Forget the top players that will be on show this season; will the quality of managers in the Barclays Premier League finally make it the number one league in the world?
Mourinho back. Guardiola and Conte in. Klopp, Wenger, Bilic and Pochettino among many others around to compete for another year. It sounds unbelievable that this star-studded lineup has made its way into English football. To think of their combined honours is a scary but exciting thought, comprising four Champions League trophies together with an endless list of league and cup titles across every major European league, not to mention their outstanding personal managerial achievements for both clubs and countries.
Along with the managers comes the inevitable rivalries, and none more so than Mourinho vs. Guardiola. With only weeks into their arrival, both have had major impacts on their clubs and have received heaps of praise from players who are lucky enough to find themselves in such company. Many fans were left frustrated that their recent pre-season friendly was cancelled due to poor weather conditions in China, however on a more positive note there will be even more anticipation when the two managers finally meet again at Old Trafford on September 10th. Mourinho can also carry on his ever-lasting duel with Wenger, while Conte and Klopp will no doubt make many touchline enemies with their animated personalities and overly-enthusiastic displays at the side of the pitch.
Aside from the new faces, old faces will be looking to cause a few shocks too. With Ronald Koeman taking on a tougher challenge at Everton, more new managers arriving include Walter Mazzarri at Watford, Claude Puel at Southampton, and the fascinating return of David Moyes, the league can only improve further. It is no surprise then that Wenger remains the longest serving manager in the league at almost 20 years, leaving an incredible 16 year gap to the next manager, Eddie Howe, who has only recently joined the league with Bournemouth. English football will certainly be entertaining if nothing else as exactly half of the managers in the Premier League have only been at their clubs for less than a year, a statistic that perfectly symbolises this very new and exciting era of English football.
As the players get so much credit for when things go right, and the managers take the blame for when things go badly, perhaps now it is time to appreciate just how big a role these managers will play this coming season as clubs have finally got the man they think can win them trophies. This then might convince those higher up in their clubs to end the merciless sacking that has frustratingly hit the headlines all too much, as this influx of top managers can only be a good thing for the league and the players. The lucrative TV deal has obviously attracted players due to the amount of money available, however hopefully the majority of summer signings are a result of genuinely jumping at the opportunity to play under and in front of world class managers. Hopefully money can take a back seat in what has become a business rather than a sport lately, and hopefully these managers can bring with them their class and experience to reignite a league that has somewhat fallen behind others.
It is an exciting time for English football, so fans and players must appreciate and more importantly enjoy what they witness every week. Perhaps it will finally be time to label the Barclays Premier League as the best in the world.