We look at points per game and that puts Erik ten Hag in ninth after his start at Manchester United. And that’s above Mikel Arteta.
The cut-off point is 50 games and there is no surprise at the lower/higher reaches of this list. Unai Emery narrowly misses out.
10) Mikel Arteta (Arsenal): 1.91 pts per game
They ultimately came up short in the Premier League in 2022/23 but 2023/24 is on course to be even better, with an average of 2.4 points per match across the opening 15 games of the season.
9) Erik ten Hag (Manchester United): 1.94 pts per game
His 50th Premier League match was the 1-0 win over Luton, earning him entry to this list as Unai Emery was discarded. There are massive caveats in terms of the money at Ten Hag’s disposal but that’s still a record that reads better than that of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool after the same number of games.
8) Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea): 1.94 pts per game
Good but ultimately not good enough for Chelsea, who sacked him in September 2022 with the Blues in sixth place. Was it harsh? Very much so. Did Chelsea look better for sacking him? Absolutely not.
7) Arsene Wenger (Arsenal): 1.96 pts per game
The high of the Invincibles (2.37 PPG) became the low of his final season in charge of Arsenal (1.66 PPG), long after he probably should have walked away. Sticking around longer than he was welcome probably cost him a few places on this list.
6) Antonio Conte (Chelsea and Tottenham): 2.03 pts per game
In the end, he became too toxic for both Chelsea and Tottenham but the record books show that he won an awful lot of points for both clubs (and a league title for the former). He made Spurs quite comfortably the fourth best side in England and that is some feat.
5) Jose Mourinho (Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham): 2.03 pts per game
His final half-season at Chelsea was disastrous, his final half-season at Manchester United was little better, and Tottenham was always an uneasy union that never quite felt comfortable. But there is no doubt that Jose Mourinho constructed one of the great Premier League sides first time round at Chelsea. He would be wise to resist a return that would taint his legacy further.
4) Roberto Mancini (Manchester City): 2.05 pts per game
He won Manchester City’s first Premier League title. What more do you want? Well, lots more apparently; he was sacked a year after he won that title having apparently failed to hit certain targets. It now feels ludicrous that City would ever go a whole year without winning silverware but 2013 was a different time.
3) Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool): 2.11 pts per game
The 2.61 PPM of the title-winning year then became 1.82 as the Reds stumbled. That he pulled that number back up to 2.42 in 21/22 was remarkable, but last season was a new low for a completed Liverpool season: 1.76.
2) Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United): 2.16 pts per game
In 21 Premier League seasons, Ferguson’s Manchester United side only twice dropped below the two points per game mark. That is nothing short of remarkable consistency from a brilliant manager who managed to build three great, great sides. Most will forever see him as the GOAT whatever the man above/below him on this list achieves.
1) Pep Guardiola (Manchester City): 2.33 pts per game
The 23/24 season is the worst of his reign so far; the 2.00 points per game gathered by Manchester City is the lowest return of his eight seasons.