Harry Redknapp has been named Premier League Manager of the Year after breaking into the top four with Tottenham.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have monopolised the UEFA Champions League positions in recent seasons and were expected to dominate once more this term.
Manchester City were tipped to mount a strong challenge after investing heavily in their squad, with the likes of Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton considered outsiders.
But Spurs have enjoyed a stunning campaign, recording victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
Other highlights included the 9-1 demolition of Wigan in November, as well as the 1-0 triumph at Manchester City on Wednesday that guaranteed Champions League qualification for the first time in the club's history.
Tottenham could even finish third if they beat Burnley in their final game on Sunday and Arsenal slip up against Fulham.
Redknapp, who took charge in October 2008 when Spurs were bottom of the table, was thrilled with the accolade but paid tribute to his players and the rest of the backroom staff.
"I'm delighted to receive the award but it's a team effort with Kevin (Bond), Joe (Jordan), Clive (Allen), Tony (Parks), Tim (Sherwood), Les (Ferdinand) and all the coaching and fitness staff," he told the club's official website.
"Really, I'm just part of the team.
"It's all down to the players and what they've achieved. It's down to them really and a real honour to receive it."
The prize is decided by the Barclays awards panel, which is made up of football's governing bodies, the media and fans.
Redknapp becomes only the second manager since the formation of the Premier League to win the gong without having won the league, following in the footsteps of George Burley after the Scot guided Ipswich to fifth place in 2000/01.
A number of shock defeats for the top teams has contributed to an exciting season and the title race is still alive going into the final day with Chelsea and Manchester United competing for the trophy.
Who is your Premier League manager of the year?
Sir Alex Ferguson