Ten games into what has been one of the most competitive Premier League seasons in recent memory, is as good a time as any to hand out awards (theoretical awards, no trophy included) to those who have excelled so far this season. So put on your party hats and grab a piece of cake because the awards are about to be handed out.
Southampton have been excellent this season and have far exceeded expectations at the start of the season, but it is hard to look past the team that are top of the league by five points, Arsenal. After an incredibly disappointing first match loss at home to Aston Villa, Arsenal have bounced back excellently with eight wins and one draw, whilst also putting in a number of high quality performances. It isn’t surprising that Utd, City and Chelsea have struggled to find form under new management (although no one expected them to be so poor), Arsenal have been the one team who have taken advantage under an old head. One criticism about Arsenal’s league position would be that it isn’t particularly accurate due to them not playing one of the other top four teams in the league, and even the most adamant Arsenal fan would have to agree that they have had a very soft fixture list to begin the season. Despite all that Arsenal have still been the team of the season so far because you can only beat who has been put in front of you, and they have on the main done exactly that.
This is an easy one; Aaron Ramsey has been by far the class of the Premier League this season and deservedly wins the best player award. Not only is he third in goal scoring with 6 goals from central midfield (behind Sturridge and Aguero on 8), but he is also joint top of the assists table with 4 assists. Ramsey has been outstanding so far this season statistically and also with his performances on the pitch, finally looking like he is turning into the player he looked like he may when he first signed for Arsenal.
Mauricio Pochettino has turned Southampton from a team that was scrapping around the bottom of the table to a team that is challenging for a European place. Southampton play attractive possession football, with high levels of pressure and a high defensive line which has seen them pick up excellent results at both Anfield and Old Trafford so far this season. Many people were critical of Southampton when Nigel Atkins was fired and Pochettino (a man who couldn’t speak English) was put in charge, but the Southampton board must be sitting with a smug smile of satisfaction on their face and they seem to have one of the best young managers in Europe on their books. It is because of Southampton’s massive improvement on last year that Mauricio Pochettino deserves the quarter season best manager award.
The standout goalie so far this year has been the Holy Goalie himself Artur Boruc. Boruc has only conceded 4 goals in ten games which is the league’s best and the second best record in Europe’s top leagues (behind Roma). Boruc has kept an impressive six clean sheets in ten games (the second best in the league) and hasn’t had two goals scored past him in any game, making him the perfect candidate to win the best goalkeeper award.
It is always harder to give awards out to defenders because you can’t fall back on statistics to help show why they deserve to win. Despite that it isn’t surprising that it is another Southampton player who picks up the award, Dejan Lovren. Lovren has been a rock in the heart of the Southampton defence and a major part of the six clean sheets and four goals Southampton have conceded this season, plus he scored a massive goal against Man Utd to earn Southampton a big point at Old Trafford.
Quite simply put if Aaron Ramsey is the best player in the league so far and he is a midfielder then guess who is going to win the best midfielder……you got it!
Sergio Aguero takes this award due to his excellent play upfront for City this season, which has seen him grab 8 goals (in eight starts and one sub [7 goals in his last six games]) and four assists. This of course means that Aguero is top of both goal scoring and assisting in the Premier League, so nobody has created more goals than Kun (careful) Aguero, making him an easy choice for the best striker award.
There have been a number of good signings so far this season and any of Wanyama, Paulinho, Remy, Barry, Lukaku, Negredo or Ozil could easily have taken the top spot, however I’m going to give it to Dejan Lovren who has helped transform the Southampton defence into the league’s best with a number of rock solid performances, making the £8.5m Southampton paid for him look like an absolute bargain.
The biggest surprise so far this season has to be Southampton’s over exceeding pre-season expectations to the degree that they have (God I sound like a broken record here). I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Southampton have been excellent this season and don’t look at all like a team that was in the Championship less than two years ago.
Game of Season
This is a hard one to do because naturally I haven’t seen every game this season, but for me the best game of the season so far was Cardiff’s 3-2 win over Man City. The game had everything; an underdog story, Cardiff’s first ever home Premier League game and a bunch of goals. The atmosphere was rocking as City rolled into town to try and ruin the Cardiff fans party. After going 1-0 down Cardiff’s chances of winning looked very unlikely, until a Gunnarsson equaliser and a double from ex-Utd man Fraizer Campbell stepped up (with a little help from good ol’ Joe Hart) and gave Cardiff the unlikeliest of leads. A late Negredo goal made things a little tense before the final whistle gave Cardiff a famous win.
Cardiff 3 – Man City 2
GK – Artur Boruc
RB – Mathieu Debuchy
CB – Dejan Lovren
CB – Michael Dawson
LB – Leighton Baines
RM – Andros Townsend
CM – Aaron Ramsey
AM – David Silva
LM – Mesut Ozil
ST – Sergio Aguero
ST – Olivier Giroud
So there you have it the Premier League quarterly season awards!!! What did you think of the winners? Do you think we are going to have a Kanye West type situation on our hands or did I get it about right? Let me know and leave a comment. Also don’t forget to like BM23reviews on Facebook and follow BM23reviews on Twitter. Thanks for reading.