Premier League manager of season: Sky Sports pundits make picks, Neville bucks popular trend

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has received the backing of several Sky Sports pundits in the race to be named Premier League manager of the season.

It’s no real surprise considering the Italian tactician has overseen such an incredible turnaround since his side fell to back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool in September.

Since then, the Blues have been the most consistent side in the top flight and now boast a seven-point lead over their nearest rivals with seven games to go.

Coupled with his tactical work in getting his 3-4-3 system working almost without fault, Conte will be a popular pick for manager of the season, especially if he sees out the job and delivers the title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

That is reflected in the choices made by the Sky Sports panel, with Graeme Souness, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, Niall Quinn and Alan Smith all going with the former Juventus and Italy coach as their choice.

However, there’s always one who wants to be different. Gary Neville hasn’t gone with Conte, and instead has picked Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino for the award.

In his defence, there is plenty to support the argument that the Argentine deserves it more as he has done a stellar job at White Hart Lane for the second consecutive season, outperforming their rivals with a much smaller budget.

“I love Tottenham, they’re probably my favourite team in the league to watch,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Pochettino has built a team, brought players through and the budget is nowhere near the other clubs. For me he’s doing an amazing job.”

Who gets your vote? It’s difficult to not go with Conte given what he has, and will likely, achieve this season. However, if there is a man to rival him up until the end, then it is certainly Pochettino.

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