The events of Saturday May 22 were hugely influential in deciding the destination of this award. Had the goals of Michael Chopra and Joe Ledley decided that afternoon’s play off final, then Blackpool’s season, and that of their guiding light, would perhaps have been consigned to the plucky runners up category. Brett Ormerod put paid to such insignificance with a late first half winner and as the Tangerines held on, Ian Hollowayedged ahead in the running.
I remember Holloway’s urgent and exciting Bristol Rovers side and a 6-0 pasting of Reading
of over a decade ago. The picaresue nature of his subsequent adventures have only endeared him more to those willing him a shot at the grandes fromages
. The slating he received at Plymouth in the Spring clearly rattled him and he’ll need to tread a line between the overly self-deprecating defeatism and ebullient cockiness
of those who have followed this path before. Otherwise, the Fourth Estate, all matey for now, will swallow him up and spit him out like a clementine pip. For now though, he can rejoice in the fact that he made a diference more than any other manager this year.
Honourable mentions to Chris Hughton
, a dignified man
who totally subverted the expectations of Newcastle watchers both within and without the club, as well as indicating to Alan Shearer that his best chance of a managerial career might be along with Tony Adams in Azerbaijan
; and Nigel Adkins
, a veritable bringer of miracles at Glanford Park.