Premier League manager of the year: Who has been the best boss?
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 09/05/17 4:19pm
Tony Pulis has never won the LMA Manager of the Year award but he will have his backers this year as he closes in on a top-half Premier League finish for the first time in his career.
On Friday Night Football his West Bromwich Albion team will face the favourite for the prize as Antonio Conte and his Chelsea side travel to The Hawthorns.
Both men have surpassed expectations this season but who deserves to be regarded as the manager of the year? Here, we pick out five of the main candidates in the Premier League…
Conte's Chelsea project was regarded as a relatively long-term task by Stamford Bridge standards when he arrived in the summer on the back of the Blues' disastrous title defence last time out. But the Italian took the team from 10th to the title in his first campaign.
Antonio Conte has won the league in his last four seasons in club management having previously won three Serie A titles in a row with Juventus. He is the third foreign managers to win the Premier League at the first attempt.
Conte quickly assessed his squad and made a stunning success of the switch to a 3-4-3 formation, not only getting the best from Eden Hazard but then maintaining the momentum throughout a club-record run of 13 consecutive Premier League wins. A supreme effort.
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For the second season in a row, Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham have fallen just short of winning the Premier League title but that is no slight on the efforts of the Argentine. Pochettino has changed the entire mentality at Spurs and turned them into a brilliant outfit.
Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham have picked up more points, won more matches, scored more goals, lost fewer games and conceded fewer goals than any other Premier League team over the past two seasons.
A youthful team playing an exciting brand of football, Spurs can press and pass, defend and score goals. They have been the most consistently excellent team in England over the past two years and, by extension, the same is true of their coach. Only a trophy is needed now.
West Brom have not finished higher than eighth since 1981 and Pulis himself had never managed a top-half finish in the Premier League in eight attempts prior to this season but the Welshman enjoyed arguably the best campaign of his career with the Baggies.
Tony Pulis has still never been relegated in a managerial career that dates back to 1992 and has now finished no lower than 14th in his nine seasons as a Premier League boss in charge of three different clubs.
The team's success was built on those familiar trademarks - solid defensive work and a strong record at set-pieces, from which West Brom scored more goals than any other Premier League team. A recent study put Albion top of the league for points per pound.
Burnley were tipped for relegation even as they celebrated their Championship title win last spring but Sean Dyche defied those expectations in guiding the Clarets to safety with something to spare for the first time in the Premier League era.
Burnley won seven consecutive home matches in all competitions either side of Christmas including five in the top flight. They picked up as many points at Turf Moor this season as they did in total in their previous Premier League campaign.
Working to a tight budget, Dyche delivered with Burnley boasting a home record superior to Manchester United and many others - at one stage of the season winning five consecutive home games at Turf Moor. When it comes to overperforming, his effort takes some beating.
Portuguese coach Marco Silva only arrived in English football in January but his impact at Hull City has been as spectacular as it was unexpected. The newly-promoted Tigers seemed set for a limp exit from the Premier League but Silva is still battling to beat the drop
Marco Silva's extraordinary unbeaten home record as a manager dated back more than three years and encompassed 41 games in charge of four different clubs - Estoril, Sporting, Olympiakos and Hull - prior to the defeat to Sunderland.
Nine wins from his first 10 home games in charge helped transform Hull's fortunes as new signings bedded in quickly and players embraced the change of direction, looking organised and playing fluent football despite their precarious position. A remarkable survival bid.
Anything that Silva can do, Paul Clement seems to be able to do better. Swansea were four points adrift at the foot of the Premier League table when Clement left his assistant role at Bayern Munich to become the club's third manager of the season.
Swansea have picked up 23 points from 17 games since Paul Clement was appointed, having acquired only 12 points from the 19 games prior to that.
A brilliant run of results at the Liberty Stadium - five wins from seven games - has lifted the Swans above Hull and out of the relegation zone. An unlikely effort given the defensive shambles that he had inherited from predecessor Bob Bradley.