Sunday, 9 May 2010

Real Talk Football End of Year Awards

Real Talk Football End of Year Awards

Here’s Real Talk Football’s 1st Annual Premier League Awards

Player of the Season

Winner: Didier Drogba
Runners up: Wayne Rooney
Honourable Mention: Carlos Tevez

The Ivorian has been sensational this season for Chelsea. At 32 years of age, he is still instrumental in Chelsea title win. He scored 29 goals this season, collecting the Golden Boot ahead of Wayne Rooney.

Rooney however has been sensational this season, was unlucky that injuries hampered his and United’s title campaign, but he has been the stand out performer nevertheless.

As for Tevez, since his transfer from Man United to Man City, he has been excellent also this season. Expect a strong World Cup from the Argentine.

Young Player of the Season (Under 23)

Winner: Joe Hart
Runners up: Cesc Fabregas
Honourable Mention: Gabriel Agbonlahor

Birmingham City’s on loan goalkeeper Joe Hart has been a cut above the rest this season, and at the age of 23 he is already amongst the top 5 goalkeepers in the Premiership. Will either return to Man City to compete for the number one jersey or switch to one of the top teams in the Premiership.

Arsenal’s midfield maestro had been the driving force behind the Gunners title drive, but ultimately thanks to injury he and his side fell short. An excellent display against Barcelona in the Champions League capped off his season. He scored 15 goals and 15 assists in the league this season.

Most Improved Player of the Season

Winner: Alexandre Song
Runners up: Bobby Zamora
Honourable Mention: Gareth Bale

The Arsenal holding midfielder was the most important component to the Gunners title challenge this season. He has came on leaps and bounds considering how average he had been in previous seasons, and could be considered for Arsenal’s player of the year. His role in the team, helped add some much needed bite to Wenger’s side, breaking up playing, using his strength and most impressively improving his passing. Should expect a new Centre Midfield partner next season to help his cause.

Fulham striker, Bobby Zamora gets the runners up spot, since he has laid to rest the ghosts of previous seasons, as well as the criticisms from his own fans, so much so he is expected to be named in England’s preliminary World Cup squad. He scored just 8 league goals this season, but managed 21 in all competition and was deemed as important to Fulham, as the White Pele is to Manchester Untied.

Since January, Welshman Bale significantly improved his form, becoming an option at both Left Back and Left Midfield/Winger. He scored the winner against Arsenal and was subsequently Spurs best player this season, helping them reach the Champions League.

Underachieved Player of the Season

Winner: Joleon Lescott
Runners up: Steven Gerrard
Honourable Mention: Stephen Hunt

Lescott signed to Manchester City for £22 million, and has played 18 games in all competitions. He left Everton in very unceremonious circumstances, after they subsequently helped turn him into an England International. Now he has again suffered from knee injuries, and subsequently lost his place to Vincent Kompany at Centre Back. Again, they paid £22 million... In a Recession...

Stevie G, Liverpool hero, has been below par this season. The sale of Xabi Alonso meant he has to move from Attacking Midfielder/Second Striker, into Centre Midfielder which ultimately brought down both his goal and assist tally, while Liverpool crashed out of both the Europa League and Champions League. Expect him to make a mends at the World Cup.

Team of the Season

Winner: Fulham
Runners up: Chelsea
Honourable Mention: Birmingham City

West London dominate the collective rewards, with the Premier League Champions wrestling the Premier League title from Manchester United, while Roy Hodgson’s Fulham side started playing in July and have now reached the Europa League final. Unbelievable considering they beat the likes of defending Champions; Shaktar Donetsk, Wolfsburg, Hamburger SV, Juventus and Basle to reach the final. Considering the squad and players they have, again it’s a fantastic achievement.

Honourable mention to Birmingham City who was promoted last season, and subsequently ended up finishing comfortably in 9th place. On to bigger and better things next season? Who knows, but a great achievement none the less.

Most Disappointing Team of the Season

Winner: Liverpool
Runners up: West Ham United
Honourable Mention: Portsmouth

Only one winner really. Liverpool as stated earlier, dropped out of the Europa League and UEFA Champions League without a whimper, while ending up finishing 7th in the league (the last Europa League spot). Financial failures off the pitch, still no plans for a new stadium and a manager who tactically gets it right against Manchester United, but wrong against everyone else! Torres is injury prone, Gerrard looks fed up, Carragher looks old, and Aquilani looks a waste of money. A freshen up is really needed.

West Ham United have well documented problems regarding both the manager and the owners, as well as financial difficulties, and Squad injuries meant the Hammers found themselves embroiled in a relegation battle. They ended up finishing 17th, just one place above the drop zone, with Zola expecting to leave this summer.

Most Exciting Prospect of the Season

Winner: Phil Jones
Runners up: Nikola Kalinic
Honourable Mention: Landon Donavon

Forget Chris Smalling, Phil Jones of Blackburn Rovers at the age of 18 years old, has played 9 games this season and has earned him rave reviews, most noticeably from the likes of Arsene Wenger and manager Sam Alladyce. He made his debut against Chelsea this season, and signed a 5 year contract with Blackburn just last week. One to watch for the future.

Another Blackburn player, who again is highly rated and is expected to show big things next season, both for his club and country, another one for the future within the Rovers ranks.

Despites Landon Donovan being 28 years old, his spell with Everton displayed his potential and highlighted his ability for playing in the Premiership. Expect David Moyes to reignite his interest again this summer.

