Cracking little title that isn’t it? It’s catchy, and to the point. Anyway…
The Manager of the Year award has always struck me as being a little, well, lop-sided. More often than not the person who wins won the league as is the case this year in the Championship this season after Tony Mowbray of West Bromwich Albion picked up the award, but is that the best measure?
What’s to say that Mowbray has done a better job at West Brom than say, I don’t know – Phil Brown at Hull, Neil Warnock at Palace, Gary Johnson at Bristol City or our very own Glenn Roeder?
I’m going to try and work it out.
To try and keep it manageable (and not at all because I’m a little on the lazy side) I’m just going to weigh up these five bosses and come to my own conclusion.
Straight off the bat you’ll notice that I’ve left Tony Pulis off my list of “nominees”. Let’s not beat around the bush, he has done a tremendous job in getting Stoke into the Premier League but to quote Al Murray the Pub Landlord “my gaff my rules”, so Pulis is disqualified on the grounds of being a 50 year old man who insists on wearing a baseball cap. Sorry Tony.
I’m going to use several measures to score the bosses, and we’ll see who comes out on top. They will be:
- Points scored per game.
- That so-called “X” Factor (also known as the way I try to manipulate the figures “Labour Party” style to get Roeder to win).
The manager who tops the list will score 5 points; second-place will get 4 points and so on.
Let’s get cracking.
Round One: Points scored per game
In most cases the higher up the league you finish the better you’re going to do in this one, but Warnock and Roeder joined their clubs mid-season, so that should even things out a little bit.
Tony Mowbray’s West Brom side won the league, scoring 81 points in the process – an average of 1.76 points per game over the 46 league games he has been in charge this season.
Phil Brown at Hull finished third in the league, picking up 75 points – an average of 1.63 points per game.
Bristol City eventually finished fourth, scoring 74 points – an average of 1.61 points per game.
Neil Warnock didn’t take over at Crystal Palace until 11th October, and during his time in charge the Eagles scored 61 points – an average of 1.69 per game.
Glenn Roeder took over the reigns of the good ship Norwich in October, and has since picked up 47 points in 33 games – an average of 1.42 per game.
So much for levelling things out, Round One to Mr. Mowbray…
- Tony Mowbray (5pts)
- Neil Warnock (4pts)
- Phil Brown (3pts)
- Gary Johnson (2pts)
- Glenn Roeder (1pt)
Round Two: Expectations
It’s all well and good racking up 81 points and winning the league, but if you had access to a relative fortune and were expected to win the league then what’s the big deal?
Tony Mowbray was the only manager on the shortlist to have the benefit of parachute payments, and the Baggies were expected to mount a serious promotion challenge after last season’s disappointment.
At the start of the season few would have expected Phil Brown to guide his Tigers into the play-offs – especially after finishing ?? last season. I would think a mid-table finish would have suited him just fine.
If Hull’s target was mid-table mediocrity, then Gary Johnson and most people at Bristol City would surely have settled for surviving this year and looking to push on next.
Neil Warnock went to Selhurst Park with Palace struggling, and much like when Iain Dowie a few years ago managed to drag the Eagles into the play-offs. Again, exceeding expectation.
Glenn Roeder was given a simple brief when he took over – save us from relegation. This he duly delivered, and considering the Canaries’ plight when he arrived, it was almost a minor miracle that he did so.
So Round Two goes to Gary Johnson, leaving the leader board looking like this heading into the final round…
- Phil Brown (7pts)
- Gary Johnson (7pts)
- Tony Mowbray (6pts)
- Neil Warnock (6pts)
- Glenn Roeder (4pts)
Round Three: The X-Factor
Round three was supposed to be where I snuck Glenn Roeder into a last minute lead, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
As well as winning the league Tony Mowbray took his Baggies to Wembley for a FA Cup Semi Final against Portsmouth that they were unfortunate to lose.
Phil Brown has a tendency to come across as arrogant to me in interviews, which has lost him some considerable points in this round. I like Dean Windass, but that’s not enough.
Gary Johnson on the other hand comes across well in interviews and gets his team playing the “right way”. You also have to
Neil Warnock has grown on me as the years have gone by. I used to think of him as a bit of an arrogant, pompous little northern monkey if I’m honest, but I think he loves playing the pantomime villain and he does actually talk a lot of sense when he wants to.
The fact that we were marooned at the bottom of the table on just 8 points when Roeder came in (which I wish Roeder would mention more often by the way) and escaped relegation with a week to spare was simply an almighty achievement. Yes we shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but we were, he came in, and now we’re not. A job very well done.
So I’m giving Round Three to Gary Johnson, just for showing that success stories in football still exist without spending millions of pounds, leaving the final standings looking like…
- Gary Johnson (12pts)
- Neil Warnock (9pts)
- Tony Mowbray (8pts)
- Phil Brown (8pts)
- Glenn Roeder (8pts)
My Manager of the Year in the Coca-Cola Championship is therefore Gary Johnson of Bristol City. Well done sir.
Do you agree? Let me know, leave a comment…