No way, Jose! It’s got to be Cott for me...
WHEN my League Managers Association voting paper for the Manager of the Year landed on my doormat this week, I had a fairly simple job to fill it out.
Nobody can knock the job that Jose Mourinho has done at Chelsea, where he will produce another League title. But, for me, that does not compare to the jobs that three English managers have done lower down the footballing ladder.
In third place, I voted for Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth. To take a team that only survived in the League on the final day of last season and put them into a position where they have a chance to win promotion to League One on this year’s final day is a monumental achievement.
He has had to work very smartly to achieve that with the resources he has at his disposal and he has been outstanding.
In second place, I cannot ignore that Eddie Howe has delivered Bournemouth to the very edge of the Premier League.
I don’t care whether he gets there or not, just to go so close with such a small club relative to their competitors is an extraordinarily difficult task.
Some say that he has had great financial backing, and he may have done. But you still need to sign the right players and it was him who signed Callum Wilson when others hesitated. So fair play to him for one hell of a job.
At the top of my tree is Steve Cotterill for the sensational job that he has done with Bristol City.
I was amongst the unlucky ones in the sense that he came and took Luke Freeman from me at the end of last season! But what a job Steve has produced.
A League One and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy double takes some doing and they did the job with plenty of room to spare. Even big clubs at their level with big budgets have to do lots right to succeed. And the job at Bristol City has been done almost faultlessly. Brilliant job, Steve.
So it is votes to three English managers for me. It is a thumbs
CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill is soaked after his side’s JPT success