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Biting Back: where all the sporting debate begins

By Stuart McKinley

I'm all for judging success in relative terms. For example, I believe Kevin Keegan was a successful manager despite never winning a trophy.

Newcastle United, Fulham and Manchester City were all in much better positions when Keegan left compared to when he was appointed and to me that's success.

I'm not quite sure about the judgment of the League Managers Association though.

This week they announced their annual award winners, with Tony Pulis elected as top Premier League boss, while the overall winner was Brendan Rodgers.

Pulis finished 11th with Crystal Palace while Rodgers took Liverpool to second spot in the top flight.

Firstly, I can't work out how, if Brendan is the top boss overall, then how was he not the best in the Premier League?

And, secondly, what about Manuel Pellegrini?

The man who guided Manchester City to the Premier League and the League Cup – the first time the club has ever won two domestic trophies in one season – and took them further in the Champions League than they had ever been before didn't even get a mention.

Some will say that with a squad recently named as the highest paid sports team in the world, the calm Chilean's job was easy.

I would argue that because of the big wages – and even bigger egos – Pellegrini actually had the toughest task of the lot.

Managing the personalities in the dressing room – which Roberto Mancini failed to do – was his biggest success and that delivered the trophies, not the cash.

Belfast Telegraph


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