The English Premier League has been graced by some of the finest players and managers of the world.
During the competition's illustrious history, 16 different managers have managed over 300 Premier League games. The legendary duo of Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) each managed over 800 Premier League games for their respective clubs.
Both Ferguson and Wenger were managers at the same Premier League club for more than twenty consecutive years, a feat many managers in the competition today can only dream of.
The cut-throat nature of the game today means that success is instanteneously craved, and even when Premier League managers do deliver it, their honeymoon period can be incredibly short-lived.
Jose Mourinho won consecutive Premier League titles with Chelsea in the early 2000s before being pipped by Manchester United in 2006-07. After an indifferent, but in no way calamitous, start to the next season, the Portuguese disappeared from the English scene almost as quickly as he had arrived. The same fate would also befall Mourinho during his second managerial stint at the club.
In more recent times, Claudio Ranieri delivered Leicester City their first-ever English top-flight title but didn't survive the next season as the club's owners didn't hesitate to give him the boot after a run of underwhelming results.
However, two other managers - Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp - seem to have been rather lucky in this respect. Both men didn't deliver the Premier League title in their first seasons at their respective clubs. But when they did so in subsequent seasons, they did it in some style.
Ten most well-paid managers in the Premier League
Considering the success they have brought to their respective clubs, it is not surprising that the duo of Guardiola and Klopp are two of the most well-paid managers in the Premier League. On that note, let us have a look at the Premier League's ten most well-paid managers in terms of their annual salaries.
#10 Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) - £5 million
Mikel Arteta took over the reins of his old club in December 2019 after Arsenal made an indifferent start to the season. However, considering his managerial inexperience, experts and fans were sceptical about Arteta's ability to transform the flagging fortunes of the club.
The Spaniard was an assistant coach under Pep Guardiola during Manchester City's Premier League-winning campaigns in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
After being at the Arsenal helm for only half a season, Arteta has been like a breath of fresh air at the North London club, with his tactics earning him plaudits from the likes of Gary Neville who said on his podcast:
"I think Mikel Arteta is punching above his weight. He is going above and beyond the players he has. The shape and the organisation, things we have criticised Arsenal for in the past, is good."
Arteta won 11 of his 20 Premier League matches, which included victories over Manchester United and champions Liverpool, but it was not enough to secure the club a top-four finish. Nevertheless, Arsenal beat Manchester City and Chelsea in successive matches to win the FA Cup and secure European football next season.
"They are not finishing in the top four like Arsene Wenger used to get criticised for but they look like a team which is more cohesive. It has continued from the end of last season and he is doing a great job. I just think Mikel Arteta would love that £150million that Frank Lampard has got this summer at Chelsea," Neville continued.
Continuing his good work from last season, Arteta's men won the 2020 Community Shield against Liverpool and won their first two Premier League games of the new season, which included a come-from-behind victory against West Ham.
Speaking about that West Ham win, Arteta said:
"What I like is the approach the boys had in the last 25 minutes where I could see they were a bit down and then they lift it. Probably a few months ago we would have drawn or lost that game and today we win it. In the end you have to find a way because there will be games like this through the season."
The 38-year-old is currently the youngest Premier League manager. Going by his early exploits in the competition, it may not be implausible to think that the former Arsenal player could leave his mark as one of the finest in English top-flight history.
#9 Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - £5.5 million
Frank Lampard, like Mikel Arteta, is one of the least experienced managers in top-flight football.
The former Chelsea legend made his name as a manager at Championship side Derby County, leading them to the playoff final in 2019 (which they lost) before his former club came calling. That was because Maurizio Sarri had left the club after leading them to a third-place finish in 2018-19.
Hindered by a two-window transfer market ban and the departure of Eden Hazard, Lampard blooded academy players and led the club to a creditable fourth-place finish despite being bogged down by a leaky defence.
