Can anyone deny Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp the Manager of the Season award?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is the obvious standout contender for the Premier League Manager of the Year award - but there are a few other candidates.
In truth, it would be a travesty if the German missed out on the manager’s gong. Klopp is on course to guide the Reds to their first league crown of the Premier League era and first title since 1990 – and they have done it in real style.
The Anfield outfit have a genuine chance to emerge from the Premier League season unbeaten with just 11 games to go and they could beat Manchester City’s record haul of 100 points set in the 2017-18 campaign, but that doesn’t mean a few other managers don’t deserve a bit of credit.
Nuno Espirito Santo is continuing his progress at Wolves, Burnley boss Sean Dyche has his team on course for a top-half finish despite a limited budget and Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl has overcome a tough start to get his side pushing up the table.
But there are only two men who really stand out from the crowd this season.
Brendan Rodgers, Leicester City
Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who came agonisingly close to the Premier League crown during his time on Merseyside in 2013/14, has managed to turn Leicester into serious challengers despite only taking charge midway through last season.
Had it not been for Liverpool’s sensational season, the Foxes could well be in title contention themselves this year as they sit in third spot with 50 points on the board.
The league may be out of reach, but Leicester look set to qualify for next season’s Champions League and that has to go down as a huge success for the King Power Stadium outfit.
Chris Wilder, Sheffield United
Sheffield United were among the favourites to go straight back down after winning promotion last season but they have defied expectations and remain European contenders in the final stages of the campaign.
Wilder has had some backing in the transfer market and brought in Lys Mousset for £10million in the summer and then Oli McBurine for £20million – both were club-record deals at the time. However, in the grand scheme of things, both were modest sums paid out in comparison to the spending of their Premier League rivals.
It remains a real possibility the Blades could qualify for European football for the first time in their history and, remarkably, they could even break into the top four and reach the Champions League.
In any other season, that would probably be enough to see Wilder land the Manager of the Season award but this year that trophy is surely heading for Klopp’s mantelpiece.