Leicester manager Nigel Pearson this week won the season’s eighth Manager of the Month award after his Foxes charges recorded four victories in April to climb clear of the relegation places.
Sparking such a reversal in fortunes rightly warrants such recognition and means madcap helmsman Pearson follows previous recipients Garry Monk, Ronald Koeman (twice), Sam Allardyce, Alan Pardew, Manuel Pellegrini, Tony Pulis and Arsene Wenger as the top performing bosses across four-week segments of the season.
One notable omission from this list is Chelsea’s revered dug out-dweller Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese’s achievement of guiding arguably the strongest squad in the land to a domestic double of the Premier League and Capital One Cup prompted a stampede in media circles, with every pundit on the circuit desperate to be the first to label Mourinho the best manager in the universe.
Despite being outperformed by his peers on a month-by-month basis, no top-tier tactician is currently shorter in the betting than the Special One to be crowned LMA Manager of the Year, with a price of 6/4 saying he’s handed the award this season.
Only 91/100-rated Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe carries more favour in this market.
Available to back at marginally longer odds, Mourinho stands a realistic chance of beating the Championship-winning gaffer to the prestigious accolade, yet how can this be just if he hasn’t even by acknowledged as the best performing boss in any single month?
The lack of monthly recognition suggests the Chelsea coach hasn’t achieved anything beyond expectation over the whole season, which in turn indicates that his side’s title triumph was brought about through the shortcomings of others, as opposed to their own brilliance.
With the league in the bag, it’s more likely the Blues’ performance levels will decrease, as opposed to improve.
It’s not as though there’s a complete dearth of Premier League candidates to rival would-be worthy-winner Howe either.
Koeman is on the cusp of carrying Southampton into Europe for the first time in their history despite an enormous overhaul in their ranks during pre-season, with rookie Swansea coach Monk the only man likely to usurp him.
Both have performed beyond expectations this term, yet the former can only be backed at 4/1, with the latter weighing in at 25/1.
Meanwhile, if Newcastle don’t go down, 8/1 offering Pardew will have saved not one, but two clubs from relegation, with his pre-Christmas efforts on Tyneside procuring the bulk of their points for the campaign, as was the case upon his relocation to Crystal Palace for the second half of the season.