Mourinho's students - Who is the best manager? Liverpool, WBA, or Spurs boss?

Jose Mourinho Chelsea

Jose Mourinho's legacy in English football has already extended far beyond his title winning days with Chelsea. Just ask fans of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and West Bromwich Albion.

Mourinho will go down as one of the best Premier League managers of all time, having turned Chelsea into successive champions from 2004-2006. Love him or loathes him, Mourinho makes English football far more entertaining, and his press conferences have become the stuff of legend.

The effects of Mourinho's arrival in England can be see across the Premier League today, with three of Mourinho's previous staff currently managing in England's top flight, and another – Aitor Karanka – now with Middlesbrough in the Championship. Brendan Rodgers, Andre Villas-Boas and Steve Clarke all worked under Mourinho whist at Stamford Bridge, and have gone on to forge successful careers in management – but who is the most talented?

Rodgers was appointed as head coach of the Chelsea Academy in 2004, and his impressive work there led to Mourinho promoting the current Liverpool boss to reserve team manager just two years later. In November 2008, Watford came calling and Rodgers had landed his first managerial role in the Football League. Aided by two of his Chelsea reserves, Jack Cork and Liam Bridcutt, Rodgers won just over 40% of his games to pull away from the drop zone and keep the Hornets in the Championship. That summer, Rodgers moved on to Reading, who he used to play for, only to suffer a torrid time and lose his job after just six wins in six months.

Swansea came calling in 2010 though, and led the Welsh side into the Premier League in his first season there. After an equally impressive first year in the top flight, Rodgers made the biggest move of his career by leaving his project at Swansea in a bid to replicate that success with Liverpool. The signs of improvement are evident with the Reds, with the Anfield side currently in second place after a great start to the season. If Rodgers can keep that up over the course of this season, he may well establish himself as the best of Mourinho's coaches.

Villas-Boas seemingly has the most strained relationship with Mourinho, despite the pair working together at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan whilst Mourinho was in charge at each club. It is claimed that Villas-Boas wanted more responsibility whilst working at Inter Milan, and when Mourinho refused, AVB decided to break the partnership and become his own man. After an impressive spell with Portuguese side Academica, Villas-Boas landed the biggest job in Portugal – becoming the Porto manager. An incredible season followed, with a stunning treble completed as Porto lifted the league, the domestic cup and the Europa League, capping off a season where they suffered just five defeats in all competitions.

His subsequent move to Stamford Bridge ended in disaster after only eight months in the job, with results and player revolts forcing Roman Abramovich to sack the Portuguese boss, despite paying £13m to bring him from Porto. Despite his West London nightmare, Villas-Boas managed to stay in the capital after replacing Harry Redknapp as Tottenham manager, and he oversaw Gareth Bale's rise to stardom last season. Without Bale, things have been a little more difficult and Sunday's 6-0 loss to Manchester City has people once again questioning his future.

Finally, the relations between Mourinho and West Brom boss Steve Clarke have become somewhat frayed since Chelsea controversially earned an injury time penalty to scrape a draw against Clarke's Baggies. Clarke was Mourinho's assistant at Stamford Bridge, and the two had previously been on good terms until the incident earlier this month. A long time coach and assistant manager at Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool, Clarke has proven himself to be a more than competent manager since taking the job at the Hawthorns in 2012.

images: © tpower1978, © Ronnie Macdonald

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