Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is set for another battle with Man City coach Pep Guardiola as the pair compete for Premier League manager of the season – but fans have been left baffled by the absence of West Ham boss David Moyes.
The five nominees for the prestigious award were revealed on Friday, with Klopp and Guardiola the leading contenders to take the prize as they look to pip each other to the Premier League title in the last two games.
The other three candidates to win the award are Brentford boss Thomas Frank, Crystal Palace’s Patrick Vieira and Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, but many were left scratching their heads about Moyes missing out despite leading the club to the Europa League semi-finals.
Jurgen Klopp (L) and Pep Guardiola (R) will fight it out for Premier League manager of the season after the nominees were announced
Brentford boss Thomas Frank (L) Crystal Palace coach Patrick Vieira (C) and Newcastle manager Eddie Howe are also contenders
Some supporters were left baffled by the absence of West Ham boss David Moyes, who has led the club to the Europa League semi-finals and is challenging for a top six spot
While the managers on the list have performed well this season, some fans questioned why Klopp and Guardiola were on the shortlist given they were expected to do well in pre-season, and suggested only managers who have overachieved should be in with a shout.
‘I don’t understand Guardiola being mentioned,’ one fan wrote. ‘They were pre season favourites and massive spenders. Manager of the year should go to a manager who has overachieved or done something special with the squad he’s got. Pep hasn’t done that. [Graham] Potter or Moyes should be there IMO.’
Another fan agreed, pointing out Moyes’ success in Europe and tipping him to claim the LMA Manager of the Year award instead.
‘Tbf Howe has done better than I thought but without Saudi billions? Also he has only been there for half a season. Thomas Frank I understand but Moyes is the only British manager to get a team to the semi-finals of a European competition this season. Let’s hope the LMA awards are saner.’
Another fan said the decision was a ‘joke’ and suggest Potter or even Wolves boss Bruno Lage deserved to be included and claimed Vieira hadn’t actually achieved much when their points tally is compared to last season.
‘Vieira? Surely that’s a joke. No Moyes, Lage or Potter? Don’t get me wrong, he’s done a good job but he’s taken Palace from 44 points last season to 43 with a few games to go. Hardly manager of the season material when Potter has gone from 16th to ninth place.’
One fan said Howe had not earned his place on the list ‘on merit’ after being backed by the club’s Saudi wealth, and said David Moyes had ‘worked miracles’ at the London Stadium this season.
Another brutally wrote: ”This committee needs sacking.’
Either Klopp or Guardiola has collected the gong in each of the last four seasons – with Guardiola winning three and Klopp being award one – in 2019-20 when his side won the Premier League for the first time.
Klopp scooped the award for the first time in 2020 after winning his first Premier League title
Guardiola won the honour in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2020-21, and this will add more competitiveness to their relationship as they fight for the honour for a fifth time – as well as the top flight crown.
But the other three coaches could also be in with a shout of winning the prize after a standout season with their clubs.
Crystal Palace boss Vieira has earned admirers across the division for his work with the Eagles, who have been threatened by relegation in recent seasons, but the team are now battling for a top-half finish under his guidance. He has nurtured talents like Conor Gallagher and has also galvanised Wilfried Zaha, who has netted 14 goals for the team this season.
Meanwhile, Eddie Howe has performed miracles with Newcastle to haul them clear of relegation since arriving in November. When he took over, the Magpies were winless after 11 games and in 19th place.
A handful of fans questioned why Howe (L) was selected after being backed by the Newcastle’s Saudi might, and said Vieira (R) had not drastically changed Palace’s fortunes
Now Newcastle find themselves in 14th place on 43 points, and could even finish in the top half of the table themselves. The club – taken over by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund last year – can now look ahead to a big summer of investment after securing survival.
And lastly Brentford boss Thomas Frank has ensured the Bees made an immediate impact upon their promotion last season after some impressive performances and stylish football to leave their mark.
Like Newcastle, they are also on 43 points and have been lifted by the high-profile signing of Christian Eriksen in January.
Fans have until May 16 to select their pick for Manager of the Season.