By, Kyle Gibson
Now that the English Premier League is gone, I have no idea what to do…at all. Sure I’ll find stuff to do in the summer, but if only there was some big soccer tournament that could bring soccer throughout the summer months…
If you read this blog, it’s no secret that the EPL is clearly my league of choice. From top to bottom, each team can win any match-up and no other league can say that. This season was my favorite out of 14 years of watching, with Manchester City pulling a Kevin Harvick, coming out of nowhere at the end to win the title.
Now that the season is over, I want to give out some postseason awards. Let’s do this.
Player of the Year: Luis Suarez
We weren’t sure that Suarez would be playing for Liverpool this season. After Arsenal’s $40,000,001 offer and his training in isolation over the summer, not to mention a ban to start the season for biting Branislav Ivanovic, it wasn’t looking good for the mercurial Uruguayan. However, Suarez surged and became easily the best offensive player in the EPL and perhaps world soccer, scoring 31 goals and adding 12 assists. At times, Suarez was unstoppable. Sometimes, a striker with supreme talent is called out for not working hard enough. Not Suarez. His desire to score is remarkable, as was his season.
Runner Up: Yaya Toure
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the stat now that Toure is the first midfielder since Frank Lampard to score 20 goals in an EPL season. In my estimation, Yaya is the most underrated player in the league, if not the world. His contribution and consistency for City has been so undervalued, it’s almost criminal.
Breakout Player of the Year Luke Shaw
Any team in the league could install Shaw and have a defender for years. Clubs are lining up for this guy’s long term future.
Runner Up Adam Lallana
Boy, was this guy fun to watch. It’s a shame Southampton won’t be able to keep Shaw or Lallana. It was refreshing to see so many good English players featuring for one side. Kevin Mirallas was a close consideration here as well.
Manager of the Year Tony Pulis
This was a salvage job when Pulis was hired in November to replace Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace. Where Holloway is a promotion specialist, though, Pulis shines at keeping teams away from relegation. No team has been relegated under his watch. On a shoestring budget, with a sub-par group of players, Pulis led the team from the relegation zone all the way up to 11th. With transfer funds supposedly heading his way, Pulis might be able to challenge for a top table finish next season, if he stays.
Runner Up Roberto Martinez
He is probably my favorite manager in the league, besides Giggsy 😉
I love what Martinez did with his Everton side in just one season, qualifying for Europe (Europa League) and bringing a possession based game that suited his players. Also, with loans like Garreth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, Martinez showed the same bargain hunting ability as his predecessor, David Moyes.
Worst Manager of the Year David Moyes
As a Manchester United fan, I was hoping Moyes would get a bit more time, but ultimately, the board made the right call. No one wants to be the man that follows the man and Moyes struggled to get out from under the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson. Moyes handled the job with class. He lost, but he played to win.
Runner Up Jose Mourinho
He finished third at Chelsea this year, but his smokescreens and gimmicks just did not work.
Best Transfer Wilfried Bony
It wasn’t the best season for Swansea City, but Bony was definitely a bright spot, His 16 goals (28 in all comps) came in a variety of fashions. If the club can keep him, which is unlikely, he could serve as a building block for a more stable future.
Worst Transfers of the Year Marouane Fellaini (MUFC) and Roberto Soldado (Spurs)
Presented without comment
Moment of the Year Malky Mackay refusing to resign
Vincent Tan is a crap owner. He changed the Cardiff City colors, he wore mom jeans with his jerseys and he made a terrible managerial decision that relegated his team. In December, Tan told manager Malky Mackay to either resign, or he would be fired. Mackay was in a no win situation, but somehow he came out as a winner, by strongly refusing to resign. Even though he ultimately was fired, Mackay won the admiration of fans around the globe for standing up in what he believed was right.
Fans of the Year Crystal Palace
Selhurst Park was awesome this year. Crystal Palace at home was a fortress and that is mainly in part to the awesome fans.
Runner Up Manchester United
The fans handled the David Moyes situation with class, when they could have easily booed incessantly.
Biggest Loser Norwich City
The ownership never gave Chris Hughton a fair chance as manager and firing him with only a handful of games to go is what I believe got them relegated.
Biggest Winner Us, the fans.
This year went from “Can Arsenal really win it?” to “This is Chelsea’s to lose” to “This is all but Liverpool’s” to Manchester City lifting the trophy on the last day of the season.
The boys at Southampton excited a country and played inspired soccer.
Sunderland took us on a thrilling run that resulted in survival.
Almost every game mattered and almost every game was exciting. Forget the World Cup, let’s start up the EPL again ASAP.
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