6. Eusebio Sacristan (Real Sociedad)
As a key player in Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team at Barcelona, Eusebio has admitted his tactics and way of thinking were heavily influenced by the Dutch icon
Tactical suitability, 3/5: Eusebio likes his teams to be aggressive defensively, with a high line and collective pressing. He also wants to build possession from the back with passing patterns in wide areas involving attack-minded full-backs, and usually goes with a 4-3-3 shape.
Strategic fit, 4/5: As a key player in Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team at Barcelona, Eusebio has admitted his tactics and way of thinking were heavily influenced by the Dutch icon. He also knows the club intimately having worked as an assistant during the Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola years and coached the ‘B’ team just as Guardiola and Enrique did before him. In this respect, he would be a genuinely traditional choice as the next Barcelona manager.
Results, 2/5: After struggling with Celta and having mixed results with Barcelona B, Eusebio took over from David Moyes at Real Sociedad. Since then he’s steered the club into the fight for Champions League qualification.
5. Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)
Tactical suitability, 2/5: Allegri tends to opt for pragmatic possession, with a gradual build-up from the back and occasional interchanges of position by the midfielders and strikers to create space. Defensively, he prefers a passive, position-oriented style based on retention of shape. The Juventus boss is also highly flexible in terms of system, switching between 3-5-2, 4-3-1-2 and 4-2-3-1.
Strategic fit, 3/5: Renowned for his ability to handle difficult transitional periods, the ever-practical Allegri gradually tweaks things rather than completely overhauling the team to fit his own image.
Results, 5/5: After leading Sassuolo to Serie B for the first time in their history, he enjoyed a positive spell with Cagliari before winning league titles with Milan and Juve. In addition, he reached the Champions League final with the latter in 2015.
4. Thomas Tuchel (Borussia Dortmund)
Under Tuchel’s auspices, Mainz qualified for European competition for the first time in their history
Tactical suitability, 4/5: A Guardiola disciple, Tuchel looks to get as many creative players between the opposition lines as possible, while also focusing on quick counter-pressing in defensive transitions. He’s a studious tactician who introduced the term ‘matchplan’ to the German football lexicon, and makes adjustments for every opponent.
Strategic fit, 3/5: Tuchel’s ideas undoubtedly fit with Barcelona’s playing philosophy, and, with his team focus, he also matches the type of personality they usually go for.
Results, 3/5: Under Tuchel’s auspices, Mainz qualified for Europe for the first time in their history. And, after five excellent years there, he left to rejuvenate Dortmund – although he’s struggled at times this term.