Manager of the Year: Who Makes Our Cut
This year, while the likes of Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino have excelled with their clubs, managers towards the foot of the Premier League have also earned their salt.
With the season drawing to a close, we take a look at the managers who really deserve to be in contention for Manager of the Season…
Tipped for relegation at the beginning of the season, Burnley have hit that magical 40 point mark and have comfortably confirmed their place in the top flight for another season. Their home form has been integral in Burnley’s survival turning Turf Moor into somewhat of a fortress.
Over and either side of the Christmas period, the Clarets won seven games straight at home and have picked up as many points at Turf Moor this season than they did in total last time they were in the Premier League.
It’s a remarkable feat for Dyche, who has picked up points from Liverpool, Everton,Leicester, and Champions Chelsea this term, and has begun building the foundations for continual survival in England’s top division.
Following a poor season last term, it was panic stations for Chelsea during the summer. A shaky start to the 2016/17 campaign didn’t help either. However, it didn’t take Antonio Conte long to get the Blues playing his way and they’ve transformed into one of the best Chelsea sides of the Abramovich era.
Storming to the title with a few weeks to spare, he’s built a solid foundation with a new back three, with perhaps the buy of the season N’Golo Kante mopping up all the loose ends. It’s allowed the attack to be free-flowing and dangerous and narrowed the gap on the big boys in Europe.
Next season will allow them to see just how close they are to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but they can’t be faulted this year. The double is still on for the Blues with the FA Cup just a short while away. Lift that and the transformation of Chelsea will certainly leave him a huge contender for Manager of the Season.
Think of West Brom and we still think of them as the yo-yo club, continually threatened by relegation. It’s just a reputation they have. So for them to be sitting in eighth, with only Everton and the real big boys above them is quite the achievement. Tony Pulis could guide his side to their best finish in the top flight since 1981, while the Welshman hasn’t managed a top-half finish in his last eight attempts.
Famed for his baseball cap and tracksuit bottoms, he’s never really taken seriously but across his 25 year managerial career he has never been relegated and has finished no lower than 14th during his time in the Premier League. Finally, after a great season with the Baggies, he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves.