Chelsea’s title-winning boss Antonio Conte has upstaged Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho to become “the cream of the super-managers”, says Stan Collymore.
The Italian ensured that his debut campaign in the Premier League will end with the top-flight crown on Friday as his side edged out West Brom to collect the three points needed to get them over the line.
Conte could yet to complete a league and cup double, with an FA Cup final date with Arsenal to come, his exploits casting an ever-lengthening shadow over his fellow high-profile arrivals from the summer of 2016.
Guardiola is guaranteed to end the campaign without a trophy at Manchester City, while Jose Mourinho requires Europa League success to get Manchester United back among the Champions League elite.
“Chelsea's coronation as Premier League champions on Friday confirmed what most of us have known for a while now,” Collymore wrote in the Daily Mirror. “That Antonio Conte has been the cream of the crop of the super-managers who arrived in the top flight or were reintroduced to it last summer.
“Conte has won the title with a fairly modest spend, compared to Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“And the fact he has been able to motivate players, who showed last season what moody devils they can be, is further proof of just what a great manager he is.”
Former Liverpool striker Collymore added: “After six Premier League games, the rumour mill suggested he might be sacked, but he made a decisive change to a back three.
“He helped David Luiz prove me wrong in that back three, because I did not rate him as a defender in a two, but have to take my cap off to the way he has played this season.
“And, as for Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, would Mourinho, Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp have turned them into wing-backs with the kind of success they have had?
“Doubtful, I’d say.”