Who will be the Premier League manager of the year?

As the season is nearing its conclusion it is going to be a very exciting time in the Premier League with the title yet to be decided, European places still up for grabs and the battle to avoid the drop going down to the wire. But now is also is the time of the year when awards are handed out and there are many contenders for manager of the year.

Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson both deserve a shout as they have done very well and are obviously the front runners for the England job because of the job they have done at club level but in my opinion Tottenham have done exactly as expected, challenged for the title for a while and then inevitably fell away and are now looking to finish in the Champions League places. West Brom have done slightly better than I expected but mid table is about right for them, however, they were pushing for a top 10 place before their recent slump.

So here are my five nominations for manager of the year.

Brendan Rodgers – Swansea City

Swansea have performed better than anyone could have imagined with an impressive home record and an improving away record, they have took to the Premier League like a duck to water. It is not only the results Swansea have picked up, it is the way they have done it and Rodgers deserves a lot of praise for this as he gives his players the confidence to go out and play. The play arguably the best passing game in the country and are never fazed by anyone and will continue to play their way no matter the opposition and Rodgers deserves credit for this. He has done it with a shoestring budget also and he is now linked with a move away from the Liberty Stadium because of how impressive he has been

Alan Pardew – Newcastle United

Newcastle yet again are another team that has performed a lot better than expected. After losing key players in the summer, they were expected to struggle but the players Pardew has brought in have been fantastic signings. Demba Ba, scored goals for fun in the first half of the Premier League and even though the goals have dried up, he is still playing very well. Yohan Cabaye, has dictated a lot of games from the centre of midfield and, although he would have liked more goals, has formed a very good partnership with Cheick Tiote. Finally Papiss Cisse has set the Premier League on fire with seven goals in his first seven games. Pardew hasn’t been given a lot of money but has spent it wisely and now Newcastle are back where they belong challenging for a place in Europe.

Paul Lambert- Norwich City

Yet another overachiever in Paul Lambert, Norwich have shown everyone why they deserve their place in the Premier League. Lambert went for determined players instead of experienced players for this campaign and it has worked out magnificently with Grant Holt being the second highest English scorer in the league even though it is his first season. The players clearly love Lambert for giving them this chance and they are repaying him for that. Maybe an outside shot for manager of the year but definitely deserves a lot of praise for the job he has done.

Sir Alex Ferguson – Manchester United

Fergie needs no introduction and it seems like he has masterminded yet another league title. Their rivals may have splashed the cash but this still has not been enough for them to wrestle the title away from the Red Devils, however, this could all change if United slip up in the coming weeks. Do we really see this happening though? This may be one of Ferguson’s greatest title wins because of the pressure they were under from the noisy neighbours but there is no sign that he is about to slow down and will be wanting even more success in the years to come.

David Moyes – Everton

Still the most underrated manager in the Premier League in my opinion because year after year he gets Everton into the top half of the table even when he loses his best players and is not given a lot of money to replace them. With his team currently in the semi final of the FA Cup and above Liverpool in the table, it has been yet another fantastic year. If he can add a trophy then he will surely go down as one of Everton’s greatest managers ever. Also, I think he is the man to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United so the Everton fans will need to enjoy this success while it lasts because I do not believe anyone else can do as good a job as he has done in the past 10 years.

Here are the five managers that I think deserve to be manager of the year and they are difficult to separate but I think Brendan Rogers should win the award and English teams should try and replicate what Swansea have done. So, who do you think should be manager of the year?

The Swans flying high

Swansea moved up to 10th in the Premier League after beating Arsenal 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium with a fantastic performance and in the process moving above Norwich and became the highest placed promoted team this season.

They have impressed everyone with the way they play the game and even though their passing game has cost them slightly at times such as a misplaced pass against Manchester United which led to a goal in a game they lost 1-0 but on the whole they have looked solid defensively, have very confident players in the midfield, wingers that will scare most full backs and a striker in Danny Graham that is on form.

When Swansea gained promotion through the playoffs against Reading they were straightaway the favourites to go down so not many would have predicted their solid start to the season. Along with Norwich they have been underdogs all season but now especially at home Swansea look capable of beating anyone. The most surprising thing about the promoted teams this year is that QPR were the most fancied to stay up but another defeat at Newcastle has left them trailing Norwich and Swansea by some distance.

But back to Swansea and they could argue that they have made one of the best signings in the league, Michel Vorm has been in sensational form and when called upon looks like he could quickly establish himself as one of the best keepers in the league. his level of consistency has been fantastic and although he at times looks shaky when a ball comes into the box, he will be proud of the amount of clean sheets his team have achieved this season.

However, Vorm can’t take all the credit as Ashley Williams has been a rock in the centre of defence and is rightly being linked to moves away from the club but he will be focused on keeping the Welsh side in the Premier League. His performance against Arsenal enhanced his growing reputation, with him keeping the top scorer in the league Robin Van Persie quiet for most of the game, although the Dutchman did score which will obviously frustrate the Welsh international. At left back they also have a promising player in Neil Taylor who has looked like he has been playing in the Premier League for years and is also linked away from the club and it seems that Arsenal are interested in him, based on this performance he wouldn’t look out of place at the Gunners with is willingness to get forward and his solid defensive work which is certainly in desperate need at Arsenal.

Arsenal became the first opposition team to score more than one goal at the Liberty Stadium this season and Brendan Rogers knows it will be difficult to keep this run going. They are most certainly not afraid to mix it with the big boys and what is the most pleasing about this team is the fact that it doesn’t matter who they play they never change their tactics and stick to what they believe in.

Blackpool tried to play with an attacking formation last year and it eventually cost the team their place in the league as they were hopeless at the back. There are many similarities between the clubs in the way that both managers are fearless and want to attack but the big difference is Swansea make better decisions and choose when to attack carefully which means they have plenty players in defensive positions when an attack breaks down.

I have always had the belief that Swansea would stay up this year but I do worry that next year when they have been figured out, they could face a season of struggle and the old term second season syndrome could come into play. First they need to stay up and barring a collapse in the second half of the season they should achieve this and then begin to build for next season.