Who’s still got it? Who never had it? And who’s too fat or old?

The managers of the Premier League come in all shapes and sizes, different nationalities, and varying successes in their playing careers, so we decided to ask the question; who is the best manager in the Premier League on currently football ability.

Imagine if you will, that you are building a dream 5-a-side team out of the current managers in the Barclays Premier League, who do you want on your team?

We have taken the following categories into account when making our selection:
-Level of playing career.
-Current fitness level.

And here are the results:

#20 – Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United 

premier league managers as players

Age: 57
Playing level: Average
Current Fitness: Very poor.

Rafa was never much of a player, and the ravages of management at a series of dysfunctional clubs have slowed him down quite a bit.

#19 – Arsene Wenger – Arsenal

premier league managers as players

Age: 66.
Playing level: Average.
Current fitness: Old.

We’d fear for Arsene in the physicality of the Premier League managers’ fictional football match. The legs, while long, are simply not up to it anymore.

#18 – Craig Shakespeare 

premier league managers as players

Age: 53
Playing level: Decent
Current fitness: Poor.

‘Shakes’ bounced about the lower leagues as a player, making more than a hundred appearances for Walsall and West Brom, but we fancy he wouldn’t be up to much on the pitch today.


#17 – Tony Pulis – West Brom

premier league managers as players

Age: 58.
Playing level: Below average.
Current fitness: Good.

Bristol Rovers and Newport County stand out as the best spells of his career, his fondness of tracksuits and baseball caps suggest he’s in good shape.

#16 – Jose Mourinho – Man United

premier league managers as players

Age: 53.
Playing level: Below average.
Current fitness: Good.

Never played outside of Portugal, but he does look after himself and you’d have to imagine he’s got great reading of the game. Either that or he’d hack people all day.



#15 – Sean Dyche – Burnley

premier league managers as players

Age: 45.
Playing level: Average.
Current fitness: Decent.

Somewhat of a lower-league journeyman, but a no-nonsense defender who wouldn’t be messed about.

#14 – Paul Clement – Swansea City 

premier league managers as players

Age: 45
Playing level
: Poor.
Current fitness: Solid.

Clement’s playing career is nothing to write home about – Banstead Athletic and Corinthian-Casuals – but he has youth on his side, so he should be able to hold his own against the Rafas and Wengers of the world.



#13 – Eddie Howe – Bournemouth


Age: 38.
Playing level: Average.
Current fitness: Excellent.

There are many players in the football league older than he currently is, bit of an injury risk, obviously, but otherwise in great shape.

#12 – Marco Silva – Watford

Age: 40
Playing level: Unimpressive.
Current Fitness: Good.

Silva had a relatively average career, bouncing about the Portuguese second division, but at the age of 40, he should have enough energy to compete well in this entirely fictional game.

#11 – Chris Hughton – Brighton and Hove Albion 

Age: 58
Playing level: Good.
Current Fitness: Decent.

Hughton has kept in great shape for a man approaching 60, and 53 Irish caps is obviously a testament to the quality of a truly great player.

#10 – Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool


Age: 49.
Playing level: Decent.
Current fitness: Good.

A solid Bundesliga defender in his day, and clearly is in good health judging by his regular jumping on touchlines.

#9 – Slaven Bilic – West Ham


Age: 47.
Playing level: Good.
Current fitness: Good.

A rock for Croatia, still well capable of rattling a few cages.

#8 – David Wagner  – Huddersfield Town

Age: 45
Playing level: Decent
Current fitness: Good

Wagner had somewhat of an international career – he played eight times for the United States – and bounced around the German first and second divisions.

#7 – Mauricio Pellegrino – Southampton 

Age: 45
Playing level: Good
Current Fitness: Good

Pellegrino won’t have lost any pace (in the sense that he never had any) and has a fine pedigree, playing for Liverpool, Valencia, and Barcelona.

#6 – Antonio Conte – Chelsea


Age: 47.
Playing level: Great.
Current fitness: Good.

Another one who looks after himself, from here on in we get down to the serious players who haven’t changed much at all.

#5 – Mark Hughes – Stoke City


Age: 52.
Playing level: Excellent.
Current fitness: Decent.

Was a lovely player to watch, and still regularly bangs them in at training by all accounts.

#4 – Ronald Koeman – Everton


Age: 53.
Playing level: Elite.
Current fitness: Poor.

Arguably the best player on this list in his day, his spare tire wouldn’t hold him back too much from that deep midfield role.


#3 – Mauricio Pochettino – Spurs


Age: 44.
Playing level: Excellent.
Current fitness: Great.

A typical hot-blooded Argentine, we would be backing Poch to pick up a card early, but ultimately have a big influence on the game. The game that doesn’t exist that is.

#2 – Frank De Boer – Crystal Palace 

Age: 47
Playing level: Excellent:
Current Fitness: Good

De Boer was an exceptional player – 328 games for Ajax, 144 for Barcelona and 112 for Holland in which he won the Champions League, La Liga and a host of other titles – and we reckon he is in good enough nick to give the next man on this list a run for his money…

#1 – Pep Guardiola – Man City


Age: 45.
Playing level: Elite.
Current fitness: Temple.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Pep registers himself and plays in a League Cup match this season. And we wouldn’t bet against him having a good game either.

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