Top 5 Emerging Managers

Published 08/21/2015, 3:45 PM EDT

It is not a secret that managers are an an integral part of football. From style of play to the financial management, the gaffer takes all the responsibility.


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The footballing world has seen many great managers  and the legends have often contributed a great deal to the sport.

But even the likes of Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson once started out as rookies and gradually gained attention with the success they achieved.


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Let’s take a look at some of the top emerging managers who, if they maintain the same level of success, might just become the next top managers of the modern football.

A great player, and much like many of the fellow Duct players, Frank de Boer is surely increasing his stature in world football, this time, as a manager. Following the steps of Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Ronald Koeman, De Boer is making a lot of heads turn with his success at Ajax.

Starting out as assistant manager for the club and Dutch national team in 2010 world cup, he was left a little mess by Martin Jol, when he stepped down in December 2010. What followed, proved that the Dutch was as brilliant in the tracksuit as he was in the jersey.

In his 5 years at helm of the Ajax, he has already led the club to 4 titles. His success and style of play – much like Arsene Wenger’s has led him to offers from clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool. Though he refused the offers from both the clubs, stating he has still just started with Ajax in 2013, if he continues like this, it won’t be long when we see him manage a top club.

Now to the man who was actually preferred over Frank de Boer for the Tottenhma job, Mauricio Pochettino. The Spanish made a name for himself after guiding Espanyol, a club where he ended his professional playing career as well, at 10th and 11th positions in seasons 2008-09 and 2009-10 respectively. This was an inspirational effort by him and the team, as when he joined the club in January, the team was 3rd, from the bottom.

Following his success, he was appointed by the Southampton, and made his mark in the very first year in the premier league. Guiding Southampton to an impressive 8th in the league, and in the process, beating the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool at home. He has also shaped the careers of players like Luke Shaw, Mogan Shneidrlin and Adam Lallana.

Now at Tottenham, things won’t be easy for Pochettino, at a club which has always be under Arsenal’s shadow. But having made a decent start to life at Spurs, the Spaniard has already created a superb attacking duo of Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.

Still young at 43, Pochettino, if succeeds with Spurs, and leads them to a top 4 finish, might just land at an even bigger club.

Unai Emery’s passion for his teams has always helped him achieve some impossible tasks. After a career ending injury, he became the manager at the same club, Lorca – a 3rd division club and eventually led the team to promotion for the very first time.

He did not stop there. His knack of over-achieving with teams has been the reason why he is so highly rated, after guiding the Spanish team Almeria to promotion once again.

Finally recognized by a major team, he joined Valencia. Despite the club’s serious financial trouble, he managed to lead the team to 6th in the league in his first season. In the next three seasons he managed the club to finish 3rd, each time behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. In the process he developed players like David Villa and David Silva at the club.

Later he moved on to Spartak Moscow, but was sacked after the club lost to its rival Dynamo Moscow. But what followed has made him one of the most respected managers in world of football. Taking a job at Sevilla in 2013, in the two season at the club, Sevilla finished fifth both the times. But the major success which has made the headlines has been winning the Europa League, twice in a row. Home record of Sevilla has also been more than impressive – and have also proven to be a tough fixture for the big two.

The passion of the man can be judged by the fact that the he said that he will even start playing at left back if the team needs him to.

At 43 years of age, and quickly climbing up the pecking order, it won’t be long when we see Unai Emery at a big club.

At the second spot we have the man who doesn’t need any introduction –  Jurgren Klopp. The former Brossia Dortmund manager has been one of the most interesting characters in world of football.

Since joining Dortmund in 2008, when the club was struggling for form and success, he has guided the club to 6th and 5th in the league and also won the Supercup in the very first season.

He made BVB a force to reckon, not only in league but also in Europe. Dortmund won the league two times in a row, knocking Bayern Munich off their perch. In the first of those two seasons, he also won the DFB-Pokal, hence completing the domestic double. In the second season, being as impressive as the last season in the league, astonishingly, they reached the finals of Champions League. They achieved this feat after finishing unbeaten from the group of death and also beating the mighty Real Madrid in the semi-finals. The final saw them narrowly losing out to local rivals Bayern. The last season at the club saw them struggle but Klopp kept his words, and safely guided the team to a comfortable 7th.

He also holds the credit of developing players like Maco Rues, Robert Lewendwoski, Mario Gotze, İlkay Gündoğan, Matt Hummels, and many more.

But managing a club like BVB which has very limited financial resources, and often has to sell their best players to immediate rivals, it was an almost impossible job to keep them at helm of Germany.

Now on a sabbatical, when he returns, it won’t be a surprise if all top teams gun for him.

The top spot is grabbed by Diego Simeone, and deservedly so. Managing a club with limited financial resources in a league dominated by two of the richest teams in the world, Real Madrid and Barcelona, things were never going to be easy for the Argentine.

What he has done with his time at Atletico Madrid has been nothing short of extraordinary. Taking charge of the team when they lost to a 3rd tier side, he won the Europa League with the team, and then followed it with the Supercup, thrashing Chelsea 4-1.


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But the next season was written in the history books forever. He won the league with Atletico, on the last day of the season. What was even more impressive was the way Simeone’s team did not slip up even in the Champions League and reached all the way to the final, and almost winning it against local rivals Real Madrid.

The most noticeable thing under Simone is the high pressing game his team plays. Known for his tough training and fitness regimes, Atletico under him has often proved to be frustrating and tough to handle for all the big teams.

The Argentine has also developed two most deadly strikers in modern football – Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa. Not only that, he has also played a key role in rise of a young Koke and Ada Turan.


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45 and still very fit, it will not be long before we see him manage a top club, and when he does, it will be really interesting to see how he does at dealing with players with large egos.


Aviral Srivastava

112 articles

Pursuing Computer Science Engineering from Bangalore Institute of Technology. Avid sports fan, specially football. A lifelong United supporter.



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