Managers of the Season


Well its the final week of the English Premier League and before its conclusion, the Trequartista would like to nominate the Managers of the Year! Those head coaches who achieved great accomplisments in 2011/2012 Premier League season!

Roberto Mancini

Many would say it would being easy for Mancini this season, with his club’s $250million spending spree over the summer. Its hardly been a walk in the park though. The Carlos Tevez affair; navigating Mario Balotelli and having to deal with a host of egos in the dressing room.

He has succeed though. He’s stuck to his disciplinarian methods and it has paid off handsomely. He masterminded two victories over Manchurian rivals, United: the sweeping attacking 6-1 and the pragmatic 1-0 win when it mattered most. More importantly, he has install a winning mentality in the squad, most noticeable in the title run-in. 8 points behind United, they’ve come roaring back into contention, showing resilience and determination, especially in the 2-0 win at Newcastle.

Tactically, he’s released the handbrake more. Initially he was focused on a 4-2-3-1 set up with a strong defensive core. He has though switched to a more fluent hybrid of 4-4-2/4-3-3. Has it worked? Well, City are top scorers in the league and have also conceded the least goals.
A victory over QPR over the weekend will give City their first championship since 1968 and Mancini deserve nothing but the plaudits

Paul Lambert

Lambert did the unthinkable when he achieved back-to-back promotions from League One then to the Premier League. Many thought it would be a step too far to Norwich to stay up this season. Well he did.

Norwich are sitting on 44 points with one game left in the season. To say they did a splendid job by staying up is not giving Lambert and his men enough credit. They have played some fantastic football at times; quick on the counter attack, comfortable in possession. But its also Lambert’s personality that has given the Canaries the boost. They are a determined unit, playing till the last minute. No game can better typify this than the 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates. Lambert said it was their “best performance of the season”. It certainly was.

With a small wage budget and relying on a small squad, Lambert has done a tremendous job and can honestly be one of the managers of the season.

Alan Pardew

Few thought that Pardew would succeed given his arrival at the club in late 2010. He was one of the most unwelcome men at Newcastle (behind club owner Mike Ashley). The fans didn’t want him, the players weren’t used to him and the media thought it wouldn’t last.

How wrong we all were.
His inspired signings, bringing in Demba Ba (free), Yohan Cabaye (£4.3m) and Cisse (£7.5m) have brought stability to a team filled with great, unproven players. With a tactically acute 4-4-2, Pardew has instilled a belief in the his squad.  The backbone of Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor has played a major role in Magpies charge to the top of the Premier League. But it wouldn’t of worked without the collective unit in front of them; Cheick Tiote and Yohan adding grunt and creativity in the centre of the park; matched by the hard running of Jonas Gutierrez and the sparkle of Hatim Ben Afra on the wingers.

Although none can look after the striking force of Ba and Cisse. Together they have notched 29 goals in the league; Cisse getting his 13 goals all in the second half of the season, since his transfer from the Freiburg. Imagine if he was Pardew’s roster from the start?

A few lucky results on the weekend and Newcastle can find themselves in the Champions League. Regardless they will find themselves in Europe next season and Pardew deserves all the credit for that.

Martin O’Neill

 When the Irishman arrived, Sunderland were sitting 17th on the Premier League table. Three wins in their first 14 games spelt the end for Steve Bruce’s reign at the club. His sacking brought the arrival of O’Neill.

His impact, least to say was instant. They won four of their first games under O’Neill and now sit comfortable in 11th place away from danger.

His positive attitude gave the club a lift many thought couldn’t happen. Players such Stephane Sessegnon, Sebastian Larsson, Manchester United duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea and Arsenal reject Nicolas Bendtnar a boost. Suddenly they were playing out of their skins; they had the belief they could achieve great things.

Twice they cause Roberto Mancini’s men trouble: a 1-0 win at the Stadium of LIght and that epic 3-3 draw. They drew with Tottenham and defeated Liverpool.
This week, O’Neill and Sunderland have to chance to dent Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the title race. Don’t be shocked if they do.

Andrew Bishara

For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world