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Footy Forum: Manager of the Year [May. 18th, 2009|12:22 pm]
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37 games gone and seven of the ten places that count for anything in this season's Premier League have been decided; the top four are enshrined in their rightful positions; Everton and Aston Villa are guaranteed Europa League football and now just face a shoot-out for the 'Best of the Rest' title; and West Brom are down.

The player's have had their say and plumped for Ryan Giggs as their player of the year, more out of wonderment than a testament to style and contribution. The football writers ignored Manchester United's very own combustion chamber in Wayne Rooney and went for the (almost) equally deserving Steven Gerrard.

But this season, more than any other, has been the year of the manager.

From Phil Brown's ego to Rafa Benitez' whining; from the media's hatred of Phil Scolari, which was followed by a schoolgirl crush on his successor, to the mania in David Moyes' bulging eyes that drives his players to persistently overachieve; from the rapprochement between the commanding Ferguson and the floundering Wenger to the managerial soap opera played out in Geordie black-and-white; but who has been this season's manager of the year?

The contenders include, Sir Alex Ferguson for his 11th title in 17 years; David Moyes for European qualification and an FA Cup final, achieved despite everything but swine flu ravaging his squad; Tony Pulis for bullying his way to a second season in the Premier League; and Roy Hodgson - this land's very own Guus Hiddink - for leading relegation-tipped Fulham to the brink of Europe.

My choice, though, comes from the depths below Stoke City's commendable mid-table dwelling place and belongs to a man perceived as being more flat cap than Tony Pulis-baseball cap, West Brom's Tony Mowbray.

If men with Mowbray's footballing philosophy managed all the bottom 13 teams, the Premier League would be the greatest league in the world. Under his guidance, the Baggies have already played themselves out of the Championship once and they will do so again.

And again, on promotion, Mowbray will continue to defy his critics. He will continue to place his teams outside the realm of conventional beliefs and insist on the roundness of the ball. In Mowbray's mind, the ball is round for a reason; a ball of any shape can fly through the air on Route One but only a sphere can be kept on the ground.

This is Mowbray speaking in December 2007: "I'll always want my teams to spread the play out, to express themselves. I refuse to compromise on retaining the ball, rather than relying on scraps from knockdowns."

18 months down the line, Mowbray's continuing commitment to maintaining the soul of the game and providing the Hawthorns with a brand of football that truly will be missed in the Premier League next season, are the reasons why he gets my vote as 2008-09 manager of the year.

But who gets yours? Leave your comments and suggestions below and click here to vote in our poll.

From: vortice01
2009-05-18 11:59 am (UTC)

Not just good football, good financial management!

Not only does he not compromise on his principles, but he is happy to do all of this at a club which refuses to go into debt, and insists on a sensible wage structure. So, not only should the lower premiership clubs follow Mowbray's footballing principles, they should also take a leaf from West Brom's balance sheets!
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From: herbert81
2009-05-19 09:17 am (UTC)

footy blog

Whilst I admire your thinking on Mowbray, that is fine as long as football can be the only winner. Sadly this is not the case and the twenty five thousand fans of West Brom may have compromised the beautiful game in order to stay in the Premier League.
For me David Moyes is Manager of the Year. To achieve Everton's league position on such a small budget is the real reflection on a a manager. Go Everton for the FA Cup final and Well Done Moyes.
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From: jorgieporgy
2009-05-20 10:58 am (UTC)

footy forum manager of the year

Utter nonsense, it sounds like he is your pick for the England job when Cappello fails!!
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From: gajdaman58
2009-05-20 12:06 pm (UTC)

manager of the year

Mathew you are in my opinion an idiot, to choose a manager who has consistently achieved a bottom 3 place most of the season and stubbornly refuses to change anything is far from being a good manager, in any walk of life not just football if things are not working out you make changes to improve the situation, Mr Mowbray has clearly failed in his task to keep the Baggies in the top flight, so, manager of the year? You must be having a laugh. My vote would go to either Tony Pulis (mid table finish on a shoestring) or David Moyes.
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From: percyfilth
2009-05-20 02:30 pm (UTC)

Manager of the Year

You cannot be serious! Right! So the Baggies go down because Mowbray refuses to compromise his "style" despite the fact he doesnt have the players or resources to carry it out? To me that says poor manager who can only play one way(backwards and side ways THEN hoof it). I watched the WBA v Stoke game and its fair to say one team looked like scoring and the other didnt and isnt that the object of the game to score more than the opposition and doesnt that mean actually getting into your opponents box? Now if one pass does it then why use 50? Isnt it where more excitement is created (in the box) or is that fannying about in midfield? Only one team played football on that day btw and it wasnt Albion. Hence the half empty stadium at the hour mark. Get a grip man, there is more than one way of playing the game the trick is to do it the best way to suit the personnel you have , Pulis, Hodson , Moyes have done that wheras Mowbray certainly hasnt. After 1 attempt in the Prem Stoke have 45 points wheras WBA best effort was 34 after4 attempts. Maths nor Tables Dont lie. As Jim Role would say Tony Mowbray Manager of the Year... My Arse!
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From: boskampsflaps
2009-05-20 04:49 pm (UTC)

Ha Ha

Do you do stand up on the weekend? If not I think you should start I have a feeling you'd do well.

Pulis or Hodgson for me
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From: oilrag
2009-05-20 06:55 pm (UTC)

Manager of the Year.

From the powder-puff ineffectual prettiness of Arsenal, to the Powerhouse thuggery of Chelsea, there are many ways to play the game, and sometimes regretfully, the Premiership is won by teams that you wouldn't go to watch if they played in your local park.

However, to say that a team that finishes bottom has the Manager of the Year is pure nonsense.
Roy Hodgsom has done a terrific job for Fulham, but surely it must be the Manager of the team that plays fast exciting football and wins the top prizes.
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From: bishely
2009-05-21 12:46 pm (UTC)
Hodgson. Moyes has done incredibly well on a tight budget and with a list of injuries which would leave most managers safely nestled in the bottom three bemoaning their bad luck, but Hodgson's achievement, of getting a team of also-ran journeymen to not only push for Europa League success, but to also do so in style, means he pips the younger manager at the post. Besides, Fulham will most likely struggle to do so well next season, whereas Everton might actually improve.

Mowbray's stuck to his principles, and that's reasonably commendable - IF you get the results - but the only award he should win is Championship manager of the season, next season.
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From: gycotcte
2009-07-01 09:22 pm (UTC)
While i agree, expectations do differ from club to club and the likes of Phil Brown and co have done a fantastic job gettingt their clubs to where they are. Take into account, and im not saying for one minute that Mowbray should definately have got the award, the fact that the Albion head man lost 9 first team players at the end of last season and being as they were not relegated the year before, did not have a parachute payment at the start of this season.
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From: gajdaman58
2009-11-18 11:21 am (UTC)

Manager of the year

Just thought I would re-visit and ask if anyone thinks Mr Mowbray is doing a good job at Celtic? Haha Manager of the year.....my arse
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