We’re coming to the tail-end of the English football season and, for many, it’s all over bar the shouting. Promotion and relegation positions are being confirmed; as are play-off positions. So the question turns to who will win Manager of the Season award.
Here’s my (slightly tongue-in-cheek) alternate list of who should win Manager of the Season.
Premier League: David Moyes (Manchester United)
He has come in for a bit of stick, but he’s saved a significant amount of Manchester United’s budget by ensuring they won’t have to pay expensive air fares next season. However, the real reason for this award is to recognise his achievement – after a 12-year campaign – to take Everton above Manchester United in the English Premier League table.
Football League Championship: Lee Clark (Birmingham City)*
Birmingham City fans faced a nightmare 2014/15 season – the prospect of having thousands of Wolves fans descend on the stadium; and the even worse prospect of having to visit Wolverhampton itself for the fixture at the Molineux. He has almost secured salvation in that it is likely that the team will instead travel to the much nicer Walsall instead.
(* this award is subject to review)
Football League One: Kenny Jacket (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
You have to hand it to Kenny Jacket: he’s taken a team of no-hopers, with the lowest budget in English football, a team that were relegation favourites at the start of the season, and turned them into champions. Okay, that may not be entirely true – he did start the season with a £16 million windfall from the Premier League’s parachute money, with many players who were themselves ex-Premier League stars, and with high expectations that with such a head-start they’d walk the league – but he has had to endure the worst football fans in English Football (admittedly, not all of them are bad – just the majority!), and survived their inevitable “He’s gorra gew, Tone” contributions to local radio phone-ins.
Football League Two: Chris Wilder (Northampton Town)
This award should really go to the former Cobblers’ manager, because Chris Wilder is merely reaping the rewards of Aidy Boothroyd’s stirling work. But congratulations must surely go to both men for ensuring that, despite Northampton’s poor run of form, they still attract many more fans to watch them play at the Sixfields Stadium, than an FA-Cup winning, ex-Premier League team that also play at the same stadium. It will be a pity if Northampton are relegated to the conference, but if they are they’ll have the best ground in the Football Conference Premier Division, thanks to a development which will see it transformed into a 15,000 bowl with executive rooms and a hotel. And they’ll still have more “home” supporters than Coventry City (a team that neither plays in Coventry, nor in a city).