Gareth Southgate names five manager of the year contenders despite Pep Guardiola belief

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Gareth Southgate names five manager of the year contenders despite Pep Guardiola belief

Gareth Southgate acknowledges that Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as the top coach globally. However, despite Guardiola’s remarkable achievements in potentially replicating Sir Alex Ferguson’s historic Treble, Southgate believes that there are other strong contenders for the Manager of the Year award at the upcoming League Managers’ Association’s annual awards dinner.

This indicates that while Southgate admires Guardiola, he recognizes that there are other coaches who have had exceptional performances worthy of consideration.

Southgate said: “Pep is the best coach in the world in my opinion – and I’m a huge admirer of what he does. The consistency of how he drives the team is so rare.

“That’s unbelievably hard to do in our league. Whatever the depth or the size of the resource in the (City) squad, the way he has them playing, his tactical solutions, but the constant hunger and drive, I’m a huge admirer.

“Pep knows that – I’ve told him. And of course it’s been brilliant for our players to work with him and they have learned individually and tactically.

“As much as anything, it’s about the mentality. Jack Grealish has played properly in this period – with and without the ball. That wasn’t the case two-and-a-half years ago, if I’m honest. So there’s been a lot of progress.”

Despite Manchester City’s dominance, Gareth Southgate remains uncertain about his vote in the LMA poll for Manager of the Year. Several other coaches have impressed him with their achievements this season.

Mikel Arteta unexpectedly led Arsenal to a title challenge, and Eddie Howe guided Newcastle to a spot in the Champions League. Roberto Di Zerbi has steered Brighton to qualification for the Europa League, and Unai Emery has made a significant impact on Aston Villa, potentially leading them to the Europa Conference.

Additionally, Thomas Frank has ensured that Brentford will finish in the top half of the league. The notable performances of these coaches have made Southgate’s decision challenging.

Southgate said: “I don’t think the vote is straightforward and unfortunately, we have to vote early.

“Of course if Pep wins two or three trophies then…but I don’t think we should underestimate what De Zerbi has done.

“Mikel has had a great season, Eddie’s had a great season and Thomas Frank, in terms of points for pounds, has got to be close to the best.

“Unai has done an exceptional job going in at Villa, so it wasn’t a straightforward vote.

“Lots of people, at both ends of the table, have had exceptional seasons.”

Gareth Southgate names five manager of the year contenders despite Pep Guardiola belief

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