Jose Mourinho narrow ante post favourite to win 2014/15 LMA Manager of the Year awardby Jack Kitson / 23 July 2014, 10:56Tweet
The 2014/15 Premier League season may still be over three weeks away, but footy fans can already get involved in the tasty LMA Manager of the Year market. The annual award sees managers battle it out for the coveted top boss accolade, which is voted by all LMA members, including every gaffer spanning across the top four professional leagues in English football.
Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers won the award in 2013/14 following a stunning season with the Reds, during which they came agonisingly close to winning the title, only to lose out to Man City on the final day of the campaign. The Ulsterman impressively transformed the Merseyside outfit into an electric side who were simply rampant going forward, reflected in the 101 goals they smashed home. The campaign may have ended in disappointment, but Rodgers will no doubt still be pleased with his personal achievements.
Of course, it is impossible to predict what will happen in the upcoming crusade, but some decent prices (scroll down for the odds) can be found on which manager will end the campaign with the prestigious award. Below we take a look at the five main contenders: one thing to note about the award is since its inauguration in 1994 only five title winning managers have won.
Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) @ 9/4 with Bet Victor
Despite winning the Premier League title in both of his first two seasons in England, Jose Mourinho has failed to get his hands on the LMA award. The Portuguese coach even set a new points record (95) in his debut campaign (2004/05), however he was overlooked in favour of David Moyes.
Mourinho finished third last season in his first season back at Stamford Bridge. The 51-year-old frequently told anyone that would listen that the 2014/15 campaign will see his Chelsea stars flourish, and it is difficult to argue with the former Real Madrid boss after he added two stellar signings in Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Manuel Pellegrini (Man City) @ 3/1 with Bet Victor
Manuel Pellegrini can count himself unlucky for not winning the award last season after leading Man City to the Premier Legaue title at the first time of asking. The Chilean kept his cool in nerve-shredding moments of high drama, which was subsequently transfered down to his players, who won their final five games of the season.
In order to get his hands on the award Pellegrini will no doubt have to retain the top-flight title. The 60-year-old has so far added Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Willy Caballero to his ranks, while he has crucially kept hold of star duo Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, who will both be gunning for their third Premier League crown.
Louis van Gaal (Man Utd) @ 9/2 with Paddy Power
Louis van Gaal has arrived at Old Trafford on the back of leading Holland to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup, and the experienced boss will now be gunning to make an impact in English football, having previous done so in Spain, Germany and his homeland.
The Dutchman has been ordered to splash the cash in order to propel Man Utd back to their title winning ways, following a horrendous 2013/14 campaign under David Moyes. So far he has spent close to £60m on left-back Luke Shaw and Spaniard Ander Herrera, while the Red Devils are currently being linked with a plethora of names, including Mats Hummels, Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind.
Furthermore United’s absence from European football could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as it means Van Gaal’s side are likely to benefit as they will play fewer games than their rivals, as was the case for Liverpool last season.
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) @ 15/2 with Paddy Power
Two-time winner Arsene Wenger looks a decent bet at 15/2 to claim a hat-trick of LMA Manager awards. The Frenchmen led his Arsenal side to FA Cup glory last season, while he also secured Champions League football for a 17th consecutive campaign following yet another 4th place finish.
Wenger has spent well so far this summer, having lured over Chilean star Alexis Sanchez and France international Mathieu Debuchy to the Emirates. The 64-year-old will now be looking to strengthen his squad further - Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria have been linked with the club - and another star name or two will significantly boost Arsenal's chances of winning their first Premier League crown in 11 years.
Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool) @ 10/1 with Betfred
Liverpool came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League last season, with the Reds pipped to the post by City on the final day. However, Rodgers' efforts were recognised by his peers who voted him as their top manager.
The Merseyside outfit may have painfully lost star man Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but he has been very busy bringing players in, with England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallna, plus midfielders Emre Can and Lazar Markovic, all signing on. No doubt a few more players will head in through the door as Liverpool aim to go one step better than last year and finally hoist the Premier League trophy.
LMA Manager of the Year 2014/2015 Odds
(Odds courtesy of Paddy Power)
9/4 Jose Mourinho
3/1 Manuel Pellegrini
9/2 Louis Van Gaal
15/2 Arsene Wenger
15/2 Brendan Rodgers
25/1 Harry Redknapp
25/1 Roberto Martinez
33/1 Mauricio Pochettino
33/1 Alan Irvine
33/1 Sean Dyche
33/1 Tony Pulis
50/1 Nigel Pearson
50/1 Steve Bruce
66/1 Garry Monk
66/1 Gus Poyet
66/1 Alan Pardew
66/1 Mark Hughes
66/1 Ronald Koeman
66/1 Sam Allardyce
66/1 Paul Lambert