Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini sparked outrage among some supporters this week, after claiming he was the best manager in England over the past 15 months.
Does one Premier League title earn you a title like this, though? Possibly not, especially considering the resources Mancini had available to him. One Premier League title would have been the least expected of him, where as other managers have gone far beyond their original start-of-season targets.
So, based on what was originally expected of them and the resources available, who has been the most successful manager this season?
5. Sir Alex Ferguson
Not a surprising name to appear on the list. Although it is possibly surprising that I position him fifth given the fact United currently sit 12 points clear at the top of the table. But what else do we expect? Season after season the red team of Manchester are there or thereabouts. One thing that stands out about this season, however, is the staggering points total United have accumulated. They currently stand on 65 points - the most they have ever acquired after 26 games.
4. Andre Villas-Boas
After his extraordinary flop at Chelsea last season, the young Portuguese manager has come back with a bang this season in north London. Even the most optimistic of Spurs fans were doubting a return to Champions League football after Daniel Levy announced Villas-Boas as their new manager, but he is well on course to achieve this and even pip his former employers to third.
3. Nigel Adkins/Mauricio Pochettino
I know Adkins is a figure of the Saints past, but it seemed an injustice for him to not be on the list. So we teamed him up with his successor. Many were sad to see the sight of NAdkins leaving St. Mary's after all his hard work there, and rightly so.
Adkins provided the platform to give the Saints a real chance of Premier League survival and it seems Pochettino is on course to achieve this after assuming control.
Southampton were naturally favourites to go down after promotion, however they sit three places and four points above the drop zone. Far from comfortable, but I'm sure if I offered them that position at the start they would have bitten my hand off.
2. David Moyes
Everton are typically slow starters in the Premier League, but Mr Moyes must have had a super pre-season. The Toffees have consistently kept up in the race for Champions League football and are in many ways unlucky to be sitting outside of the top four. Moyes' team are still well in the hunt, however, and a late surge to break into Europe's elite club competition would not be surprising despite a six point gap.
1. Michael Laudrup
The Dane was subject to some heavy criticism after the Swans were on the end of a 5-0 thumping by Liverpool on Sunday. Laudrup left out some key players in preparation for the League Cup final next Sunday, however he has exceeded expectations this season.
Many were hailing the appointment of Laudrup at the start of the season and for good reason. The Welsh side currently sit in eighth position but were ahead of Liverpool before Sunday's rout.
Laudrup has his side playing a refreshing brand of football and European football is not completely out of sight. Regardless of their position come May, a strong finish will form a club cable of adding one or two top players to really push on and achieve great things next season.
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