Call it a gathering of the best football managers in world football and you would not be wrong. Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte were among the big names at Premier League headquarters on Tuesday afternoon as the top-flight’s managers attended their annual meeting. With Arsenal kicking off the new season on Friday against Leicester City, Wenger took time out from his preparations to link-up with his peers near Marylebone. The Frenchman, who came dressed in a grey suit, was joined by Klopp, who is busy dealing with Barcelona’s pursuit of his star man, Philippe Coutinho.
The Liverpool boss swapped his usual red training gear for a blue jumper and jacket combination, a pair of jeans and white New Balance trainers as he arrived at the central London office. Klopp’s Merseyside rival, Ronald Koeman, was also in attendance, with the Everton manager clutching a personalised bag as he exited a taxi and entered the building. Mauricio Pochettino looked smart in a navy blue suit with a pair of aviator sunglasses hung from his shirt as he came face-to-face with Rafa Benitez, the man he will go up against when Tottenham travel north to take on Newcastle at St James’ Park in their opening fixture on Sunday.
The meeting is designed to bring all the division’s managers together so that they can be talked through the season’s new rules and discuss talking points before Friday’s big kick-off at the Emirates. The use of the ABBA penalty shootout format in knockout matches, as well as retrospective two-game bans for diving, are sure to be high on the agenda. It was the first meeting of its kind for Frank de Boer, Marco Silva and Mauricio Pellegrino, who took charge at Crystal Palace, Watford and Southampton respectively earlier this summer.
The Dutchman wore a blue ensemble for the pre-season meet-up, while former Hull boss Silva flashed an impressive watch as he walked towards the building. Swansea manager Paul Clement was also in attendance for the first time having arrived at the Liberty Stadium in January before successfully leading the Welsh club to survival. Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, who is the Premier League’s youngest boss at 39, wore skinny black jeans, trainers and a dark jacket, while Burnley manager Sean Dyche gave a thumbs up to the cameras before heading inside. Slaven Bilic, whose West Ham side face a tough opening trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, flashed a smile as he jumped out of car and joined his fellow managers on Tuesday afternoon.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was not pictured arriving but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte arrived late to the meeting. One man definitely missing from the get-together was Jose Mourinho, who is busy preparing his Manchester United side for their Super Cup final against Real Madrid. The Europa League winners take on the Champions League holds in Skopje, Macedonia, on Tuesday night.