Last week the International Football Federation of History & Statistics’ (IFFHS) released it’s ‘manager of the decade’ list.
All the familiar faces were there and there were no glaring omissions but the thing that did catch my eye was the order in which the managers were ranked. Now a list like this will all was be open to be questions but the IFFHS have a system in place to rank managers annually and at the end of the decade using these scores they were able to compile this list:
1. Arsene Wenger (France) 156
2. Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland) 148
3. Jose Mourinho (Portugal) 135
4. Fabio Capello (Italy) 120
5. Guus Hiddink (Holland) 112
6. Carlo Ancelotti (Italy) 108
7. Luiz Scolari (Brazil) 101
8. Marcelo Bielsa (Argentina) 101
9. Rafael Benitez (Spain) 97
10. Marcello Lippi (Italy) 88
As I said they have a system in place to rank the managers but what system would allow a manager who hadn’t won a trophy in the later half of the decade to be named the best manager of the decade? I do not write to speak ill of Wenger, he is a good manager but from 2000 to 2010, I’m pretty sure there are managers, namely Sir Alex Ferguson, who could and should have ranked higher than him.
If we look at the the decade and compare United’s results and achievements with Arsenal’s it becomes apparent that Wenger was actually the best manager in England over the past decade let alone the world.
United won the league in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009; the FA Cup in 2004; the league cup in 2006, 2009 and 2010 that’s just domestically if you add to that the Champions League in 2008 and the Club World Cup in 2008 the sum dwarfs Arsenal’s haul of the league titles in 2002 and 2004 and FA Cups in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Of course Arsenal’s unbeaten season has been taken into account as well as the times they have finished as runner up domestically and in Europe but in a competition to decipher who exactly has been the best manager over the past 10 years it kind of defeats the purpose to reward not actually winning!
I have only mentioned Sir Alex’s achievements in comparison, if we were to then look at say Jose Mourinho’s too it would make for lugubrious reading from an Arsenal perspective considering Mourinho has did the treble twice in the time span being considered (albeit he spent the early part in Portugal, considered a weaker league in terms of European football).
I’m not 100% sure how exactly points are awarded by the IFFHS but I would imagine having to declare a manager who hasn’t won a trophy in nearly 6 years kind of harms their credibility.
Read more Manchester United articles at the excellent ‘The Busby Way’