France Football has named Bill Shankly as the tenth greatest coach in history. The French publication has ranked a top 50 of the finest to work in the sport.
Few could disagree with the placing. Shankly is the reason Liverpool Football Club is what it is today and the most important figure in its history.
He took a mid-table second division side and laid the foundations for unprecedented success. No, he doesn’t boast the medals of some but remarkably few have left such an impression on a club.
Shankly is also likely the reason that France Football have placed Bob Paisley so low. Too low, it should be said, in 26th place.
Paisley is one of the most successful coaches of all-time, having won six Division One titles and three European cups in a mere nine-year spell as a coach.
He was the only man to win the old European Cup three times and it took 30 years plus the introduction of the Champions League for anyone to match it.
But to some, particularly in Europe, he was merely continuing what Shankly put in place. It’s a remarkably harsh judgement on one of the all-time greats.
Jurgen Klopp also made the list, sitting just one place below Paisley in 27th. Although without silverware at Anfield, he of course won two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund.
Topping the list is Dutch legend Rinus Michels – understandably so, given his sport-defining Total Football. Sir Alex Ferguson’s longevity sees him take second, while Arrigo Sacchi is third.
The entire top-ten is below:
- Rinus Michels
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Arrigo Sacchi
- Johan Cruyff
- Pep Guardiola
- Valeriy Lobanovskyi
- Helenio Herrera
- Carlo Ancelotti
- Ernst Happel
- Bill Shankly