and is sure to be one of the best Athletico managers in recent years.
Jupp Heynckes – The Bayern Munich manager will retire this summer, being replaced by Barcelona favourite Pep Guardiola, but he has definitely made Guardiola’s job so much tougher than he would have liked. Heynckes has taken his team to the Champions League final after an incredible 7-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in the semi’s, a result that shocked Europe. Bayern have also won their 22nd Bundesliga trophy this season, a title that was won weeks before the end of the campaign. The DFL-Supercup was another piece of silverware that Bayern can lay claim to this season – winning 2-1 against fellow Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund. Heynckes’ success creates the question – what can Guardiola do to top it?
Steve Clarke – My decision to include Clarke in the list of nominees this season could be arguable, but he truly has had an excellent season. In his first season as a first team manager, his Premier League campaign with West Brom started off to a flyer. In the top 10 for most of the season, his loan signing of Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku proved integral to the Baggies’ season as the Belgian has scored 16 goals in 31 appearances (with 2 games left of the season). Granted, the Scot has not led his team to any silverware this season but with West Brom currently sitting 8th in the Premier League, an over achievement to say the least, the future looks bright for fans at The Hawthorns under Steve Clarke.
Carlo Ancelotti – After falling victim to Roman Abramovic’s managerial merry-go-round, Ancelotti went onto join French side PSG and he has never looked back. After guiding his team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the Coupe de France, Ancelotti won the Ligue 1 title, with Swedish talisman Zlatan Ibrahimović scoring 32 goals in his first season with the club. After signing former England captain David Beckham the world sat up and took notice of the mega-rich Paris side and we are sure to hear more from them in the coming seasons.
These are my top five managers of the 2012-13 season, but who are yours? Is there another talented gaffer out there who I haven’t included? Or do you disagree with some of the choices?