Ryan Giggs was voted the greatest player in Premier League

The majority of Barclays Premier League managers are agreed that Manchester United will win the title.

This is despite Arsenal being only five points behind with a match in hand.

However, they also acknowledge that Ian Holloway's Blackpool side is the team of the season so far, according to research by Barclays, the title sponsor of the League Managers Association (LMA).

Eighty per cent of managers surveyed believe Sir Alex Ferguson's side will reclaim the Barclays Premier League trophy this season with the same number saying that Blackpool has been the team of the season to this point.

Managers were also agreed that the competitiveness of this season's Barclays Premier League is down to the great strength in depth (60 per cent) the League has to offer, rather than due to the top teams being weaker than in previous seasons.

other findings included:

  • Managers put man management as the most important skill they can have (53 per cent), with tactical know how and ability to manage the board the least important aspects of doing their job well.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson was named the best manager in the history of the Barclays Premier League (87 per cent) as well as being voted the greatest football manager of all time (27 per cent), ahead of other legendary names such as Jock Stein (20 per cent) and Bob Paisley (13 per cent).
  • Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs was voted the greatest player to have graced the Premier League (47 per cent) - beating Eric Cantona (27 per cent) and Alan Shearer (13 per cent) to the honour.
  • Although it is unsurprising that current World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was named as the player most managers would like to sign for their club, it was perhaps surprising that less than 50 per cent wanted him, with some preferring the defensive skills of Nemanja Vidic or the competitiveness of Wayne Rooney.
  • In spite of the record breaking £35m fee spent on striker Andy Carroll by Liverpool, Arsenal teenager Jack Wilshere was voted the young English player who has impressed managers most this season.
  • Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael Van der Vaart was voted the best signing of the season having become Spurs' leading goal scorer following his summer move from Real Madrid.
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