Keane stuck his former boss in second place.

Roy Keane names his five best managers in Premier League history – with Ferguson kept off top spot

Roy Keane spent the best years of his career winning an indecent amount of silverware under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – but that doesn’t make Ferguson the best Premier League manager of all time according to the Irishman.

Perhaps Keane’s views are clouded by the manner of his departure from Old Trafford in 2005, but the former United captain still named his former boss in his top-five list on the Stick to Football podcast.

So who else made the cut? Let’s get down to it.

5. Arsene Wenger

Keane had several run-ins with Arsenal during his time at United as the two clubs enjoyed one of the most fierce rivalries in the history of the English game.

Wenger won three Premier League titles at Highbury, even if Ferguson and United would eventually win the war between the clubs, but perhaps Arsenal’s decline during the latter half of Wenger’s reign pushed him down to fifth.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Arsene Wenger’s 30 most used players at Arsenal?

4. Jurgen Klopp

Klopp transformed Liverpool from a club treading water in upper mid-table and pining for a return to the glory days into an institution feared across Europe once more.

In his nine years at Anfield, the German guided Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2020 and achieved success in both the domestic cup competitions and the Champions League too.

But, if you change just two results of his 491 matches at Liverpool, Klopp would have overseen three title wins. The margins have been wafer thin.

“I’ve huge respect for him and what he’s done for this club – the personality, the style of football,” Keane said on Sky Sports in May 2024. “They’re back competing at the highest level.”

READ NEXT: 11 people who have stood up to Roy Keane: Haaland, Souness, Klopp…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 30 Irish players with the most Premier League appearances?

3. Jose Mourinho

Mourinho has never enjoyed the longevity of the other entrants on this list, but still made a huge impact on the Premier League with his three title wins and unmissable press conferences.

Despite Keane’s frequent criticism of the Portuguese boss during his time as Manchester United manager, it’s hard to argue with his placement of Mourinho in the top five here.

2. Sir Alex Ferguson

While Keane took no issue with former team-mate Gary Neville picking Ferguson as the Premier League’s greatest-ever manager, he did take issue with Neville still referring to the Scot as ‘the boss’.

“Why do you call him boss?” Keane asked. “He was your manager of a football club, his contract was with the club and your contract was with the club, why do you call someone boss? Do you call anyone else boss, besides your wife?”

Neville responded: “I still call the school teacher who I was brought through Mr. Wright. You’ve been used to calling someone that for twenty-five years. I would never call him Sir Alex, or Alex. For twenty-five years I called him boss.”

“I don’t get it,” said Keane. “He’s not your boss now, is he? He’s another human being, why are you calling him boss?”

After his acrimonious departure from Old Trafford in 2005, Keane and Ferguson haven’t made up and you suspect they’ll each take their broken relationship to the grave.

Despite this, Ferguson recently praised his old captain in the recent 99 documentary on Amazon Prime.

“Everyone says it was Roy Keane’s best ever game,” the 82-year-old said about Keane’s iconic performance against Juventus.

“But his sacrifice, knowing he was not going to play in the final. It tells you something about what kind of character he is.”

Manchester United players Alan Smith and Mikael Silvestre during their 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, England, October 2005.

READ: Recalling when Boro spanked Man Utd and made Roy Keane implode

1. Pep Guardiola

With six Premier League titles to his name since 2016, Guardiola has cemented his status as one of the best managers of all time.

After taking a year to bed himself in, Guardiola has produced a succession of unstoppable teams at Manchester City that have raised the standards of top-flight football.

Brilliant sides from Liverpool and Arsenal have acquired immense points tallies, but have been unable to usurp City at the top of the table.

While Keane’s verdict may have been influenced by more than sheer objectivity, it’s hard to argue with his overall assessment.