Tony Pulis has done a fantastic job at Crystal Palace and is my choice to win the Premier League Manager of the Year award.
Pulis inherited a team that was an absolute mess. They had a transfer window that was so poorly planned that one signing - Florian Marange - was not even included in their 25-man squad and they gained only three points in the eight games Ian Holloway was at the helm this season.
Whilst I am not completely discrediting Holloway (he did bring the team up from the Championship, after all), he did leave Pulis with a ridiculously imbalanced squad in the relegation zone.
However, since the Welshman’s arrival at Selhurst Park, the Eagles have amassed 30 points in his 21 games which if extrapolated over the whole season would place Palace in eighth, in between Manchester United and the much-heralded Southampton. He has tightened a leaky defence which at the time of writing has conceded fewer goals than Liverpool.
Even Jose Mourinho - who has one of the biggest egos in football - complimented the job that Pulis has done before Stoke went on to beat Chelsea.
“Tony started with a team in a difficult position. It wasn’t the beginning of the season. It was a few months after, they were bottom of the league," he was quoted by The Daily Mirror.
"It looks like other managers were approached and many didn’t want the job because the feeling was, ‘This team has no quality to stay in the Premier League’ – that it was a lost battle...The normal tendency is to give the Manager of the Year to the champions. But if Palace stay up, he can feel like a champion. He’d have won his challenge. So why not?”
While the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Mauricio Pochettino have accomplished great things with their respective teams, Pulis' achievement is arguably greater because he was given a team heading nowhere a third of the way into the season and has completely turned it around.
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