In what has come as a surprise decision to many, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been left out of the final shortlist of nominees for Coach of the Year award by the Globe Soccer Awards. The Catalan, who picked up two Globe Soccer Awards (the Coach Career Award and Best Media Attraction in Football award) back in 2013 while managing Bayern Munich, recorded tremendous success with City last term.
But it does appear winning a record treble in English football counted for little to the selection jury this year afterall. The City gaffer led the team to make a clean sweep of domestic trophies winning the Premier League title, the League and FA Cups in the 2018/19 campaign. But the team came up short in the Champions League. That, it seems, was a huge factor in the selection process.
Jurgen Klopp, Massimiliano Allegri, Erik ten Hag, Djamel Belmadi and Fernando Santos were the final five shortlisted. The former trio shone brightly in the Champions League with Liverpool emerging champions. Therefore, Jurgen Klopp is expected to emerge as the winner in the end. That underlines the weight that has now been placed on success in the competition. The German tactician won the continental trophy despite playing second fiddle to Guardiola on all counts in the domestic competitions.
Beyond the Champions League, both Erik ten Hag and Massimiliano Allegri won league titles in the Netherlands and Italy respectively. Djamel Belmadi led Algeria to the African Cup of Nations success after a three-decade wait while Fernando Santos won the European Nations League with Portugal.
Amongst the nominees, Allegri probably doesn’t deserve to make the final five over Guardiola. The former Juventus boss won the Serie A title but saw his team eliminated from the UCL at the quarter-final stage just like Guardiola’s. Having also beaten Klopp to three out of the four trophies both competed for, it’s rather unfair that he doesn’t get to make the final three or even five shortlisted.
That’s not taking anything away from the German manager’s achievement of conquering Europe while beating Bayern Munich and Barcelona on the way. It also means Guardiola must target continental success with the Sky Blues to be in the running for next year’s award.
However, City do have one player nominated for the Best Men’s Player of the Year 2019 award. Bernardo Silva made the cut. But the Portuguese will slug it out with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker, Lionel Messi and fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo for the honour.
The winner of this year’s award will be named at a ceremony in Dubai on December 29.