In a season with so many teams under- and over-achieving, there are still plenty of candidates for Premier League Manager of the Season, even as Manchester City close in on a third-straight title.
bet365’s Steve Freeth said: "Mikel Arteta has won four Manager of the Month awards this campaign, but unfortunately the Gunners are running out of gas at the business end of the season.
"You don’t have to win the title to lift the award; Tony Pulis landed it in 2014 after his exploits at Crystal Palace and Jurgen Klopp did it last season having gone toe-to-toe with Manchester City all the way until the final day.
"However, the German did taste success on the silverware front having been 90 minutes away from a trophy treble, whereas Arteta is long odds-on to be finishing empty-handed.
"In comparison, Pep hasn’t won a monthly gong since December 2021, but he’s our 4/11 favourite to win the award for the fourth time.
"Eddie Howe is just behind Arteta (11/2) in the betting at 7/1 with Roberto De Zerbi at 10/1, Unai Emery 33/1 and Marco Silva 50/1.
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In 29 seasons of the Premier League, only five managers have won the award and not won the title with Alan Pardew finishing above the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton, falling just short of Champions League football with Newcastle in 2012.
Harry Redknapp went one better two seasons prior with Tottenham, pipping Manchester City to fourth spot, with George Burley working miracles at Portman Road as his newly promoted Ipswich side finished fifth.
But there are strong cases for some of the other contenders.
Although they’re set to fall at the final hurdle, Mikel Arteta deserves lots of credit for the job he’s done at the Emirates this season.
Merely finishing in the top four, above at least two of Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United, would’ve been a huge achievement, and the fact he’s pushed his old mentor so far considering the vast difference in resource at the two clubs has been a tremendous managerial feat.
Similar for Eddie Howe. While the Magpies have outspent most of their Premier League rivals, few could’ve seen them breaking into the old big six as quickly as they have.
We may now have a big seven in the Premier League, and while they still need to secure Champions League football, Howe deserves all the plaudits coming his way.
There will have been many nervous eyes on the south coast watching out for Brighton's next managerial appointment when Graham Potter was snatched away by Chelsea; they needn’t have worried.
De Zerbi has done such a good job, their primary concern now is how long they can keep him with Europe’s – and especially Italy’s – top clubs surely keeping him on their radar.
Playing a wonderful brand of football, they were a penalty shootout away from an FA Cup final, and in recent weeks they’ve seen their frankly bizarre 5-1 defeat to Brentford sandwiched between a 6-0 win against Wolves, a 1-0 win against Manchester United, and a 3-0 win at the Emirates to all-but-kill Arsenal’s title ambitions.
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