We know leadership matters. We see it in our communities as we look to moving forward as a society through the crises at hand. And on a lighter note, we see it on the football pitch. Leadership matters.
This year I counted 6 managers who did not make it through the end of the season (including 2 changes at Watford!) and managers from a few teams in London too.
As I see it, there are 2 front runners with a third who should at least get some consideration, plus a few honorable mentions that deserve at least a shout out. Notably absent are a few perennial and perhaps fan favorites.
Jurgen Klopp — Liverpool
We know he is a great manager, but this year has been something special. The season was won by Winter break. The Reds have set numerous records already this year and are on pace for more. They are the best defensive team in the league, but also rank 2nd in goals scored. One loss and one tie are the only blemishes on the record in the EPL. It is (thus far) truly one of the great seasons in the EPL. Consistent and dominant, with a bit of style along the way.
Chris Wilder — Sheffield United
Sheffield United were (for at least one odd’s maker) favorites to be relegated this season. Yet they find themselves in striking distance of a Champions League spot. They rank 2nd in goals-against (only behind Liverpool) at 25. Wilder’s 3-5-2 was both effective and fun to watch. This team played with a clear purpose that worked consistently. If Sheffield claim a Champions League spot, you’d have to say that Wilder’s work is worthy of manager of the year.
Brendan Rodgers — Leicester United
Let’s be honest, Rodgers has been a solid manager outside of his time at Liverpool. Leicester exceeded expectations this year. Rodgers seems to get the most out of his players with some solid seasons across the board for his players (in a fantasy format too!). They have faded in the 2nd half of the season, but even with that they should make the top 4.
Nuno Espírito Santo — Wolverhampton — Wolves again have had an impressive season and sit within striking distance of playing in Europe next year. Nuno gets more with less, and Traore has been a break out star this season.
Carlo Ancelotti — Everton - While Everton have to be disappointed with their season, Ancelotti has saved them from true disaster. Before his appointment, Everton hung in the relegation zone for too many weeks for a team with their talent.
The other “big club” coaches — Clearly a cut below the others in my opinion, I do think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard managed young teams well this year. They can potentially build for next year. Small shout out to Mikel Arteta who also gave Arsenal fans a ray of hope.
What do you think of those managers mentioned? Should your team’s manager be there? Why? Who else deserves some credit? Vote!
Who do you think should win the EPL Manager of the Year?
This poll is closed
Jurgen Klopp - Liverpool
Chris Wilder - Sheffield United
Brendan Rodgers - Leicester United
Other - Please add in the comments