Even the most novice of English football fans will be able to name the top three teams when it comes to those who have won more league titles than the rest. Of course, those three teams are Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal. When you look at how the Premier League currently looks, however, it may surprise some to know who the next four teams are (well, maybe not all of them).
Manchester United are out in front with 20 league titles, most of them won under the managerial guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. Fergie managed to win 13 titles in a 20-year spell from 1993 to 2013. Sir Matt Busby won five in a 15-year period from 1962 to 1967. Famously, United had to wait 26 years from Busby’s last title to Ferguson’s first. What younger fans don’t remember, however, was how long they had to endure a title win before Busby first set foot as manager in Old Trafford: 41 years. In fact, the club only won the title twice before the Busbv era: in 1908 and 1911.
An odd way of winning
Those two titles were under Ernest Mangnall. It’s an oddity that that United’s titles have been won under just three men in a total of 105 years. The key man in the Mangnall era was Billy Meredith, a winger known for his love of munching toothpicks. Make no mistake, those teams were led with defence in mind. Mangnall was Jose Mourinho’s kind of man. Even Arsene Wenger would have been a fan when you take into account Magnall’s insistence on his players training hard, a departure from the norm at a time when cigarettes were believed to offer cardiovascular benefits.
Liverpool just behind
The previous record-holder of league titles was Liverpool, with 18. The last title they won, however, was way back in 1990. They’re doing well this season, however, so, at long last, they could finally win that elusive 19th title. Certainly, they’ve passed that frustrating 26-year wait that United fans were forced to endure. Liverpool won their very first title under a man in a bowler hat by the name of Tom Watson. Their first opportunity to win the title dates way back to 1899, but they failed to beat rivals Aston Villa for the title on the season’s final day. In fact, by half time, they were losing 5-0. Still, they managed to claim that first title only a couple of seasons later.
The titles kept coming
Liverpool won their second title under Watson in 1906. It was the manager’s fifth title win, overall, as he had previously won three with Sunderland. He was, in fact, the first man to win the title with two clubs. Liverpool won the title a couple more times in the 1920’s with a defense-studded team, including Elisha Scott, the star goalkeeper, and Ephraim Longworth, the fullback who was a long-time servant for the England football team. They won a couple more times in the 1960’s under Bill Shankly after he brought the team up from the Second Division.