Alternative end-of-season accolades: Forget Erling Haaland and Mikel Arteta, it’s about time others got awards
There are plenty of heroes, villains, and moments from the season worth remembering, albeit with the help of the standard sport Team, here are some alternate end-of-season gongs.
Alternate Manager of the Season
Gary O’Neil. While Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Marco Silva have rightly received plenty of praise, O’Neil’s job at Bournemouth remains underappreciated.
When he took over on an interim basis in August, the Cherries had just lost 9-0 to Liverpool and looked like relegation bankers. However, O’Neil dashed expectations of comfortably escorting them to safety.
Interim manager of the season
Neil Warnock. If ever there was a season for this award it is this one and my apologies to Frank Lampard and Cristian Stellini (not really) there is only one winner.
Warnock, 74, returned to Huddersfield with the Terriers 23rd in the Championship but closed a seven-point deficit in early March to secure safety with a game to go. With Roy Hodgson, 75, also performing miracles at Crystal Palace, who said the age of dinosaurs was over?
Alternate Player of the Season
Ivan Toney. It’s no easy feat to score 20 goals in the top flight, especially in just 33 appearances (and when you’re still struggling with a betting fee).
Most seasons that tally would put the Brentford forward in contention for the Golden Boot, although Haaland, who is certain to secure the Man of the Season award, is obviously way ahead and the league’s other big player behind leaves scorers in his shadow.
owner of the season
Tony Bloom. Brighton’s main man responded to Chelsea’s poaching of Graham Potter by appointing an even better manager in De Zerbi. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold.
game of the season
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal. A great team on the way up against a (seemingly) great team on the way down. Thrilling drama and chaos right up to the last second and possibly the most crucial result in deciding the title race given how much Arsenal struggled to recover in subsequent draws against West Ham and Southampton.
Meaningless goal of the season
Eberechi Eze vs Bournemouth. Eze’s goal in Palace’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the weekend came at an impasse between two sides who are all but certain. A stunning first touch was followed by a lightning-fast finish that proved the 24-year-old’s quality in time before Gareth Southgate names an England squad this month.
Joao Palhinha. Again, Haaland is the obvious answer, but Fulham’s new signing from Sporting has established himself like a duck in water in the Premier League and has been the heartbeat of the Cottagers’ glorious season under Marco Silva. It could be difficult for them to keep the Portuguese in the summer.
Marc Cucurella. The Spaniard was no worse than some of Chelsea’s other big flops but clinches the prize because the deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge from Brighton was completely one-sided. The Seagulls initially conceded £56million, taking on loan great Levi Colwill for the season and replacing the Spaniard with Pervis Estupinan for £15million. Talk about top deals.
Best moment on the pitch
Reiss NelsonThe winner against Bournemouth. The final goal that completed Arsenal’s comeback looked like a potentially pivotal moment on the road to the title and sparked wild celebrations the likes of which the Emirates Stadium had never seen before.
Best moment off the pitch
Antonio Conteis a rant. Watching the Italian eliminate his Tottenham players after they squandered a 3-1 lead at Southampton was a captivating spectacle. Conte criticized the professionalism and character of his side in a tirade that gave the impression he was desperate to be sacked. Spurs are duly obliged.
From a player: “This season – and forgive my language – sucked.” Richarlisonwhat we all thought after Tottenham’s Champions League elimination to AC Milan.
From a manager: “Integrity and loyalty are big things to me and if those are the values you live by then you have to be strong.” I went all in here and asked other people to be all in , so I can’t be the first to run away from the ship.” QPR Chief Mick Beale on why he turned down Wolves 39 days before joining Rangers.
From an owner: “Chelsea will win… 3-0.” Blues co-owner Todd Boehly before losing 2-0 to Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/season-awards-haaland-arteta-toney-cucurella-conte-arsenal-chelsea-tottenham-b1081784.html Alternative end-of-season accolades: Forget Erling Haaland and Mikel Arteta, it’s about time others got awards