Norwich City boss Paul Lambert impresses Premier League peers
Paul Lambert's Premier League success with Norwich City this season has been recognised by his top-flight managerial peers.
Sponsors Barclays commissioned a survey of Premier League bosses that highlighted the work of both Lambert and Swansea's Brendan Rodgers in guiding the promoted clubs well clear of the relegation places ahead of the final 10 matches.
Rodgers polled 47 per cent and Lambert 40 per cent of the votes from their rivals, who were asked which manager had impressed them most.
Both clubs have so far defied pre-season predictions that they would face an uphill battle to avoid an instant return to the Championship.
They are both currently 14 points clear of the bottom three places. The Canaries remain the only Premier League side to have completed a double over the Swans.
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Rodgers' men have taken some notable scalps at the Liberty Stadium – beating title-chasing Manchester City last weekend and Arsenal earlier in the season.
Two-thirds of Barclays Premier League managers still expect Roberto Mancini's team to pip Manchester United in the championship race, despite slipping a point behind their neighbours with their 1-0 defeat in South Wales.
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Manchester City players dominate individual categories in the Barclays' poll. Joe Hart was voted the best goalkeeper (69 per cent) ahead of Pepe Reina (13 per cent) and Brad Friedel (6 per cent). Norwich number one John Ruddy does not make the top five despite a consistent campaign which continued with a man of the match performance against Wigan on Sunday.
None of Ruddy's team-mates feature in the voting for best players in their respective positions. For best players by position, Manchester City boast three of the top four. Apart from Hart, club captain Vincent Kompany and David Silva topped the voting for best defender and midfielder, respectively, with Sergio Aguero joint second behind Arsenal's in-form Robin van Persie as the League's best striker.
Newcastle striker Demba Ba, pictured, was voted signing of the season, with Manchester United defender Phil Jones topping the vote for the most impressive young player.
• SURVEY RESULTS
• Which Barclays Premier League manager has impressed you the most this season? 1 Brendan Rodgers 47%, 2 Paul Lambert 40%, equal 3 Roberto Mancini, Steve Kean 6%.
• Who has been the signing of the season so far in the Barclays Premier League? 1 Demba Ba 56%, equal 2 Phil Jones, Scott Parker 13%.
• Which current Barclays Premier League players do you rate as the best in each position?
Goalkeeper: 1 Joe Hart 69%, 2 Pepe Reina 13%, equal 3 Brad Friedel, Shay Given, Tim Krul 6%.
Defender: 1 Vincent Kompany 88%, equal 2 John Terry, Thomas Vermaelen 6%.
Midfielder: 1 David Silva 31%, 2 Yaya Toure 25%, 3 Leon Britton 13%.
Forward/striker: 1 Robin van Persie 25%, equal 2 Sergio Aguero, Demba Ba 19%.
• Who has been the best young player in the Barclays Premier League this season? 1 Phil Jones 31%, 2 Daniel Sturridge 25%, 3 Kyle Walker 25%.
• Other than winning, what is the best part about being a manager? 1 Being involved in what you love doing 25%, 2 Working daily with the players 19%, 3 Watching a successful team and one that is playing well, camaraderie 13%.
• Who will win the Barclays Premier League title? 1 Manchester City 67%, 2 Manchester United 33%.
• Which team in the Barclays Premier League, other than your own, do you enjoy watching play the most? 1 Tottenham 75%, 2 Manchester Utd 13%, 3 Arsenal, Swansea 6%.
• In the 20th season of the Barclays Premier league, which player do you think has been the most influential in the League's history? 1 Ryan Giggs 50%, equal 2 Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes, Alan Shearer 13%.
• Other than your own, which Barclays Premier League stadium/fans creates the best atmosphere on match days? 1 Liverpool 50%, 2 Stoke City 29%, equal 3 Newcastle United, Everton, Tottenham 7%.
• In your experience, which country outside of the UK has the most passionate fans of the Barclays Premier League? 1 Thailand 27%, 2 South Korea, Japan, USA, Hong Kong 13%.