Mikel Arteta’s bid to lead Arsenal to the Premier League title looks set for failure, but he has still exceeded pre-season predictions enough to receive the LMA Manager of the Year award.
That’s the view of bookmakers.tv, who have crunched the numbers to compare each Premier League team’s actual performance with how betting sites expected them to perform back in August. All 20 sides were given a points handicap, with Manchester City and Liverpool predictably starting on just zero and four points respectively. The likes of Bournemouth and Fulham were both handed in excess of a 50 point head start, with the expectation of a relegation battle ahead.
And with only a couple of weeks left in the season, there are five teams, and indeed managers, still in contention at the top of this alternative league table.
Arsenal and Fulham head the list, with 101 points apiece, but they can still be caught by Brentford, Newcastle and Brighton, particularly with the latter two teams having a game in hand.
At the opposite end of the table, it’s Chelsea who are already guaranteed to finish rock bottom, so the appointment of a new manager, most likely Mauricio Pochettino, really can’t come quickly enough.
A spokesman for bookmakers.tv said:
The League Managers Association usually acknowledges the efforts of the managers and teams that exceed expectations, rather than simply choosing the Premier League champions, so Mikel Arteta may yet have something to celebrate, even if Arsenal finish the season empty handed.
1st= Arsenal 81(+20) = 101
1st= Fulham 51(+50) = 101
3rd Brentford 53(+46) = 99
4th= Newcastle 66(+31) = 97
4th= Brighton 58(+39) = 97
6th Bournemouth 39(+56) = 95
7th Aston Villa 57(+37) = 94
8th= Manchester City 85(+0) = 85
8th= Manchester United 66(+19) = 85
8th= Nottingham Forest 34(+51) = 85
11th= Crystal Palace 43(+41) = 84
11th= Wolves 40(+44) = 84
13th Leeds 31(+46) = 77
14th Everton 32(+44) = 76
15th Tottenham 57(+14) = 71
16th= West Ham 37(+33) = 70
16th= Southampton 24(+46) = 70
18th Liverpool 65(+4) = 69
19th Leicester 30(+36) = 66
20th Chelsea 43(+15) = 58
Points correct on 16th May. Numbers in brackets are pre-season handicaps.