Despite remaining consistent throughout his Premier League campaign, winning the league with three games to spare, José Mourinho is still yet to be awarded a ‘Manager of the Month’ award.
In the month of April, Mourinho won 4 out of 5 games, only dropping points in a goalless draw away at Arsenal, in order to secure a strong footing to win the Premier League title. However, the award went to Nigel Pearson of Leicester City, who also won 4 out of 5 games, losing only to Chelsea. It is is likely that the argument in favour of Pearson would be that his team were able to climb out of relegation with those results, as opposed to Chelsea, who achieved the arguably less pressure-filled task of maintaining a point gap at the top; even losing all 5 matches would have them 3 points from first place.
This asks a question of the awarding committee: is it harder to be rewarded when you are under less pressure, or somewhat expected to win? The way awards have been previously appear to be based on the form of the team that month, often noting the most improved perhaps – but what if to win consistently is business as usual? Is Mourinho’s managerial brilliance ironically what hinders him from ever becoming Manager of the Month?
This ‘most improved over most consistent’ approach appears more prominent when one learns that Tony Pulis won the February Award with 2 wins and 2 draws, showing a notable improvement by losing one game since the January transfer period, while they were looking at almost certain relegation before the new year. However, this is contrasted by Arsène Wenger winning the March award, who won 9 out of 11 games since the new year to stay in pursuit of the eventual champions.
Where both Arsenal and Chelsea showed good form that month, Arsenal had the edge by wining all of their league games, whereas the Blues dropped points in a draw against Southampton. Upon looking throughout the league results of each month, Chelsea have only won every league game in the month of August dropping at least two points every other month; the winning streak just can’t seem to get going. This inability to have a perfect run of games in a month, combined with the fact that Chelsea have been consistent enough to create high expectations for the squad, hinders the ‘Special One’ from fully living up to his namesake.
In this final month of Premier League competition, Mourinho has begun with a good result to win the title, thus opening up a chance to end this year’s campaign as ‘Manager of the Month.’ However, while teams fight under pressure for safety and Europe, it appears that only the most towering victories will be able to stand against the best results of the other teams. At the very least, José will be holding a much more memorable award for his efforts.