Comeback of the Season

Winner: Richard Dunne
Runners up: Kolo Toure
Honourable Mention: Darren Bent

On Richard Dunne’s inclusion into the PFA Team of the Year

“The Irish defender suffered heart break when the hand of Henry put the Republic of Ireland out of the World Cup, but he steadily recovered to help his side reach both the League Cup Final and Carling Cup Semi Final. He has also helped Villa challenge for the Champions League spot, while Martin O’Neill’s men are more likely to qualify for the Europa League. No failure none the less, while more of a personal achievement for Dunne himself, as he was ousted from Man City in favour of Kolo Toure, Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott. Dunne is now respected as one of the most improved and most consistent defenders in the Premiership gaining acknowledgement from both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.”

Runner up Kolo Toure had a more consistent season this year, after becoming disillusioned at Arsenal. He came under scrutiny for his poor performances last year, while finally making his move up north to new found money bags, Manchester City. However the Ivorian was instilled as Club Captain and despite having up to four different centre back partners such as Joleon Lescott, Dedryck Boyata, Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards, he filled the boots of Richard Dunne amicably. At the age of 29, and with a 5 year contract, Toure will definitely be around for years to come.

Despite flopping at Tottenham, and having many a differences with Harry Redknapp, Sunderland striker Darren Bent scored 24 goals this season, and is a dark horse to be on the plane to South Africa. A great turn around.

Signing of the Season

Winner: Thomas Vermaelen
Runners up: Carlos Tevez
Honourable Mention: Sol Campbell

The Belgian centre back has received many plaudits this season, and has undoubtedly been the most consistent, reliable and best defender in the Premiership. Another relatively unknown singing by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger at a fee of £10 million from Ajax. At 24 years of old, he has already adapted well to the English game, and is definitely one for the future still. He also chipped in with 7 goals this season.

When Manchester City came into all this money in January 2009, it was seen as somewhat of a shock to everyone. The signing of Robinho got the ball rolling, signing for £32.5 millions, but it was the big money move for Carlos Tevez, prying him away from rivals Manchester United, is where you had to begin to really take them seriously. Tevez scored 23 times in 34 matches this season, driving on the Citizen’s charge for the Champions League, while ending up finishing in 5th place, and establishing himself as the key man for Manchester City.

Big Daddy Sol. When he signed for Notts County, everyone thought he must be getting a big pay check and look to wind his way down to retirement. But after just one game in League Two, he left the club by mutual consent citing “broken promises”. One month later, it was confirmed that Sol Campbell became one of the select few players Arsene Wenger has ever resigned. A lot of people laughed at the North London clubs decision, and equally criticised the signing. However the 35 year olds experience, and natural ability, shows that he hasn’t missed a step and is still capable to play at the highest level. With Gallas and Vermaelen’s injuries, it is evident that he was the best player in a somewhat poor defence. The latest speculation links him with a new one year contract, and even a trip to South Africa.

Worse Signing of the Season

Winner: Benni McCarthy
Runners up: Alberto Aquilani
Honourable Mention: Patrick Vieira

As mentioned in my West Ham post. Signed for £2.5 million, and played just four times. Scoring; Zero Goals. Terrible.

Alberto Aquilani, deemed the invisible man by the British press, signed (injured) from AS Roma for £20 million, as a direct replacement for that man again, Xabi Alonso. He didn’t really play much, 18 games in all competitions, scoring just the once. If Benitez leaves in the summer, I expect the Italian to follow him out the door as well.

Goalkeeper of the Season
Winner: Joe Hart
Runners up: Pepe Riena
Honourable Mention: Mark Schwarzer

Defender of the Season
Winner: Thomas Vermaelen
Runners up: Patrice Evra
Honourable Mention: Branislav Ivanovic

Midfielder of the Season
Winner: Frank Lampard
Runners up: Cesc Fabregas
Honourable Mention: James Milner

Striker of the Season
Winner: Didier Drogba
Runners up: Wayne Rooney
Honourable Mention: Carlos Tevez

Manager of the Season
Winner: Roy Hodgson
Runners up: Carlo Ancelotti
Honourable Mention: Harry Redknapp

The Fulham manager, again highlighted on this list, has transformed the Cottagers from relegation battlers into one of the trickiest teams to face in the Premiership.

Highlights this year include a 3-1 win over Liverpool, a 3-0 win over Manchester United, as well as the successful European campaign; Hodgson is surely the front runner for the England Job in the next few years.

The former AC Milan manager left Italy to take the reins of West London billionaires Chelsea. In his 1st season he has rejuvenated players such as Florent Malouda, Yuri Zhirkov, Alex, Paolo Ferreira, while leading Chelsea to the Premier League title in his 1st season, and an FA Cup Final, while banishing memories of the special one. Next aim for the Italian, the Champions League.

Finally Harry Redknapp. With most of his off the field problems being left, well, off the field, he managed to take Tottenham from second bottom, to a fourth place finish in the Premiership and therefore the final Champions League qualification spot.

That’s it for the 2009/10 Premier League season, which saw many ups and downs. Up next football wise, the Europa League Final, Champions League Final and then The FIFA World Cup.

That was the Real Talk Football Blog's 1st Annual awards, sign in and leave a comment below giving your opinion. Let me know who you think should be on the list and who shouldn’t.

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