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10 longest-serving managers currently in Europe's top five leagues

Diego Simeone is one of the most established football managers in Europe
Diego Simeone is one of the most established football managers in Europe
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 20 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

In the murky world of football management where results are all that matter, it is extremely rare to see a manager last the full length of his contract.

More often than not, coaches are the first to be shown the exit door when things go south. It serves as a quick fix to the underlying problems; after all, you cannot change a full squad of 23 players midway through the season.

This is especially true at the elite stages, where higher levels of competition mean that coaches' jobs are less safe.

It is not an uncommon sight for some clubs to have as many as three different managers in one season. One of the most popular spreads by bookmakers in recent years has been providing odds for the first manager to be sacked in a league.

Once upon a time, this was not the case. Managers exerted so much influence over clubs that they practically built dynasties and molded the teams in their own image.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby at Manchester United, Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Bill Struth at Rangers, Willy Maley at Celtic and Guy Roux (who spent an amazing 36 years consecutively as Auxerre manager) are all examples of such managers.

All these men have one thing in common; they each spent decades at one club and have become mythical figures in their respective club's history

However, the idea of a long-serving manager is very much a fossilized one in the modern game. These days, it is more likely for a coach to be sacked within six years of his appointment than it is for him to last five years at the same club.

Despite the pitfalls associated with football management, there are some coaches who have managed to last the distance.

This could either be because they secured the required result or have already gotten a long stay of execution with their successes in the dugout.

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On that note, here is a rundown of the 10 longest-serving managers currently in Europe's top five leagues.

NB: All stats and numbers are correct at the time of writing.

#10 Thierry Laurey (Strasbourg), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Simone Inzaghi (Lazio) - July 2016 to present (4 years, six months)

Pep Guardiola is the best manager of his generation
Pep Guardiola is the best manager of his generation

The list kicks off with a three-way tie, as all three managers were appointed prior to the start of the 2016-2017 season.

Simone Inzaghi was appointed caretaker manager of Lazio in April 2016 before being replaced by Marcelo Bielsa, who lasted just a week before resigning.

Since his appointment was made permanent, Inzaghi has restored Lazio's place in the upper echelons of the Italian game.

The 44-year-old guided I Biancocelesti back to the UEFA Champions League after a 13-year absence. The club also secured progress to the knockout round for the first time in two decades.

Inzaghi's time at the Stadio Olimpico saw Lazio win the Coppa Italia in 2019 as well as two Italian Super Cups.

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Meanwhile, Thierry Laurey's appointment at Strasbourg saw him lead the club back to Ligue 1 after a nine-year absence, and they have remained in the top flight since then.

Two years later, he guided the club to the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, which they won by defeating Guingamp on penalties in the final.

Pep Guardiola needs no introduction anywhere in the world and is widely regarded as the greatest tactician of his generation and one of the best coaches in history.

The 50-year-old achieved immortality with Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 before going on to attain more success with Bayern Munich for three years. He agreed a pre-contract with Manchester City in February 2016 and took over at the club later that summer.

After a forgettable debut season that saw him fail to win a trophy for the first time in his managerial career, Guardiola has since taken the Premier League by storm.

The Spanish tactician has won eight major honors with the Cityzens, with several unbelievable records set en-route, including becoming the first side in English football history to reach a century of points in a single season.

#9 Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta) - June 2016 to present (4 years, seven months)

Gian Pierro Gasperini has helped Atalanta punch above their weight
Gian Pierro Gasperini has helped Atalanta punch above their weight
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When Gian Piero Gasperini took over Atalanta in the summer of 2016, the club had very modest ambitions of just avoiding relegation to Serie B.

In the intervening five years, the 63-year-old has transformed the provincial side into one of the most exciting clubs in all of Europe.

Atalanta have regularly punched above their weight in Serie A and have achieved qualification to the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League in consecutive seasons. All these came despite having one of the smallest budgets in Italian football.

The Bergamo outfit have won many admirers with their expansive style of play, with many hitherto unknown players going on to become renowned under Gasperini.

#8 Chris Wilder (Sheffield United) - May 2016 - present (4 years, eight months)

Chris Wilder has been in charge of Sheffield United since 2016
Chris Wilder has been in charge of Sheffield United since 2016

Chris Wilder spent a total of seven years at Sheffield United during his playing days and returned to the club as a manager in May 2016.

The Blades were in League One when Wilder was appointed but a run of two promotions in three years (including a club-record 100-point haul in 2017) saw the South Yorkshire side gain promotion to the Premier League.

He guided the club to an incredible 9th-place finish in his first season back. However, things have gone awry in the current campaign, with Sheffield United currently occupying the bottom place on the standings.

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Published 20 Feb 2021, 07:05 IST
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