“My desire to be successful is there and is so big that I can’t help wanting us to get better and better. I’ve learned a million things and I am humble enough to know if there are things I can improve I will try to do it because I want to be successful with this club. It has been a tough year but I have enjoyed every bit of it and it feels like we have had a level of achievement getting in the top four,” Lampard assessed about his first season as Chelsea manager.
With owner Roman Abramovich flexing his financial muscle, Chelsea plunged into the transfer market and embarked on one of the largest squad overhauls in recent history, as Lampard signed the Bundesliga duo of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz among other expensive acquisitions.
Like Arteta, it may be early days for the former Blues legend, but Lampard, who gave a decent first impression with the limited resources at his disposal, would look to go better this season and perhaps challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Also check out: Complete EPL Fixtures 2020/21
#8 Ralph Hassenhuttl (Southampton) - £6 million
After leading newly-promoted Leipzig to successive second and sixth-placed finishes in the Bundesliga, Ralph Hassenhuttl became the first Austrian manager to take charge of a Premier League club when he was handed over the reins of Southampton in the winter of 2018.
Succeeding the outgoing Mark Hughes, Hassenhuttl arrested the sliding fortunes of the club by ending Arsenal's 22-game unbeaten run before securing Southampton's Premier League status.
Despite Hassenhuttl's men slumping to the joint-worst defeat in a Premier League game when they lost 0-9 at Leicester City in October 2019, Southampton managed to move out of the relegation zone and finished the season on a 7-game unbeaten streak.
The club finished 11th in the process, their best Premier League finish in four years, as Hassenhuttl won the Premier-League-Manager-of-the-Month award in July 2020.
The club have duly recognised the Austrian's positive impact by extending his stay at St. Mary's till 2024.
"Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce that Ralph Hasenhuttl has signed a new four-year contract at St Mary’s. The deal sees Hasenhuttl and the club further strengthen their commitment to each other, and to the long-term vision that has been developed for the first team and the wider football project," said the club in a statement.
Hassenhuttl, on his part, has been gracious enough to acknowledge the contributions of everyone around him as he looks forward to take the club to new highs this season.
“The way we have handled this together as a group of people has been incredible for me, and I believe we now have strong foundations here that can allow us to take the next steps in our progress as a team. For me, this is an important step in the journey. My players, our staff, and of course the supporters must understand my commitment to this club and to what we are trying to build together."
Also check out: Updated EPL Table 2020/21
#7 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United) - £7.5 million
Six-time Premier League-winner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a bright start to his managerial career when he led Molde to their first Danish League title in the club's 100-year history.
However, in his first managerial stint in the Premier League, Solskjaer couldn't help Cardiff City avoid relegation in the 2014-15 edition of the competition before more success at his native Molde followed.
Solskjaer was appointed as the caretaker manager at Manchester United in the fall of 2018 after the club bid adieu to Jose Mourinho following a calamitous start to the season. The Norwegian's appointment seemed to rejuvenate the club as Solskjaer became the first Manchester United manager since 1946 to win his first five league games.
After winning 10 of his first 13 Premier League games in charge, he was handed over the reins of the club on a permanent basis.
The 2019-20 season provided a stern examination of Solskjaer's managerial credentials. The honeymoon period was well and truly over when a defeat to would-be champions Liverpool left the club in a lowly 14th place in the Premier League table.
Solskjaer, however, managed to turn around his club's fortunes as Manchester United beat Leicester City on the final day of the season to finish third and qualify for the Champions League.
Former Manchester United player Dimitar Berbatov complemented Solskjaer for making a positive impact at the club.
"He's made United consistent, which they haven't been for so long, and he brought it when it counted the most. They were smart, consistent, and they got results. You can buy players now because everyone wants to play in the Champions League, and Ole has shown what a good manager he is."
The Norwegian, who has made some astute signings in the transfer market like bringing in Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek, will hope to look for a steadier, if not spectacular, campaign in 2020-21, despite beginning badly and losing their first Premier League game.