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Monday, 25 April 2011

End of season awards

The 2010/11 Premier League season has been one to savour. The standard at the top of the league may have fallen but it's not stopped the excitement, passion and tension of every Premier League weekend.

In previous years we've had standout performers - the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Ruud Van Nistelrooy - but the same cannot be said for this year. It's been a year where several players have stood out and produced some brilliant performances but there is no obvious winner for player of the season. Here are my awards:

My contenders:

Van Der Vaart - An incredible piece of business from Harry Redknapp having bought the Dutchman for £8million on transfer deadline day. Van Der Vaart has 12 goals this season and with his ability to link up play between attack and midfield, he has been key to Tottenham's season. Without him they wouldn't even be close to the top four.

Luis Nani - A remarkable exclusion from the PFA POTY but he gets the recognition he deserves in my list. The fact that he's been the most influential player for the side currently six points clear in the Premier League says it all. With 18 assists and nine goals, Nani is having a tremendous season. His pace and trickery have been too much for many defenders. He can be frustrating and petulant at times but that shouldn't count against him when looking at his technical ability, something which he has a lot off.

Scott Parker - If West Ham stay up this season then it'll be almost single-handedly down to Scott Parker. An inspirational leader on and off the pitch. His desire, will and sheer guts to produce his best and all for the team cannot be matched elsewhere in the league. He had plenty of talent as well, harrying and hassling player. Closing them down from all angles, preventing opponents from gaining further ground.

Kevin Nolan - Rather surprising to me that he's not been mentioned for an award this season. Another player for whom his team would be not where they are now without. He has 12 goals from midfield and is another authoritative, in-your-face leader who will give everything to his side.

Leighton Baines - Again another one who has seemed to escape all the attention. Baines has had a wonderful season. His mazy dribbles upfield have seen him rack up 11 assists and score four goals. He also has a wicked left foot, taking a large amount of set pieces for his side with his ability to whip in crosses which frighten defenders. He could perhaps tighten up defensively but there's no doubt in my mind that he has been a top performer this year.

Vincent Kompany - A reliable defender and a rock for Manchester City this season. Defenders rarely get the credit they deserve and Kompany is a perfect example. All the talk has been about Silva or Tevez but Kopmany has held City's season together. He makes so few mistakes, just sits in the defence, seeing out any danger while happy to come forward with the ball. The fact that City have the second best defensive record in the league is testament to the dogged and determination of Kompany.

Joint winners  - Kompany & Nani
Second - Van Der Vaart

Other worthy mentions - Nemanja Vidic, David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Luka Modric, Raul Meireles and Samir Nasri.

Young POTY nominations:

Jack Wilshere (19) - Wilshere has made gigantic strides this year. He's stepped up into Arsenal's first team at the start of the season and hasn't looked back since. The key to Wilshere's impressive season has been his composure in the midfield. Being able to control the play with some key interceptions before creating attacking chances for his own side with his sweet left foot.

Javier Hernandez (22) - Hernandez could arguably be a contender for the main award after a stunning first season in the Premier League. He has 12 goals and the best minutes-to-goal ratio for any player who has ten goals or more. The movement and pace has caused panic to defences across Europe and, at 22, he will only continue to improve.

Andy Carroll (22) - It's very much been a season of two halves for the England man. He was outstanding for Newcastle, scoring 11 goals before he picked up an injury in Janurary and moved to Liverpool. Since, he hasn't been the same as he looks off the pace but still managed a brace against Man City to showcase the huge potential he has.

Winner - Javier Hernandez

Best buy

Best buy - Javier Hernandez (£7million) - Very tight call between him and Rafael Van Der Vaart but the Dutchman's knack of picking up niggling injuries as well as the age difference just gives Hernandez the edge. His incredible ability to read the play and be in the right place at the right time has brought him 12 goals in just his first season in England.

Other awards:

Most improved player - Luis Nani

Ones to watch next year - Tom Cleverly, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Jack Rodwell.

Manager of the year - Owen Coyle

Team of the year 

GK - Edwin Van Der Saar  - It may be his last season but it'll be one to remember having pulled off a string of stunning stops and has saved his team on numerous occasions.

RB - Seamus Coleman - Maybe a left back by trade but the distinct lack of top class right backs this season means Coleman gets the spot for me. A speedy player, capable of causing havoc in opponents half.

CB - Nemanja Vidic - Consistent and reliable are the two words that sum up Vidic the best. Rarely makes any errors and would go straight in any world team of mine.

CB - Vincent Kompany - Similar to Vidic in many respects. Leads well and never fails to be stood up and be counted for his side, always producing his best at the most vital of times.

LB - Leighton Baines - Speedy, skilful and a wicked left foot makes Baines a dangerous full back while also having the defensive ability to fit in well at left back.

CDM - Scott Parker - The tenacity, energy, desire and drive of Parker makes him the perfect defensive midfielder. Has showed terrific passion and determination this season.

CM -Van Der Vaart - Twelve goals from midfield and seven assists in an injury-hit season tells you a lot about the class of Van Der Vaart. Always prone to pop up in the right place at the right time and cynically finish when his team most need it.

LM - David Silva - David Silva oozes class. The sign of a class player is the amount of time they appear to have on the ball and Silva seems to have an age.

RM - Luis Nani - The Portugese international has had a class and very consistent season. Capable of producing moments of magic as well as being able to deliver a wicked ball and hit a fierce strike.

CAM - Wayne Rooney - Controversial pick no doubt but Rooney has had a very impressive season, especially since christmas. He has 12 assists and 10 goals along with being very influential in United's season. Hernandez is a class player but Rooney adds more to any team. His ability to drop deep and pick out a raking 40-yard ball is one possessed by very few strikers. The season started poorly for Rooney but in the last few months he has been outstanding, his hat-trick v West Ham a particularly impressive moment.

CF - Carlos Tevez - Without Tevez, City would be struggling to make top six. A proven goalscorer and someone who will always work hard for his side. The 19 goals in 28 appearances tell the story.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly know your sport, and you can clearly write, but I honestly believe you are too biased. Being able to take a neutral view is crucial if you wish to be a successful sports journalist.

    You have awarded player of the year, young player of the year, best buy and most improved players all to United players. Coincidence?

    Nani has NOT been the best player this year, any neutral would agree that Wilshere's acheivements have outshone those of Hernandez this year, and Lucas is without doubt the most improved player. Nani always had visible talent and potential, no one ever thought Lucas capable of playing at the highest level until this year.

    Even your first two players to watch are United affiliated when you have ignored Suarez, Sturridge, Vaughan, Henderson, Ramsey etc...

    Van Persie has scored 15 goals since January and has 6 assists. That is more than Rooney all season and he has played just of half the amount of games as him. I agree with you Rooney is undoubtedly the best player in the league but before Februrary, by his standard, he was appaling.

    Your inclusion of Coleman is laughable. Firstly, he's barely played a game in defence all year and Everton has underperformeddefensively for the majority of the season. Sagna, Ivanovic and even Micah Richards would be more befitting.

    Of course as a Gooner I may be biased myself but it seems a little unfair that a team that SHOULD have won the league has no representatives in your team of the year.

    I throughouly agree with your praise for both Baines and Kompany.