The SkyBet League Two Manager of the Month nominations have been released, 3 days before final decision at www.football-league.co.uk is released, due to be announced 6th September. Below, we’ve put together some basic club info as a jumping-off point.
Manager of the Month Nominations for August
|FORM||PTS||RANK||GOALS FOR||AGAINST||ATTD||AWAY ATTD|
|Paul Cook (Chesterfield)||W W D W W||13||1||10||3||5473||981|
|Chris Wilder (Oxford United)||D D W W W||11||2||12||6||6045||1601|
|Gary Rowett (Burton Albion)||W D W W D||11||3||9||6||2580||247|
|Neal Ardley (AFC Wimbledon)||W W L W D||10||4||7||5||3948||629|
Paul Cook (Chesterfield)
Paul Cook is an ex-player, retiring from professional football in 2006 after a career that spanned 23 years, and scored 56 goals in 642 appearances. However, 7 years ago he came into managing, having 5 years at Sligo Rovers before settling at Chesterfield just under a year ago, taking them only 2pt outside the play-offs in the 2012/13 season.
This season, however, has seen the best start of anyone in the league, taking 4/5 wins available, and taking points in 100% of the games, scoring over 3 times more they succeed – that’s exactly 2 goals per match, every match, including a win over Portsmouth.
Against Portsmouth, Cook told the BBC that it was a fantastic results, despite not putting in a fantastic performance, adding that “the clubs benefit is the most important thing for everyone”.
Best form, most points, most goals, least conceded – is it a walkover?
Chris Wilder (Oxford United)
As another ex-player, Wilder joined Oxford mid-season in 2008 when they were in the Conference National League. In his first full season, he shot to the top of the league, only to be overtaken before the final match, meaning Oxford fought for promotion through the play-offs, finally beating York City to advance into the Football League.
Despite guiding the team to mid-table, he has so far missed out on promotion. Unfairly, questions were asked, despite taking the club up a league and being competitive. He’s on another 1-year contract for the 2013/14 season.
With an impressive form-line, only surpassed by Chesterfield, Oxford have made a great start to the season, scoring more goals than any other team, and attracting the most home and away support. Defiantly a strong contender.
Gary Rowett (Burton Albion)
Rowett is an ex-Burton player. In fact, he ended his season with the club, taking on a managerial role first as an assistant, then caretaker, until the old manager was sacked and Rowett was in temporary charge. It follows that he was appointed manager at the end of the 2011/12, and had his first full season 2012/13 taking Burton to 4th in the league. The play-off loss must have hurt, as would losing some key players already pre-season.
Whilst winning 3 matches, the two draws came from a 2 goal deficit, coming from 2-0 down to secure two 2-2 results.
So should Rowett be Manager of the Month? He’s made a great start to the season, putting behind him his close-to-promotion season, took some good wins and turned around some games where it looked like hope had gone. Not my first choice, but will be some people’s MOTM.
Neal Ardley (AFC Wimbledon)
Ardley joined Wimbledon early last season, so we’re looking at his first full season. And yet, early last year, he was previously nominated for Manager of the Month, showing his impact in the second half of the season following Wimbledon’s unbeaten run. However, into the final match of the season, Wimbledon were 23rd, fighting to keep a place in the league. They managed it, somehow, and Neal looks determined to make a real impact on this season’s league.
So far, with 3 wins and taking points from 4 of 5 games, he looks to have made a real difference over the summer. They also haven’t lost at home yet this season, with all of their wins coming from their home ground – so maybe it’s the 4000 fans that are urging the team to success.
If we’re looking at first-month impact, the other 3 managers wouldn’t seem an upset or out of the ordinary. But taking Ardley’s previous season into account, the team seem to be on a high, and are fighting from the start to make a difference in this years table. For that, maybe the “tryer” deserves the first title in his best start to a season yet.
With their stalls set out for the monthly managerial award, who would be your MOTM?