Mourinho, Guardiola, Conte, Klopp, Wenger And Pochettino. Why None Of These Should Have Been Contenders For Manager Of The Season

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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Watching “The Sunday Supplement” on, believe it or not, Sunday, we here at WSA were dismayed, if not surprised, to hear that all of the journalists on the programme were going to vote for Antonio Conte as their “manager of the season“.

Now we have never thought that football journalists were ever recognised authorities on the machinations of the modern football club or it’s manager, but to vote for Conte shows a staggering lack of knowledge and totally flies in the face of the true definition of the award. Let’s look at the contenders as they were when the season started. This, in itself, got everything off on the wrong foot as the wrong managers were being scrutinised.

Favourite now is Antonio Conte who, having taken over at Stamford Bridge, is going to win the title in his first season in English football. Is this achievement better than Sean Dyche at Burnley, who has kept the club relatively safe all season against all odds? Is it better than Marco Silva at Hull who, if he keeps them in the Premier League, will have performed a minor miracle?

Why just the Premier League managers? How about Garry Monk at Leeds, Chris Hughton at Brighton or even Rafa Benitez at Newcastle? Remember, they don’t have world-class superstars or £££millions at their disposal. They have to rely on pure MANAGERIAL ABILITY. Is this not the true criteria for the award?

Conte took over a team with several world class players who had previously had ONE bad season. He took over a team with no European distractions at all, giving him a full week to prepare for most games. He has almost limitless resources courtesy of the owner. He fell over a successful formation having lost to both Liverpool and Arsenal in September and has never really looked back after this slice of luck.

There are quite a few managers who would have loved to take over a club in Chelsea’s position and also quite a few who would have done just as well as Conte.

Although a very likeable character, next season will show whether or not he has been overrated this one.

José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have both experienced similar problems to each other and both will have to spend heavily in the next window. Does the ability to spend more than anyone else then qualify them as candidates for manager of the season?

No, they would have to at least win the title to win that award. But then they would be receiving it because of their ability to buy players, not because they were particularly brilliant managers. Although not always true that success can be bought, (just look at Manchester City’s record in the Champion’s League for proof of the pudding), it is true to say that the chances of success are greatly improved when countless millions of pounds are available to the manager.

Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs is having an excellent season but is not being mentioned as a potential manager of the season. This is probably due to woeful performances in Europe which saw them exit both the Champion’s League and the Europa League at the early stages.

He is, however, still in with a slight chance of winning the Premier League and could still win the FA Cup. How is this different to what Chelsea could win? Why, on this basis, is he not considered a favourite to win the award when his achievement would be greater than that of Conte if he could pull it off?

Arsene Wenger’s days of being considered for any type of meritorial award, other than the “long overstaying a welcome” trophy, are long behind him.

Finally, Jürgen Klopp, the charismatic Liverpool manager. Along with Conte, if there was an award for the most likeable manager, he would win it. The award, however, is not for the most likeable manager. It is not for the best manager, not based on managerial ability anyway. No, it is for the manager who wins the Premier League, albeit with the odds in his favour, particularly this season.

Klopp’s team has been too inconsistent  and he will look forward, like the rest, to a more even playing field next time out when Antonio Conte returns to European competition. It is also expected that Liverpool will spend some money in the Summer transfer window.

Next season should be far more interesting than this one which has, unless you support Chelsea, turned into quite a bore as far as the title race is concerned.

  1. Cory says:

    Next time… Find better topic to write for your article…. This is trash!!!


  2. Francis Xavier says:

    f**k mate……den why do u vote 4 Messi or Ronaldo in Ballon dor?


    • Simple. Messi and Ronaldo are football players not managers. What they do is display a level of talent unmatched by any other players. You are comparing apples with oranges.


  3. pauleee says:

    What are your thoughts on Ronald Koeman for the award? Do you think he has advanced Everton far enough to warrant even a little consideration?


    • I certainly think Ronald Koeman would be just as deserving as Conte. Imagine if he had taken over at Chelsea, I doubt they would be any different to where they are now. Don’t get me wrong, Conte is a great manager but, like Mourinho, like Guardiola, he doesn’t want to prove it at a lower league club. Yes, Koeman is as good a shout as Conte.


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