The current season might not be over yet, but Manchester United already have the perfect motivation to go even better next year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was busy preparing his United squad for their Europa League quarter-final against FC Copenhagen on Friday when the shortlist for the Premier League manager of the year award was revealed.
There was absolutely no surprise to see Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder on the four-man shortlist after their respective success this season, but the next two names on the list certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Brendan Rodgers is just about worthy of his place on the list after the irresistible football Leicester played at the start of the campaign, even if their fifth-place finish eventually felt a little anti-climactic after the standards they had previously set.
However, it was the inclusion of Frank Lampard which really boiled the blood of United supporters, and they have every reason to feel aggrieved.
There is no argument to suggest Solskjaer was the best manager in the Premier League this season, but he certainly deserves just as much credit as Lampard for the job which he has overseen over the past twelve months.
Firstly there is the clear improvement which saw United overturn their worst start to a top-flight season in 33 years by eventually finishing third, winning both league matches against Chelsea in the process of doing so. In contrast the Blues went from a third-place finish and Europa League triumph under Maurizio Sarri to a fourth-place one under Lampard and no silveware.
It is also glaring to see how poor the overall standard was for both United and Chelsea to finish in the top-four this season, but having lost 12 Premier League matches and conceded more goals than Brighton and Crystal Palace it is hard to argue Lampard was one of the top-four managers this season.
You could almost hear the violins playing over social media as fans referenced the Chelsea transfer ban this season, but they still had the addition of both Christian Pulisic and Matteo Kovacic, as well as returning loanees Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori to bolster the first-team options. It was hardly the fairy tale finish some would have you think.
United and Chelsea are both far from the position they should be in given the respective stature and financial power of each club, but if Lampard is being praised for the job he has done so far then it is ridiculous not to given Solskjaer the same treatment, if not more.
Next season both managers know their jobs will be on the line if they don’t continue to improve and meet the targets set by their clubs, and the lack of wider recognition for Solskjaer might just be the motivation needed to prove himself and get United back to where they belong.