With Pep Guardiola leading his Manchester City to the most points in Premier League history and the largest winning margin ever, by 19 points. It’s hard not to pick him for Manager of the Season and if he wins, then good for him. I wouldn’t be upset about that in the slightest.
However, he won’t be my pick for Manager of the Season this year. I have to give it up to Sean Dyche. And no surprises there. After the first couple of seasons bouncing up and down from the Championship to the Premiership, after last season it looked as though he and Burnley had finally gotten over that hump finishing 16th last season with 40 points.
This year has been a completely different story. Burnley was 1 of 6 clubs with less than 40 goals conceded. Although they didn’t score many more this season, they improved by 14 points finishing the season in 7th with 54 points. And most importantly the establishment of the Burnley Low Block, they have frustrated teams all year. They have finished in the top 2 in clearances and blocks this season. They have accomplished this with intelligent defending and sitting deep and narrow, forcing teams to cross from deep and wide, making clearances easier. By forcing the opposition to the middle of the goal with most shots are funneled to the center of the net, ending up right at the goalkeeper.
Dyche has gotten great performances from his defenders, especially Ben Mee and James Tarkowski. With the squad of players they have, they have been punching well above their weight. 11 clubs have higher player wages that Burnley and finished beneath them in the table. And according to this value for money table, Burnley have the lowest price per player per point in the entire league. Which means Dyche has gotten more out of his players while keeping wages low, something that is very important for Burnley.
How can you not like this guy?