The action is heating up as the Premier League enters its final stages.
As teams try to take their claims and secure their positions on the table, the nominees for the Premier League Manager of the Season have been released and six names were considered for the prestigious honour.
There can only be one @BarclaysFooty Manager of the Season…
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 5, 2018
Some names were rightfully expected like Pep Guardiola of Manchester City, while there are others that were surprise additions like Chris Hughton of Brighton and Hove Albion.
With that being said, here are the names on this year’s list and their accomplishments that could grant them the distinction of being the best manager in the 2017-18 Premier League season.
1. PEP GUARDIOLA – MANCHESTER CITY
As stated, this does not come as much of a surprise as Manchester City have already secured their Premier League title with games to spare.
City have been utterly dominant in the domestic league, only losing twice all season. In 35 total league games, Guardiola has led the team to 30 wins and their future looks very bright as they will now probably turn their attention to European glory.
Pep Guardiola has been nominated for @premierleague Manager of the Season! 👏🏻
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 5, 2018
Guardiola has been an excellent manager throughout his career, guiding teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich to success. His method has now brought City to another league title and the influx of talent only means they are likely to have more.
2. RAFA BENITEZ – NEWCASTLE UNITED
Rafa Benitez arrived as Newcastle United’s manager in hopes of returning back to top-flight football after being relegated to the Championship.
— ㅤMagpiesRelated (@MagpiesRelated) May 5, 2018
The Spanish coach managed to do that last season and has done enough to keep Newcastle in the middle of the table this season despite operating on a very tight budget.
Benitez has helped the team win 11 matches and are currently 10th in the league. It will be very interesting to see how Benitez will things out in the summer and if he can continue Newcastle’s transformation as a mainstay in England’s top football league.
3. SEAN DYCHE – BURNLEY
In what could be the biggest surprise this season, Burnley have over-achieved and are barely outside and knocking on the doors of a UEFA Europa League appearance under Sean Dyche.
Burnley have certainly held their own against bigger clubs and have been consistent throughout their campaign, winning a total of 14 matches so far this year.
PIC: Sean Dyche pictured at today’s press conference. pic.twitter.com/Gly3nS53kd
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) May 4, 2018
Dyche has certainly made the most out of the team’s potential, scoring 35 goals all season long while also providing decent defence with 12 clean sheets so far. This should be an important season for Dyche at the helm as he will certainly want to improve and possibly help the team win European slots in the years to come.
4. CHRIS HUGHTON – BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
Another surprising name in the list is Hughton who has helped Brighton stave off relegation with inspired performances in the late stages of the season.
In their last five league games, Brighton have only lost once and drew against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley.
Chris Hughton 👀
▪️Got Newcastle promoted to Premier League
▪️Got Birmingham to Championship playoffs
▪️Kept Norwich in Premier League
▪️Got Brighton promoted to Premier League and secured safety
▪️Championship Manager of the Year (2009/10 & 2015/16)
Underrated 👏 pic.twitter.com/vPCSKlUfMW
— Crippy Cooke (@CrippyCooke) May 4, 2018
However, Hughton’s addition to the nomination was very timely as they just recently beat Manchester United 1-0 at home to help them climb to safety and continue their top-flight campaign next year. With a team with a relatively small budget, Hughton has certainly made the most and nine wins paired with 13 draws have been enough to call the journey a success.
5. ROY HODGSON – CRYSTAL PALACE
The 70-year-old Roy Hodgson deserves his spot in the nominations due to the fact that Crystal Palace endured a very rough start in the early stages of the season.
Crystal Palace started off slowly, and they lost seven games in a row at one stretch, failing to register a single goal in the process.
Well played @CPFC on securing their Premier League status. What an incredible job Roy Hodgson has done. 👏👏
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 5, 2018
Despite that fact, Hodgson was able to regroup his men and climb up the table. They are currently 11th in the league and can climb to the top half of the table by the end of the campaign. Palace have been great so far, winning three of their last four league games, including handing Stoke City a loss to relegate them to the Championship.
6. JURGEN KLOPP – LIVERPOOL
Finally, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp has been given a nod as he has turned the Merseyside club into one of the more exciting teams in the league.
Currently fighting to UEFA Champions League spots in the table, Klopp has been impressive all season, only losing for times so far in the league – only PL champions Manchester City have less.
“He’s a modern-day version of Shankly”
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) May 2, 2018
And Klopp’s men are currently still in this year’s European competition as they get ready to face Real Madrid at Kyiv. If Liverpool win, it will be their sixth UEFA Champions League crown in eight finals appearances.
WHO WOULD WIN?
Even if Klopp manages to win the final of the UEFA Champions League, it is very likely that Guardiola will come home with the crown as the league’s best manager. He has turned City into a dominant team and they are still on track to break league records on most wins, most goals scored and most points won in a single campaign.