Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has won the LMA manager of the year award for this season, becoming the first ever Reds boss to win the award.
Rodgers guided Liverpool to a Champions League qualification place for the first time in four seasons, and ran league winners Manchester City close by taking the title to the last day.
The award represents the dominant vote of managers across the Football League, and Rodgers was presented with the award by England manager Roy Hodgson, who named his 23-man England squad for the World Cup on Monday. Crystal Palace's Tony Pulis won the Premier League award.
The Liverpool boss could not resist a joke when receiving the award, saying ‘I was hoping I’d be on an open top bus tonight’.
This was in reference to a potential title celebration around the streets of Merseyside, but it was Manchester City who got the privilege of the bus parade a little further south.
Rodgers has taken Liverpool from strength to strength since joining the Anfield club at the beginning of the 2012/13 season. Having finished seventh last season, the Northern Irish boss guided the club to second in the Premier League this time around, finishing just two points behind Manchester City.
Liverpool were in pole position to win the title with three games remaining, but stumbled at home to a resilient Chelsea, who countered the Reds high-pressing football to win 2-0. Eight days later saw Liverpool leading 3-0 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, only for the Eagles to score three times in 15 minutes to pull it back to 3-3. This meant City effectively only needed to match Liverpool’s result on the final day, and did so to end their dream.
Rodgers can also be praised for his man-management of Luis Suarez. Having received an eight-game ban at the end of last season for a bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, the Uruguayan went on to score 31 goals and win the Player of the Year trophy. Suarez almost left Anfield for Arsenal last summer and seemingly wanted out of the club, but Rodgers always maintained he would stay.
Despite eventually falling short of the Premier League crown, Rodgers can be proud of his achievement this season as his club realised their Champions League ambition. His credentials will be further tested next season, where he will look to go one better and deliver a first league title in 25 years.
Is Brendan Rodgers a worthy winner of the LMA manager of the year award?