Pep Guardiola and the seven longest managerial winning streaks of all time

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 03 March 2021, 13:40

Pep Guardiola is a manager well accustomed to smashing records.

The Spaniard, who is well on course for a third Premier League title in four seasons, is now bidding to create another slice of managerial history as he chases the longest winning streak ever by a manager in charge of a top-flight club.

Man City’s 4-1 victory over Wolves on Tuesday not only extended the club’s lead at the summit of the Premier League table to 15 points, but stamped a 21st successive win on the board in all competitions; bagging 55 goals and conceding just eight in this timeframe.

"In winter time in England it's hell and in that time we did something incredible," Guardiola told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport. "It's more than remarkable.”

Guardiola is currently seventh in the record books - scroll down for the full list - with a couple of successful managers in his immediate eyeline: Carlo Ancelotti and Hansi Flick.

Win Sunday’s Manchester Derby and Guardiola will draw level with Ancelotti on 22 wins, with the latter hitting this landmark during his time in charge of Real Madrid.

City will then take to the field against a woefully out-of-form Southampton side (Wednesday) - the club their winning run started against back in December - and bar a shock upset yet another triumph will see Guardiola equal Flick (23 wins), who will no doubt be a bit peeved off at this considering that he only reached this milestone himself last year with his all conquering Bayern Munich juggernaut.

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Pep Guardiola is edging closer to a world record

Furtherafield, we have the Brazilian manager Marcelo Oliveira whose Coritiba Foot Ball Club side won 24 games on the bounce in 2011.

Then there’s a familiar face in Louis van Gaal who propelled Ajax to 25 straight wins in 1995, one short of another famous Ajax side back in the early 1970s. 

Stefan Kovacs, who succeeded Rinus Michels, orchestrated 26 straight wins from 1971 to 1972; a glistening record which stood for a whopping 44 years. Having Johan Cruyff and Johann Neeskens in his Total Football ranks certainly helped.

However, the current world managerial record is held by Craig Harrison, an Englishman who conjured up 27 wins in a row when he was in charge of Welsh side The New Saints (achieved from 2016 to 2017). 

“A few weeks before we did it, someone mentioned: ‘By the way, do you know that it’s a world record if you make it 27 consecutive games?’ I had no idea,” Harrison told The Guardian. “And then people started speaking about Ajax in the 1970s and Johan Cruyff, and you think: ‘Wow, this is a bit surreal.’”

Funnily enough TNS probably should have won the game that brought the streak to an end - a 3-3 draw against Newtown - which they led 3-1 with nine minutes to go, only to concede a couple of late goals including a last-gasp equaliser in stoppage time!

Battle past the above band of bosses and Guardiola will have broken another record for a top-flight manager, with 28 straight wins in all competitions.

With 15 wins to their name, City are also closing in on the longest winning streak in Premier League history (currently 18 wins); a record which is jointly held by themselves (2017/18) and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool (2019/20). 

The quadruple dream remains a realistic target for City who have pretty much wrapped up the league already, have a League Cup final to look forward to, plus an FA Cup quarter-final, while they also have one boot in the last-8 of the Champions League.

Longest Managerial Winning Streaks (top-flight teams)

  • 27: Craig Harrison (The New Saints), 2016 to 2017

  • 26: Stefan Kovacs (Ajax), 1971 to 1972

  • 25: Louis van Gaal (Ajax), 1995

  • 24: Marcelo Oliveira (Coritiba Foot Ball Club), 2011

  • 23: Hansi Flick (Bayern Munich), 2020

  • 22: Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), 2014

  • 21: Pep Guardiola (Man City), December 2020 - 

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