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Klopp might win manager of the year award, but data puts Chris Wilder as close second

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If we talk about the Premier League’s end of season awards for 2019-20, Jurgen inevitably took home the Manager of the Season title.

Having helped Liverpool win 18 games in a row and win their first ever league title in over three decades, by collecting 99 points, and outdoing Manchester City which is unarguably the most expensive team in the history of the league, Klopp deserved the award too. The German was not just a huge favourite in the real football betting world, but was backed heavily in virtual sports betting markets too.

The usual winners

The Premier League is well known to almost always hand out the best manager award to the manager of the team which wins the league title. Ever since EPL came into being, only four team managers have won the award despite not winning the league title, the last one being Tony Pulis, the Crystal Palace manager in the 2013-14 season. Normally, managers who do amazing work with smaller teams get overlooked.

How they are evaluated

Evaluation of managers isn’t some exact science, however, some statistics can be of great help. A good way of looking at a football club manager’s performance is with the help of a betting handicap. Looking at the betting handicap of some of the top-rated bookmakers, Sheffield United came out on top, followed by Liverpool, Burnley and then Leicester City managing the remaining Champions League places. Watford, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich performed far below the expectations.

Another method of evaluating the managers is by looking at their players’ salaries. Often, the players’ salaries and the corresponding club’s league position are related to each other. Sheffield United have reportedly the lowest salaries amongst all of the Premier League clubs, while Manchester United and Manchester city pay the maximum to their players. In fact, the salary gap between the most and lowest paid players is almost 10 times!

Sheffield United did an overall better job

A better way of comparing different football clubs would be based on how they performed as against where they were expected to finish at the end of the season (factoring in their players’ salaries).

If we follow this method, Sheffield United managed to finish 11 places higher than expected, based on its players’ salaries. They were followed by teams like Burnley, Wolves, Leicester City and then Brighton.

Sheffield United’s EPL season wavered a bit after the restart, however, Chris Wilder’s team still managed to perform beyond all expectations, finishing at the top, both in terms of the players’ salaries method as well as the betting handicap table. Sean Dyche too deserves plenty of praise as he yet again managed to defy all expectations at Burnley.

The betting handicap method also reveals the excellent job done by Jurgen Klopp this last season. The Reds most likely would have had a smaller handicap if they hadn’t pushed Manchester City till the end in the 2018-19 season. Looking at the salary figures too, Klopp did manage to get Liverpool finish couple of places higher than where they were expected to.

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