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10 Greatest Manchester City Managers Ever

greatest Manchester City managers ever

Having already written an article on ‘Manchester City’s most successful managers ever, based on win percentage, here is our next article on City’s managers. In this article we will have a look at 10 greatest Manchester City managers ever , based on overall performances.

Here are the 10 greatest Manchester City managers ever –

10. Tom Maley

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Son of a soldier of County Claire, Tom Maley was born in Portsmouth, Maley spent his entire playing career in Scotland, while playing for clubs like Celtic. An amateur during his playing days, he worked as a school teacher and later governor. He left this role in 1902 to become manager of Manchester City, helping them to their first major honor, the 1903-04 FA Cup. After leaving City in 1906 he became manager of Bradford Park Avenue then later assisted Southport.

9. Les McDowall

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India born Les McDowall was a Scottish football player and manager. He managed Manchester City between 1950 and 1963, and then Oldham athletic. A wing half or centre half, Manchester City paid £7,000 for his services in 1937 and between then and 1948 he played 129 times for the team scoring 8 goals. He was also captain of the time for a short while. The mid 1950s were the high points of McDowall’s career as manager of Man City. McDowall was the longest-serving manager in Manchester City’s history, his tenure spanning 13 years.

8. Tony Book

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After the resignation of  Manchester City manager Johnny Hart due to ill-health, Book took temporary responsibility for first-team affairs, and was named assistant manager when Ron Saunders became the next permanent manager. At this point Book retired from playing to concentrate on management. Saunders was sacked after less than six months, and Book again took on the caretaker role, and was appointed permanent manager one game later. The first notable victory of Book’s management was a 1–0 Manchester Derby win, best known for the back-heel scored by Denis Law.

In 1976, Book’s City side won the League final, making him the first person to win the competition as both player and manager. City continued their run of form into the following season, enjoying an impressive league campaign where they finished in second place, only a point behind winners Liverpool. Book remained manager until 1979, when he was replaced by his former mentor Malcolm Allison.

7. Wilf Wild

In Wild’s first season in charge Manchester City reached the 1933 FA Cup, but lost 3–0 to a Everton. The following season Wild again led City to the final, this time emerging as 2–1 winners against Portsmouth. The FA Cup success was accompanied by a fifth place League finish, and the two subsequent seasons also resulted in top half finishes. The consistency of the preceding seasons was built upon in 1936-37 though the season had an indifferent start in which the team won two of their opening ten matches. By the Christmas results had improved, and in the second half of the season Wild’s side embarked on a remarkable unbeaten run, going without defeat in the 22 matches between 26 December and the end of the season. On 10 April City faced Arsenal, the dominant team of the 1930s, and won 2–0 to confirm their position as contenders for the championship. A fortnight later City claimed a seventh consecutive win, beating Sheffield Wednesday 4–1, and became champions of England for the first time.

After fourteen difficult but mainly successful years Wild asked the Board to bring in a new man. Former Captain Sam Cowan was recruited in December 1946 and Wild was allowed back to perform the role of secretary. He may not be the first name most think of when they talk about great City managers, but Wild was the most successful of all Blue managers until the arrival of Joe Mercer in 1965.

Subhayan Chakraborty
Post Graduation student of Journalism and Mass Communication, aiming to be a top sports journalist and change the scenario of sports journalism in India and educate people about sports in India.

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