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When results don’t go a certain way for a long period of time, the manager is always the first to get the blame and is the first to walk out the door.
These are five managers that I feel deserve to be in this list for their achievements throughout the course of the 2016-17 season.
#5 – Carlo Ancelotti
Although Ancelotti has achieved so much throughout his career as a manager, he is still highly underrated by many.
He isn’t a coach who likes to implement a philosophy or a certain style of football. He is known for his tactical prowess and his man management skills, getting the best out of players with big egos such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
This coaching method has resulted in Ancelotti winning domestic league titles and Champions League crowns at multiple clubs.
Focusing on 2016-17, Bayern Munich were able to win the Bundesliga title once again. Most people would agree that the Bundesliga is not as competitive as other leagues, but it was about how Ancelotti was able to let his team play free flowing football. It was entertaining to watch, which got the best out of players such as Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben.
They were knocked out undeservedly by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, because over the two legs I though Bayern were the better team. For the club it was a disappointment in that regard, but Ancelotti was once again able to deliver domestically.
#4 – Leonardo Jardim
The 42 year old is an up-and-coming coach with a lot of potential to move to a bigger club when the time is right.
He was able to introduce counter attacking football with pace down the wings which was helped by quality finishing up front with Radamel Falcao the go-to man. They were the most exciting team to watch in Europe, but that caused the defence to be vulnerable which caused a set back.
In saying that, Monaco were able to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League and were crowned Ligue 1 champions by impressively by beating the cashed-up PSG.
The reason why Jardim makes this list is not only for the achievements mentioned but also giving youth a chance, most notably getting the best out of 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman is rated at $150 million with Real Madrid favourites for his signature. He only got given a chance in November, but since then he was able to score 21 goals.
#3 Massimiliano Allegri
A tactical master and an ability to read the game and change things up is what makes Allegri such a special manager.
Since taking over the reigns from Antonio Conte, he was able to reach two Champions League finals and has won three domestic league titles in his first three seasons at Juventus.
He has mostly played with a 3-5-2, but this season has shown he is capable of reverting to a 4-3-1-2. He isn’t a one-trick pony, and he’ll pull others into line whenever they are seen to be drifting off. Leonardo Bonucci experienced this by being handed a one game ban from Allegri for arguing with him.
He won the Serie A title along with the Coppa Italia, conquering Italy once again. It was the Champions League final that stopped Allegri from having a treble on his CV, losing out to Real Madrid.
The best part about him is that he will focus on the defence more than anything. In the Champions League, Juventus conceded just two goals before the final, a remarkable achievement that all started with Allegri’s experience in being able to sort out the backline.
#2 Zinedine Zidane
Two seasons in charge at real Madrid, two Champions league trophies. An unbelievable accomplishment by a man who by many was criticised for not being ‘coach material.’
In 2016-17 he was able to guide Madrid to the La Liga title as well as getting the better of Juventus in the Champions League.
He had absolutely no top flight coaching experience before he took on the job, but has succeeded with ease. Tactically he is not the strongest, but in terms of man management he is able to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo (something that Rafael Benitez failed to do which ultimately lost the dressing room). Many were wondering if Ronaldo was coming to the end of his career.
We still haven’t seen him build a team himself and start from scratch, but he has all the tools required to be an even more successful coach in the near future, and could just be the France national team coach one day.
#1 Antonio Conte
A tactical master, every club he has coached has been built from scratch. Every club he has coached he has been able to implement the correct foundations. He is able to read the game perfectly. A typical Italian. An absolute genius.
Before his tenure at Chelsea he was manager of Italy at Euro 2016, guiding them to the quarter-finals only to be beaten on penalties. An average Italian squad mind you, he excited Chelsea fans when he announced his arrival.
Conte had 1 proper month to assemble his squad, with main targets such as Leonardo Bonucci, Alessio Romagnoli and Kalidou Koulibaly not falling his way. His last option was PSG centre back David Luiz who was not a very good defender in truth.
However, he was signed by Chelsea, and Conte was able to transform him into one of the best defenders in Europe. It’s his ability to put the defence first which helped Chelsea win the Premier League.
A 13-game unbeaten run helped Conte keep his record intact of always winning a league title as a manager. A 3-0 loss to Arsenal at the start of the season forced Conte to change to a 3-5-2, being the key to keeping clean sheets and scoring goals especially on the counter attack.
He deserves to be number 1, and I’m sure he’ll cement his status as the best coach in the world in the years to come.