Yes it is the debut of the Premier League Half Season Awards! Following on from the ever popular Premier League Quarter Season Awards (which can be found here). In what has been one of the most competitive Premier League seasons ever, the nominees will be sitting on their hands with their hearts in their mouth as no award is guaranteed. So put those Christmas presents down and pick up your party hats once again as we take a stroll through our awards winners.
Previous Winner- Arsenal
This is one of many toughies because of the amount of contenders there are for the award. You could easily argue that Arsenal deserve to take the half season award like they took the quarter season one because they are top of the table, you could also say that Newcastle, Liverpool and Hull are deserving of the award because they have very much over achieved this season and I couldn’t really disagree. There can however only be one, and that one for me is Everton. At the halfway stage Everton are sitting in 4th position and are only 5 points off of top spot, as well as being above Merseyside rivals Liverpool. They’ve only lost 2 games all season, have the best defence in the league, are playing attractive football and are doing all of this under a new manager (their first for over 10 years). What Martinez has done with Everton is remarkable, he has taken a good team under David Moyes and made them better, the question is whether they can keep this form up throughout the season. If the answer is that they can, then there is no reason that they can’t be genuine contenders for the top 4, and that is a real credit to Everton the club, the players and the manager.
Previous Winner- Aaron Ramsey
It could really only be one man couldn’t it? Louis Suarez has been head and shoulders above everyone else in the league, scoring 19 goals in 14 games. To put that into context, that is 6 better than Aguero (second) and 9 better than Remy (third), add on top of that Suarez’s 5 assists (joint 6th in league) and he has been the complete player. Something that should also be taken into consideration is that Suarez missed the first five games of the season, and he is playing in an average Liverpool side. If it was not for Suarez who knows where Liverpool would be in the league, but they certainly wouldn’t have been top at Christmas. Suarez has been excellent this season and is more than deserving of this award this half season.
Previous Winner- Mauricio Pochettino
This award could easily have been won by the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino, Roberto Martinez or Steve Bruce but I think that the man that has been the real standout this season is Alan Pardew. I almost gave this award to Martinez because he has done such an excellent job at Everton, but the job that Pardew has done in the mad house that is Newcastle United is truly remarkable. After losing 4-0 to Man City on the first day of the season it looked like Pardew’s time at the club was running thin and he might not see the first month of the season out, Pardew has in turn taken that same team that looked totally disjointed and has them sitting in 8th in the league. Consider how impressive the transformation of Newcastle is from last season to this year, they finished 16th last year and were relegation struggles and this year they are 8th in the league only 4 points off of the top 4 and they don’t look out of position by any means at all. Newcastle’s improvement from last year and because he works under such unsteady conditions make Alan Pardew the right man for the best manager of the half season.
Previous Winner- Artur Boruc
It is always tough to pick the best goalkeeper because how to you measure success? Is it by clean sheets, save percentage or lack of mistakes? In truth it is a mix of the three. I think that the Premier League has an immense depth of quality at the goalkeeping position, with Allan McGregor, David Marshall, Artur Boruc and Asmir Begovic all being unlucky to not pick up the award, but for me one keeper has this season been head and shoulders above all the others, and that man is Tim Howard. Not only has Howard only let in 16 goals in 18 games, he leads the league with 8 clean sheets and also has the most penalties saved this season at 2. The only blot on Howard’s copy book this season is the red card he received against Sunderland which ultimately cost Everton the game, but despite this he has still been the league’s standout goalkeeper at the half way stage.
Previous Winner- Dejan Lovren
Similarly to the goalkeeping problem, how does one measure a defender? It is really hard, so I’ll give it to the player which I think has been excelling defensively all season for his team, Mathieu Debuchy. I think that the other two outstanding defenders this season have been Seamus Coleman (who so nearly won the award) and Dejan Lovren. I chose Debuchy however because both defensively and in attack he has been a huge part of a successful Newcastle team. When Newcastle signed Debuchy originally I remember being surprised because I thought he could have done much better, and it wouldn’t surprise me in anyway at all if he was no longer at the club at the start of next season.
