Andy Gray votes for Jock Stein as the greatest ever manager


Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray has listed Jock Stein as the greatest ever manager- ahead of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.

With his allegiance to Sky and the Premiership it would be easy for Gray to put Fergie down as the top all time manager with many supporters unable or unwilling to look beyond the Premiership’s new wealth.

Gray played against Stein’s Celtic in the 1974 Scottish Cup Final and won his final international caps under Stein a decade later.

Describing the legendary Celtic manager he said: “When you become the first manager of a British team to win the European Cup (1967) with a side where every player is born within 20 miles of Glasgow, it’s quite a feat. ”

Although Fergie is now in his second decade of success at Old Trafford it took him three and a half years to win his first trophy- the FA Cup.

In that same time span Stein had led Celtic to the European Cup success over Inter Milan and three successive titles- after a barren spell of 12 years without Celtic winning the championship.

Gray’s top 20 managers make interesting reading with his first boss Jim McLean coming in at 13, one place below Howard Kendall who provided the striker with the most successful period in his career with Brian Clough No 6, Jose Mourinho at 17 and Kenny Dalglish at 20.

As Inter Milan prepare once again to attempt to win the big cup, it’s good to see that Stein’s achievements are being brought to the attention of an audience not so knowledgable about the achievements of football’s greatest ever manager.

Andy Gray’s top 20 managers

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  • Michael says:

    What made realize what’s great manager Jock Stein was his record at Dunfirmline prior to Celtic. He made them a European force a couple of years after he saved them from relegation.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    Good point Michael, he worked wonders at Dunfermline and had started promisingly at Hibs, one of our better captures from Ediburgh…

    Andy Gray could easily have put Jock in at 3 or 4 behind Brian Clough or Bob Paisley.

    Gray has gone up in my estimation on the back of this list.

  • Joe says:

    There is no doubt whatsoever that Stein was head and shoulders above any manager since his time. Ferguson has achieved his accomplishemnts with the help of money, lots of it, and intimidation towards referees and officialdom his whole carreer. Stein was an upstanding manager who succeeded through sheer ability. Ferguson isn’t in that category. The top managers of all time are Stein, Busby, Bobby Robson, Mourinho, and dare I say it, Walter Smith, another manager who achieved it all without money. Thats my order of merit.

  • Eddie Murray says:

    Stein will forever be “immortalised” by his achievements in Lisbon. His tenure brought us 9 in a row alongside several Scottish and League Cups. He turned the club on it’s head when we were floundering and established us as a force in Europe for years to come. He did this without Fergie and Smith’s millions and set a benchmark yet to be met by anyone. He also took Scotland to the World Cup Finals on the day he died. Hail Hail

  • Eddie Murray says:

    Smith has to be applauded for his contribution to the game and I recognise that. He has been Rangers’ greatest manager without a doubt but he was given substantial funds by multi-millionaire Murray to buy Gazza, Laudrup, Butcher and half the England team. Great players all, but at a price. Stein built home grown sides with only a couple of imports and very little cash. Hail Hail.

  • Joe McHugh says:

    With all respect Walter Smith has been fantastically successful in Scotland but equally unsuccessful outside Scotland.

    Any reasonable measurement of achievement has to look outwith domestic football and Smith’s record is grim.

    At Everton he was decidedly average, in similar circumstances Davie Moyes has fared much better.

    In Europe Smith has won 5 out of 30 Champions League matches.

    Jim McLean took Dundee United to a European Cup semi final, and a 2-0 first leg lead, ironically with Smith as assistant.

    Smith hasn’t come close to that level of success, even Rangers 92/93 Champions League campaign contained only two wins, although they did beat Leeds United home and away to reach the Champions League group stage.

    Overall I think Brian Clough’s achievements in winning two European Cups for Nottingham Forest is the closest parallel to Stein at Celtic although Clough was unable to achieve further success he had also taken Derby County to a European Cup semi final.

    Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson have achieved fantastic success for Manchester United in different circumstances, Bob Paisley’s success at Liverpool, winning 3 European Cup’s in his only job in management is equally praiseworthy.

    Stein and Clough are out in front due to the impact that they had on club’s, with largely inherited players they were able to bring instant success winning the European Cup at the first attempt.

    My Top 10 post war managers
    1. Jock Stein
    2. Brian Clough
    3. Sir Alex Ferguson
    4. Bob Paisley
    5. Sir Matt Busby
    6. Sir Alf Ramsey
    7. Sir Bobby Robson
    8. Jose Mourinho
    9. Kenny Dalglish
    10. Arsene Wenger

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