Pep Guardiola early favourite to be crowned 2018 LMA Manager of the Yearby Jack Kitson / 17 August 2017, 15:37Tweet
The new season may only be in its infancy but already you can pluck out the manager you think will go on and have a roaring campaign, and in turn clinch the coveted 26th LMA Manager of the Year award, which is voted for by each of the 92 gaffers in the Premier League and Football League.
Below we look at the top names in the mix for glory, what history tells us about former winners, plus with a few cheeky outside bosses to keep an eye on.
The betting market, courtesy of bookmakers Bet Victor, has propelled Pep Guardiola to the summit at 2/1. Man City were installed as the bookies favourites for the Premier League title as their Spanish boss bids to win a top-flight title in a third country, following successes in Spain and Germany.
Over in the red-half of Manchester Jose Mourinho, winner of three Premier League winners medals, is gunning to become the first Man Utd boss in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era to triumph in the league. David Moyes and Louis van Gaal both failed, while Mourinho, who came 6th last season, will hope he strikes gold at the second attempt (see graphic below).
Despite winning three titles (only Fergie has more) Mourinho has shockingly never been awarded the LMA gong - and to think David Moyes has three to his name - but the Portuguese coach can currently be backed at 4/1 to change that unwanted record this season.
Next in the running are fellow title challengers Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp, and Mauricio Pochettino who are all locked on 10/1. If any of the above trio hoist the famous trophy in May then they will be most certainly be a shoo in for the LMA gong.
Well Tottenham and Liverpool have never before won the title, while Wenger will become only the second gaffer to ever win the Premier League on four different occasions, which would come a whopping 14 years after his third triumph.
What about last year’s LMA Manager of the Year?
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is attempting to become the first manager to win back-to-back Premier League titles since Sir Alex Ferguson (2007/08 & 2008/09), and only the third boss in history to achieve this feat (Jose Mourinho being the second).
Conte bagged the LMA award last season after leading Chelsea to the title with a record smashing 30 wins in 38 games. However, the Italian’s future has been splattered in the headlines throughout the summer, and he currently appears more likely to be the first manager sacked than to retain the award (12/1).
Alternatively, Ronald Koeman is priced at 25/1 to follow in the footsteps of former Everton boss David Moyes and win the award, which could well occur should he lead the Toffees to a top-4 finish for only the second time in Premier League history.
Managers with more LMA Manager gongs than Jose Mourinho:— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) August 17, 2017
Alan Curbishley, Joe Kinnear, David Moyes, Dave Jones, Alan Pardew, Dave Bassett pic.twitter.com/qiOkatiPXd
What does history tells us?
Since the inauguration of the LMA award back in 1993 there have been 18 winners spanning those 25 years. Sir Alex Ferguson is top dog with four triumphs, followed by compatriot David Moyes with three, while Arsene Wenger and Steve Coppell are the only other two managers with multiple victories (2).
Outside of Britain and Ireland only three foreign managers have been successful, the aforementioned Wenger, along with the last two victors, the Italian duo of Claudio Ranieri (2016) and Antonio Conte (2017).
Perhaps surprisingly only eight of the 25 winners have won the league in that particular season, five of which have come in the last 10 years, including the last two.
Just four winners of the award have come outside of the Premier League - all in the Championship - but all of those gaffers have experienced promotion up to the top-flight in the respective seasons they won the award, most recently Eddie Howe with Bournemouth in 2015.
With this in mind Cardiff City gaffer Neil Warnock could be worth keeping an eye on at 50/1. The Bluebirds have exploded out of the blocks with three wins of three, which equates to the best start in the club’s history.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa supporters will be shocked to learn that Steve Bruce is priced at 100/1 following the club’s woeful start to the season. Even 500/1 would be generous.