Previous Winner- Aaron Ramsey
Although he lost out on the best player award to the excellent Luis Suarez, Aaron Ramsey still manages to retain his best midfielder award at the halfway mark. Although Ramsey’s stats in the second quarter of the season aren’t nearly as impressive as they were in the first half of the year, they still make very nice reading if you are an Arsenal fan; 8 goals and 6 assists. He is in the top 10 of each category and without him Arsenal look like they are a different team. Ozil may grab all the headlines but Ramsey has truly been the star of Arsenal’s midfield this season.
Previous Winner- Sergio Aguero
Not really shocking but the winner of the best striker is Luis Suarez for the reasons which were stated when he won the best player award.
Previous Winner- Dejan Lovren
I gave the award to Dejan Lovren at the quarter season mark and I’ll give it to him again at the half season mark for the same reasons. The two players which I feel have pushed Lovren the furthest for the award are Tom Huddlestone and Allan McGregor both of whom have been massive parts of Hull’s over achieving this season.
Best Young Player
I didn’t do this award in my quarter season awards but decided to add it in for the half way ones because there are a number of good young players who deserve recognition for their play and impact this season. For me there are three outstanding candidates for this award; they are Adnan Januzaj, Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw. Januzaj has come into a Man Utd team which has struggled to have any creativity from midfield and has given them just that, Barkley looks like the future of England’s midfield with his driving runs and overall talent and Shaw has been a big part of a very good Southampton defence. It is really hard to separate the three but I do however feel that the winner should be Adnan Januzaj. My reasons for this are quite simple, I think that each have made a big impact on their respective teams (Barkley especially to the extent they don’t look the same team without him) but making a big impact on Southampton and Everton isn’t the same as having a big impact at Manchester United. Whether Utd have been good or not this season is irrelevant because they are still the biggest club in the country and you know only truly special talents breakthrough at 18 and have such a large impact on the first team as Januzaj has.
Previous Winner- Southampton
I could have went for many things for the biggest surprise of the season; with Southampton and Newcastle’s form, Steve Clarke’s sacking, Hull’s points tally or that Vincent Tan is not the Cardiff manager all being contenders, however one moment was a bigger surprise for me than anything else, and that was Nicklas Bendtner scoring against Hull. It was a big surprise when Bendtner actually started in that game, with many people asking ‘what the hell is Wenger doing?’ but when Bendtner then went on and scored the opener everyone was left gobsmacked. Truly a deserving winner of the biggest surprise award.
Nicklas Bendtner Scores Against Hull
Game of the Season
Previous Winner- Cardiff 3 – 2 Man City
I said at the quarter season awards that I felt this was a hard award to give out because naturally I haven’t seen every game this season, so the award is based upon games which I have watched live. With that in mind I get the feeling that the game that should win this is the 3-3 draw between Liverpool and Everton; however I didn’t see the game so feel it isn’t truly fair to give it to this. Due to this I still think that the best game I have seen this season is Cardiff 3 – 2 Man City for the same reasons as I said in the quarter season awards.
Cardiff 3 – 2 Man City
GK- Tim Howard Artur Boruc
RB- Mathieu Debuchy Mathieu Debuchy
CB- Dejan Lovren Dejan Lovren
CB- Phil Jagielka Michael Dawson
LB- Leighton Baines Leighton Baines
RM- Adam Lallana Andros Townsend
CM- Aaron Ramsey Aaron Ramsey
LM- Eden Hazard Mesut Ozil
AM- Wayne Rooney David Silva
ST- Sergio Aguero Sergio Aguero
ST- Luis Suarez Olivier Giroud
So there you have it the Premier League Half Season Awards!!! What did you think of the winners? Are there any snubs on the card here of the likes which Kanye West can only imagine? Let me know and leave a comment. Plus find all the latest bm23sportsreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.