Ben Smith of the Times has been handicapping the field for English Premier League Manager of the Year. Where Fulham's improbable odyssey to the Europa Cup Final appeared to had made Roy Hodgson the obvious choice for manager of the year, last night Harry Redknapp reminded us all that he deserves genuine recognition for the way he has resurrected Tottenham Hotspur as he led them to the Champions League for the first time in their history - arguably the more significant achievement.
The 63-year-old arrived at White Hart Lane in late October 2008 to pick up the pieces after Juande Ramos's disastrous tenure, with the team anchored firmly to the foot of the Premier League. But last night's 1-0 victory over Manchester City ensured there will be an English manager in next season's Champions League, at the head of an English team. But do Redknapp's achievements mean the 63-year-old is the standout candidate for manager of the year? Redknapp, like his Fulham counterpart Hodgson, has proved age is no barrier to success in modern football, but it would be unfair to view this as a two-horse race.
Mick McCarthy has kept Wolves in the Premier League despite virtually every pundit predicting a swift return to the Championship for his team, while Tony Pulis has marshalled limited resources to make Stoke City one of the hardest teams to beat in the top flight.
Avram Grant must also be on the shortlist, after hauling Portsmouth to the FA Cup Final, while Carlo Ancelotti has led Chelsea to the verge of a League and FA Cup double with a minimum of fuss.And that's not to forget one Sir Alex Ferguson, who has overcome the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to take Manchester United to the brink of fourth successive title.