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Manchester City’s Most Successful Managers – Top 12

Manchester City's most successful managers

In our list of Manchester City’s most successful managers,we have ranked managers according to their win percentage only.This list does not take into account any other factors.

Here are Manchester City’s most successful managers list.

12. Kevin Keegan [2001-2005] [Win % – 43.75]

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On 24 May 2001, Keegan returned to football as successor to Joe Royle at Manchester City, who had just been relegated from the Premier League. Keegan signed experienced international players such as Stuart Pearce, Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia. That season, City were promoted as Division One champions after scoring 108 league goals.

In preparation for his second season as manager (2002–03), he signed Nicolas Anelka, Peter Schmeichel and Marc-Vivien Foé. That season saw Manchester City win against Liverpool at Anfield and take four points from Manchester United (their previous win in the Manchester derby being in September 1989), securing their Premier League status comfortably by finishing ninth. Keegan also guided City into the UEFA Cup,qualifying via the UEFA Fair Play ranking.

2004–05 season brought better form for Manchester City, but Keegan agreed to leave as manager on 10 March 2005 after expressing his desire to retire from football at the end of the season. He overall managed City in 176 games and won 77 of it ,losing 60.

11. Joe Mercer [1965-1970] [Win % – 43.82]

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Joe Mercer enjoyed great success as a manager with Manchester City between 1965 and 1971. In his first season at Maine Road, the club won the 1966 Second Division title to regain top-flight status. Two seasons later Mercer led Manchester City to the 1967-68 First Division championship, and went on to win the FA Cup (1969), League Cup (1970), and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1970).

In 1970–71 Mercer had a dispute with his assistant Malcolm Allison, after the two men became embroiled in Manchester City’s takeover battle. Mercer supported the existing Board, led by the respected Albert Alexander, while Allison supported the rival group led by Peter Swales after being promised that he would be manager in his own right.

The takeover succeeded, and Mercer was shocked to discover that his car parking space and office were removed. This led to Mercer’s departure to become manager of Coventry City.

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10. Wilf Wild [1932-1946] [Win % – 44.89]

Wilf Wild is a name few modern supporters will recognise, but he is clearly one of Manchester’s greatest managers. He was City’s longest serving manager and the Club’s most successful manager of the pre-Mercer period, Wild was also the first manager to bring the League title to the Blues, and the first Manchester manager to win the FA Cup at Wembley.

He won the FA Cup in 1934,having lost in the finals in the previous season.He led Manchester City to their first ever top division league title in 1937.The team went without any defeat in the 22 matches between 26 December and the end of the season

The 1937–38 season was a marked departure from Wild’s previous success. Despite playing an attacking style of football which resulted in City scoring more goals than any other club in the division, the season ended in relegation, the only time the reigning English champions have been relegated.

Despite this setback Wild remained as manager, and the following season the club finished fifth in the Second Division. League football was then suspended following the outbreak of the Second World War. When competitive football resumed in 1946, Wild wished to step down as manager. On 2 December Sam Cowan was appointed manager and Wild returned to his former position as secretary. His fourteen years in charge make him the longest-serving manager in the club’s history. He remained club secretary until his death in 1950.

9. Mel Machin [1987-1989] [45.38%]

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Mel Machin arrived at City after a productive career at Norwich. Machin brought much joy to City and was responsible for promotion in 1989 and for several memorable results, including the 5-1 annihilation of Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in September 1989.

During his time at City he created a side that was a mixture of youth and experience. Men like Kenny Clements, Imre Varadi, and Neil McNab blended perfectly with products of the youth set up such as David White, Ian Brightwell, Andy Hinchcliffe and Paul Lake. He also signed players who went on to score memorable and important goals, including Tony Adcock and cult hero Trevor Morley.

On 27 November, Machin was sacked by chairman Peter Swales as the club was bottom of the division.

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