• Nathan Smith

BEST OF THE BEST: FIVE CANDIDATES FOR PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE SEASON


We are approaching the end of the Premier League season, which means the beginning of award season is near.


The Manager of the Season is one of the most coveted individual prizes on offer but who deserves it this year?


Here are five candidates for the trophy at the end of the season…


Pep Guardiola


After not putting up too much of a fight during Liverpool’s title charge last season, this season was almost make or break for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side.


It has certainly been the former for the Spaniard as the Citizens have dominated the Premier League and are set to lift the Premier League title next week if results go their way.


Guardiola’s side have always played great attacking football, but their defence has been the standout feature this season. Despite Man City spending an awful lot of money to try and fix their defensive problems, credit has to be giving for the way Guardiola’s side have managed to keep teams quiet this season.


Certainly a front runner for the award, it would be no surprise if he won this award.


David Moyes


Who would’ve thought David Moyes’ name would come up in a 2020/21 Manager of the Season discussion?


The Scotsman has turned his career around at West Ham, and could lead them to the Champions League, which after just about surviving last season, is a huge achievement and arguably the best of Moyes’ career.


West Ham’s recruitment this season has been inspired, and Moyes has managed to get the best out of the likes of Jesse Lingard, Tomas Soucek and Craig Dawson.


Put that with the great form of Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, and the former Manchester United manager deserves an awful lot of credit for turning West Ham into a team to fear in the Premier League.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


One of the most doubted managers in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has helped Manchester United establish themselves back into the top four over his time with the club.


This season, the Red Devils have been the best of the rest in the league this year and have shown an incredible knack for just winning games.


Having only lost four this season, the same as Manchester City, Solskjaer has turned United into a tough team to beat on any day, and this has helped them maintain second place.


The team spirit at Old Trafford is largely down to the atmosphere created by Solskjaer and his team, and that has been a big factor in United’s rise back into Europe’s premier competition.


Marcelo Bielsa


The first season after getting promoted is a very tough one, as some managers abandon their philosophy to attempt to survive the England’s top tier.


The same cannot be said for Marcelo Bielsa, who stuck vehemently to his ideas of how football should be played and has found success in the top-flight.


One of the most exciting teams to watch, Leeds have taken the game to many teams and made themselves must see TV every week.


Currently sat in 11th, Leeds could finish in the top half, but even if they don’t, Bielsa has already made an impact on the Premier League which certainly puts him in the discussion for Manager of the Season.


Brendan Rodgers


Consistently one of the best managers in the Premier League, Rodgers has almost established Leicester City within the so-called ‘big six’, and a Champions League qualification would certainly help.


Currently in third, it is not guaranteed that the Foxes will finish in the top four, but they are the furthest ahead in that particular race.


Rodgers also deserves credit for the resurrection of Kelechi Iheanacho, who has come alive in Jamie Vardy’s absence, and has remained in great form since the Englishman’s return.


While he more than likely will not pick up the Manager of the Season award, if he can avoid a similar collapse to last season, Rodgers deserves a mention for delivering Champions League football back to Leicestershire.