Is Arteta a candidate for manager of the season?

Is Arteta a candidate for manager of the season? by Jonbo

I want to explore Arteta’s chances of winning manager of the season, and who are the other realistic candidates. For the purposes of this article, I am only focusing on Premier League managers, but it should be noted that if Rooney keeps Derby up, he would be a very strong candidate, given the huge points deduction imposed on the club for entering administration.

History tells us that whoever wins the Premier League, is automatically a strong candidate irrespective of money spent, quality of squad, and level of competition. In fact, the vast majority of winners have been whoever won the league, with only a few exceptions over the last 20 years such as: Redknapp 09-10, Pardew 11-12, Pulis 13-14. All favourites of Arsenal fans I should add!

So who are the realistic candidates?

Pep Guardiola

Strong favourites to win the league, and if they do it, they’ve done it in style, and without a recognised striker. City have been so good, they rarely seem to even get out of third gear for most games, yet just keep on winning! Given the quality of their squad, and unlimited funds, they are always expected to win, but respect is still due for the manner of which they win, which is down to Pep.

Jurgen Klopp

I think Klopp is doing an amazing job at Liverpool, especially as Liverpool cannot compete with Man City in regards to spending power. Like City, they are such an entertaining team to watch. City pretty much had the league sewn up a couple of months ago, so Klopp has performed wonders to claw back the difference, and are currently pushing hard for the title. If Liverpool win the league, it will be a great comeback!

Mikel Arteta

The main reason I give Arteta a chance, is if we qualify for the CL. At the beginning of the season (especially after our first 3 games) you would have been hard pressed to find any pundit, journalist, fan or rival fan that genuinely believed Arsenal could finish in the top 4. The jury was still well and truly out on Arteta, we had the youngest squad and starting XI in the league, and hardly any experience. On top of that, we got rid of Aubameyang mid-season, amongst others, and brought in ZERO replacements. Yes, we spent the most in the summer, but we were still starting way back, and playing catch up in comparison to other clubs. When you consider how young our players are, and that lack of experience, Arteta is clearly getting the maximum out of his squad. Achieving something like CL qualification, that no one thought possible, should make Arteta a strong candidate.

David Moyes

Despite a recent dip in form, West Ham still have a chance of qualifying for the CL. Unlike Arteta, Moyes has also had to contend with European games, which means less chance of recovery for his paper thin squad, yet he is juggling the extra fixtures well. I think Moyes has his team massively overachieving this season, so he deserves huge credit for that, and they have had some great wins over big teams this season. If we don’t get a CL spot, I would love to see West Ham get it.

Thomas Frank

Brentford are a small club, with a tiny budget, and this is the club’s first top flight season for 74 years! Keeping them up based just on that would be an unbelievable achievement. It would be Frank’s first ever season as a Premier League manager, and really, his first season managing in a really competitive top flight league. He was previously manager of Brondby, but the top flight Danish league cannot be compared to the quality of the top leagues in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. What I also like about Frank, is that he has Brentford playing some very attractive football at times.

Dean Smith

He was sacked from Aston Villa in November 2021, and became Norwich manager only 8 days later. Despite that easy transition of his Premier League experience, taking over a club at almost the midpoint of a season is always an uphill task. Especially given the shocking form Norwich were in. Even by November, they looked completely finished. They were everyone’s favourites to go down, and to finish bottom. Despite the fact they still are bottom, and on a horrible run of form, they have improved under Smith, and are only 5 points from safety, albeit with less points available. If he keeps them up given what he inherited, that has to be one of greatest survival stories in Premier League history! Even if Klopp wins the league, and Arteta qualifies for the CL, I would still make Smith manager of the season if Norwich stayed up.

Other notable mentions would be:

Bruno Lage – Wolves

Eddie Howe – Newcastle

Who are your picks for manager of season?


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  1. Pep and Klopp you expect to be where they are but that still doesn’t make there achievement any less

    If based on EPL alone:
    Based on our start and then recovery you could def say Arteta has a strong case but we did also spend quite a bit.

    If we end 4th and are right behind Chelsea I’d say yes or if we end 3rd then he has to get it. 5th or lower I’d say no

    If based on overall in all comps:
    I’d have to say no based on FA Cup early exit, no trophies and less games played + spending

    1. its the whole season so the 1st three games being lost should not be considered as part of a come back.

      The one thing to consider is the age of the squad though.

      If we make top 4 have there been any other clubs to have done that with a younger squad?

  2. If a PL team wins the Champions League then that manager should be the Manager of the season. If not and Arsenal make top 4 then Arteta should be manager of the season. If Westham make top 4 then Moyes should win the award. If Westham won the EL Moyes again. Rookie manager of the year would be between Gerard at Villa Lage at Wolves or may be Howe at Newcastle depending on the final table.

  3. With the humble resources at his disposal. Mikel should be the no 1 contender. Pep and Klopp have the resources to grind results every week, so luxury should not be rewarded. Eddie Howe should be recognised for the great escape. Mikel should be the clear choice, but feel bad he will be overlooked.

  4. Humble resources? Spent well over £200 million since he has been in charge.

    Had the funds to spend £65 million for Dusan as striker.

    Arsenal spent more than anyone last Summer. Don’t remember finances being an issue the last 2 Summer windows.

    Debating quality of the squad when Arteta took over is one thing.

    To suggest Kronke has not opened his wallet for Arteta is ridiculous.

    1. What please you guys..spend 150 million on 6 player or spend know people never satisfied..

  5. Before the writer mentioned PL managers only,I was going to nominate Rooney if he were to keep Derby up.anyway ,I just want to know why Jono omitted Eddie Howe?has it got anything to do with the club’s ownership?

        1. Yes but as a “notable mention”only.i don’t care how people feel about Newcastle,it shouldn’t stop people from recognising the great job Eddie Howe has been doing at Newcastle since his appointment.

          1. No Siamois I genuinely thought you hadn’t seen Howe get a mention so was just pointing it out in case you missed it. And no, I was certainly not just being…….!

  6. I’m backing Arteta but thinking he is in the running for manager of the season? Don’t be ridiculous!
    5 of the other 7 managers won’t be in the running either , unless they win something, which is very unlikely, perhaps apart from Moyes if he wins the Europa League and gets in the top 4. I’d put money on it being Pep or Jurgen.

  7. Leaving aside the bizarre mention of Dean Smith as a candidate, I say that what matters to our club and we Gooners, is NOT whether MA wins this bauble of MotY, but whether or not we continue to make marked progress.

    To judge MotY is anyway a rather silly task given the vastly different circumstances of the clubs the candidates manage.

    I am not interested in personal accolades for managers but only in what those accolades may mean in TANGIBLE PROGRESS.
    My personal view is that for some years past( and present too) the worlds outstanding TWO managers have been Guardiola and Klopp, with a large distance to whoever may be thought third best.

  8. If Arteta get us top 4 than he has to be rookie manager of the season…..Arteta don’t have a squad to compete in all competitions so I shall not count FA cup..etc….

  9. No idea what the criteria would be but my vote would go to Michael Carrick

    Not because he was unbeaten in his three game spell as caretaker at ManU after Ole got the boot but because he resigned straight after that

    Whether that was out of loyalty to Ole, his family or just for the good of his health I liked his style, no financial compensation or a notional job with the new bloke coming in until he was eventually sacked he just did what he thought was the right thing without a backward glance or bad mouthing anyone or anything

    Pretty rare in top flight Football

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