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Arsene Wenger tips mid-table managers for postseason award

Apr 17, 2014, 7:37 AM EDT

Wenger Getty Images

As one glances over the Premier League table, there is certainly more than one club in a surprisingly high position given preseason expectations.

Those surprises often command most of the talk for Manager of the Year, but Arsene Wenger believes the deciders should look a little lower down the table.

While it’s hard to argue with likely winner Brendan Rodgers if Liverpool win the Premier League, there are certainly some dark horse candidates.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s games, Wenger told English media, “The easy way is to pick the guy who has won the league but he has not always done the best job.”

Those are some harsh words towards Rodgers, but he had another pair of names.

“Steve Bruce and Tony Pulis have done exceptional work.”

Certainly those are two worthy candidates.  Pulis took over for Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace at the end of December with the club bottom of the league and looking every bit the part. He’s since brought them to 11th and essentially out of the running for relegation, a remarkable turnaround that’s seen the team give a better and better performance week in and week out.

Steve Bruce is a fantastic shout as well, steering recently promoted Hull City to sit currently in 13th, also likely safe from the drop having shown consistency throughout the year.

While Hull haven’t recorded a shocking amount of upsets, they’ve regularly beaten teams below them and avoided a number of bad losses, a great achievement for any newly promoted club.

Roberto Martinez at Everton will also get looks, but it’s hard to argue with Rodgers as the runaway winner if the Reds win the league, or even if they just miss out.  With Liverpool not even given a chance to make the Champions League by many prior to the season, the leap he’s taken with the Reds is remarkable.

Who do you believe has earned Manager of the Year? Is there a clear-cut winner or are the waters muddy?

  1. Karl O'Shaughnessy - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    I think Tony Pulis has done an exceptional job at Crystal Palace this year. He’s always rightly ignored the nonsense that gets written about his style of play and has focused on getting his team playing to it’s strengths to give them the best chance of gaining points on a regular basis. Having watched Palace a number of times this season, I’ve been hugely impressed with their organisation and their ability to play. Their 3 goals away at a team like Everton who themselves have had an excellent season shoes that there is more than one way to be successful and I’d imagine if you asked the Palace fans their views, they’d be very happy with the work of Pulis to date.

  2. mazblast - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I think Wenger’s words may have been directed more at those lazier members of the media, who always vote for Coach of the Year based on where teams are in the table. They fail to realize that some coaches don’t have nearly as difficult a job as others, that some have done a remarkable job just keeping their teams competitive or even avoiding relegation.

    My interpretation is not that he’s showing any disrespect towards Rodgers, but rather encouraging people to look at the likes of Pulis, Bruce, and Martinez.

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