Jose Mourinho and Antonio Valencia have been nominated for Premier League Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards respectively.
Mourinho, after guiding Manchester United to a 100% winning start in the Premier League, has been nominated for what could be his fourth Manager of the Month award, and currently leads the online poll, which includes Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Hull City’s caretaker manager Mike Phelan.
Valencia has made a superb start to life under Mourinho, featuring in all three of Man United’s opening games. The Ecuadorian is up against Raheem Sterling, Curtis Davies and Eden Hazard, who currently leads the online poll.
Louis van Gaal failed to win a Manager of the Month award during almost two years at the club. Mourinho, on the other hand, after just one month, is already in line to claim the accolade. It is a strong testament to the 53-year-old’s swift and ruthless impact on the club’s psyche, galvanising a previously confidence-sapped side with a serial winning mentality.
And Valencia, so often maligned in recent years, personifies this new-found aura of steely aggression and dynamism going forward. The 31-year-old has clearly benefitted from the aerial presence provided by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, alongside a greater amount of freedom on the ball. Against the odds, Valencia could prove to be one of Mourinho’s most vital players.