The Telegraph today published results of a survey carried out on the current Premier League managers by the leagues sponsors Barclays. The survey consisted of questions about the current and past Premier League seasons. The questions and answers given are as follows:
Signing of the season?
The Premier League managers voted for Newcastle United goal machine Demba Ba (56%) who Newcastle signed on a free transfer in the summer. He beat off competition from Phil Jones, Scott Parker, Sebastien Larsson, Juan Mata and Craig Bellamy.
This is clearly the obvious choice for anyone asked this question, to sign a player on a free transfer and have him score 16 Premier League goals is an unbelievable bit of business by Alan Pardew. I do think Scott Parker should have been a close 2nd rather than third as people must see that Parker, Friedel and Adebayor have made Tottenham the team they are this season.
Goalkeeper of the season?
Manchester City and England number 1 Joe Hart came out at number one on this survey with 69% of Premier League managers agreeing that he has been the stand out goalkeeper this season. He was followed by Pepe Reina, Brad Friedel, Shay Given and Tim Krul.
Now while Joe Hart has been in tremendous form this season and for the last few seasons I do think Premier League managers have overlooked someone here. Swansea City shot-shopper Michel Vorm has been a crucial addition to Brendan Rodgers side saving the Swans points on many occasions this season and doing it without a multi-million pound defence in front of him like some of the other goalkeepers in this list.
Manchester City’s captain Vincent Kompany won this vote hands down with a staggering 88% of managers voting for the centre back. The only other defenders to get a mention was Chelsea’s skipper John Terry and Arsenal linchpin Thomas Vermaelen.
No disagreement here as Kompany has been such a rock at the back this season and is the main reason why Man City have such an impressive defensive record this season. Other defenders who may have got a mention in my opinion would be Steven Caulker of Swansea, Coloccini of Newcastle, Ledley King of Spurs and Martin Srktel at Liverpool.
Another Manchester City star and this time it’s their little Spanish maestro David Silva who came out on top with 31% of the votes. He finished ahead of his Man City team-mate Yaya Toure, Leon Britton, Scott Parker, Gareth Bale, Moussa Dembele, Ramires and Luka Modric.
Can’t really disagree with the outcome here but it must have been a tight decision considering the obvious importance of Yaya Toure to Man City. Scott Parker also has had a terrific season at the heart of Spurs midfield but Silva has been the closest thing to a Premier League Lionel Messi this season.
No surprise here as Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie takes the crown here. The only surprise being that he gained only 25% of the vote. Following closely behind was Sergio Aguero, Demba Ba, Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, David Silva and Gareth Bale.
Silva and Bale really shouldn’t class as strikers so I refuse to comment on their position in the voting. No doubt Van Persie is the clear winner here as he may well single handed fire Arsenal into the Champions League. I was surprised to see Luis Suarez ahead of Wayne Rooney as Suarez’s goal record this season is relatively poor and Rooney although not having a great season either has scored 20 Premier League goals.
Best young player?
Manchester United new addition Phil Jones claimed this award with 31% of the votes. Behind him finished Daniel Sturridge, Kyle Walker, Oriel Romeu, Scott Sinclair and Chris Smalling.
This is a shock for me as Phil Jones has been in and out of the Manchester United side this season due to injuries and the occasional substitute role. How Premier League managers can believe he has performed better or played a more important role for Man United than Sturridge has for Chelsea or Sinclair has for Swansea is beyond me. In my opinion Walker, Sinclair or Sturridge would have been more deserving of this vote as all have been an integral part of the respective clubs seasons.
Most impressive manager?
So glad to see Brendan Rodgers as the winner with 47% of the vote and Paul Lambert second with 40% as both deserve tremendous recognition for the incredible seasons their clubs are enjoying.
It’s easy to say Ferguson and Mancini have done a great job but considering the magnitude of squads they are working with success should be a given. To compete and succeed in the Premier League on such a small budget and small squad both Rodgers and Lambert should be front runners for the manager of the season award.
67% of Premier League managers believe Manchester City will lift the Premier League trophy come May ahead of rival Manchester United – bet Ferguson wasn’t included in that 67% -.
I’d have thought this vote would have been 51-49% in favour of one of the Manchester clubs wonder if this survey was carried out before Man United went top after Man City slipped up at Swansea.
Personally now Man United are on top the Manchester derby will almost certainly be the title decider and if I were to be honest I still see the title heading to Old Trafford this season.
Most entertaining team?
75% of managers agreed Tottenham had been by far the most entertaining team this season, a sentiment endorsed by most managers when asked this question publicly.
With their attacking flair and appetite for the game Spurs have unquestionably been the Barclays Premier League team of the season.
Player who has most influenced Premier League history?
50% of managers voted for Ryan Giggs to beat off competition from Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Personally I don’t agree with this question, I’m not arguing with the outcome but more the question as how can one player influence the history of the league more than any other? All players who have ever graced the Premier League have contributed to the glorified history of the greatest league in the world.
Ground with the best atmosphere?
50% of managers agreed Anfield created the best atmosphere in the Premier League, finishing ahead of Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, Newcastle’s St.James Park, Everton’s Goodison Park and Tottenham’s White Hart Lane.
I think atmosphere inside a stadium depends on the match being played, both the excitement and importance of the match. Anfield is always rocking when Man United visit and on European nights but during major matches all the other mentioned grounds plus Stamford Bridge, Villa Park and the Liberty Stadium are also deafening.
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