Michael Laudrup has been voted as the most impressive boss in the Barclays Premier League so far this season according to a Barclays survey of current Barclays Premier League managers.
The Swansea City boss earned praise from his peers with nearly half of the managers surveyed picking the former Denmark international as the most impressive performer having guided his side into the top 10.
The survey, conducted for Barclays by the League Managers Association, saw a Swansea double with attacking midfielder Michu voted as the best signing of the season (47%) ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (35%).
Swansea’s style of play under Laudrup is also seen as a positive with a third of top-flight managers surveyed believing a more positive attacking style adopted by recently promoted sides has had the biggest tactical impact on the league in the past five years.
When it comes to identifying the best formation to deploy, managers overwhelmingly voted that flexibility is the key (58%) rather than sticking to a rigid formation such as 4-4-2 (12%).
Assessing the top three attributes players needed to succeed in the Barclays Premier League, managers said mental rather than physical abilities were the key to success. Tactical awareness (53%), mental strength (47%) and confidence (47%) all rated in their top three, while strength was surprisingly low with just one manager highlighting this attribute.
Gerard Houllier, former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager, said: “At the beginning of the season many wondered whether Swansea would be able to maintain their impressive start to Barclays Premier League life, but Michael Laudrup has come in, managed to sustain their Barclays Premier League progress and recently won the League Cup.
“He has probably made the shrewdest signing of the season in Michu and deserves the praise from his peers. Overall the survey highlights that promoted clubs can establish themselves in the Barclays Premier League, gain the respect of the established managers, play quality football and excite fans. It’s good for the future of the Barclays Premier League and football in this country.”
Other findings from the survey include:
• Over half of the managers named Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling as the best young player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season, ahead of Southampton’s Adam Lallana (18%) and Chelsea’s Oscar (12%).
• Organisation was highlighted as a crucial mindset by over a third of managers when building for success, with keeping the ball (29%) and having a strong core to your team (24%) rating highly.
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Barclays Premier League
The Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season more than 13m fans attended matches with average stadium occupancy in excess of 92% for the fifth season in a row. Across nine months of the year 380 matches are viewed in 212 territories worldwide. Coverage of the matches is available in approximately 720m households with an estimated cumulative global audience of 4.7bn.
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