Premier League: Ranking every Premier League manager by how hard they are


On Thursday night, we saw two managers clash in heated circumstances.

As the half time whistle went at Anfield during the game between Liverpool and Burnley, both Jurgen Klopp and Sean Dyche headed straight down the tunnel.

On the pitch, the two sets of players were squaring up as Fabinho and Ashley Barnes collided.

But cameras caught both Dyche and Klopp given each a piece of their mind.

It got everyone wondering, who would win in a fight? It’s a fight that everyone would like to see, that’s for sure.


And it got us thinking: who is the hardest manager in the Premier League?

Well, we decided to use Tiermaker to rank them all from ‘hardest’ to ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly.’

Let’s take a look at the final rankings:

Wouldn’t hurt a fly

  • Graham Potter
  • Frank Lampard
  • Roy Hodgson
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Scott Parker

Graham Potter is a philosopher. He’s a lover, not a fighter. He may be lanky and would have a good range on him but we can’t imagine he’d have too much power in his punches.

Frank Lampard may have shown some aggression towards a journalist on Friday but he had a very respectable disciplinary record during his playing days and would only break out in a chuckle if he tried to be serious for more than five seconds.

There’s only one time we’ve ever seen Roy Hodgson lose his rag and that was in a post-match interview. "Let's not take the p*ss here." In all the years of managing, that’s not a bad record. He’s 73-years-old for crying out loud, we can’t imagine him in a fight.

The baby-faced assassin may have been deadly in front of goal but can you imagine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer laying someone out? No chance.

Scott Parker may speak like he belongs in hip-hop/garage band The Streets but the Fulham boss is far too good-looking to be fighting.

Not a fighter

  • Mikel Arteta
  • David Moyes
  • Brendan Rodgers

Mikel Arteta would likely hurl insults at you in a variety of languages but he wouldn’t want to mess up his perfect hair.

David Moyes may look hardened but we think the Scot is actually a really nice guy deep down and would back down when the going gets tough.

As for Brendan Rodgers, he’s certainly capable of flipping his lid but he’s more likely to settle any fight by writing down the winner on a piece of paper in an envelope and handing it to you.


Nothing to be scared of

  • Pep Guardiola
  • Ralph Hasenhuttl

Without a doubt, Pep Guardiola is capable of losing the plot and going on a rampage. Catch him on the wrong day and he’ll be a psycho. But he’s more likely to be philosophical about a fight and talk calmly to you.

Similar to Guardiola, you have to have your wits about you with Hasenhuttl. Get on the wrong side of him and he’s capable of anything. He’s tall but there’s nothing too sinister about him.


Can take care of themselves

  • Jurgen Klopp
  • Carlo Ancelotti
  • Jose Mourinho
  • Nuno Espirito Santo
  • Sam Allardyce
  • Steve Bruce

We’ve seen on numerous occasions that Klopp can lose his rag pretty quickly. He’s tall and, judging by his first pumps in front of The Kop, would get in plenty of body shots.

The fear isn’t necessarily with Carlo Ancelotti but it's with who he knows. Beat him up and you can expect to be on the Mafia’s most wanted list within seconds. Stay clear.

Jose Mourinho is a proper streetfighter. He’d bring a gun to a knife fight and would be no stranger to dirty tactics with eye-gouges and a knee to the groin.

Just look at Nuno Espirito Santo’s steely face. Has he ever smiled? He certainly hasn’t this season. A real dark horse in a fight.

Sam Allardyce would take no prisoners. He wouldn’t hesitate in chucking his pint of wine over you before smashing the empty glass over your head. We do have fears about his stamina, though.

Let’s face it, Steve Bruce is a nice guy but just look at his nose. He’s not scared to stick his head in where it hurts and would happily head butt you and walk off.


Pretty hard

  • Marcelo Bielsa
  • Chris Wilder
  • Dean Smith

The thing about Marcelo Bielsa is that you never know what you’re going to get. He’d have done his research on who he’s fighting and drawn up a proper gameplan. There would be doubts whether he’d be able to sustain his high tempo fighting style.

Chris Wilder can perhaps consider himself hard done by here. He’s tough but his unique defence may not be as effective as it used to be.

Dean Smith is tougher than he looks. A nice guy persona but flick a switch and he’s a totally different guy.



  • Sean Dyche

Klopp realised he’d bitten off more than he could chew at Anfield the other night. He’d picked on the wrong guy and Dyche wasn’t backing down. He may not have the stature of a fighter but he’s an animal. Not afraid to get ugly. That gravelly voice? The rumours that he got his gravelly voice from eating worms. Turns out they were actually the fingers of his previous victims.


Full rankings

One thing we discovered while writing this is that there are plenty of Premier League managers that you really wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley. It seems you have to be pretty tough to be able to take on such a high-pressurised job.

While the Premier League is unlikely to sanction a WWE style Royal Rumble anytime soon, we'll just have to make do with touchline clashes like we saw with with Klopp and Dyche in midweek.

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