Just when you thought your life couldn’t become any more complete…the Premier League Quarter Season Awards returned!!! The award that every single player has been busting a gut to have their name taken into consideration. Not everyone can be considered the best of the best but those who do are the real winners of the world and will inherit the earth…or something like that…
Everton were very much in the mix for best team of the season, however a loss to Burnley have seen them fall behind eventual winners Liverpool. I didn’t have Liverpool making top four, in fact I would have been surprised if they would have challenged for it and despite all that they are joint first (although in reality they are third). Liverpool have played some exhilarating football which has led them to being the joint top scorers in the league. Their many attacking midfielders have been scything opposition defences to smithereens and their high press can be a joy to watch. Liverpool fans and the British press and punditry (oh wait I already said Liverpool fans…) are super excited about Liverpool’s form so far this season and rightly so, the question will be whether they will be able to maintain this level of performance throughout the season. With suspect depth and an even more suspect defence it is yet to be seen, however at the quarter season mark they are the team of the season.
A really tough category as I don’t feel that one player has stuck their head above any of their compatriots. I’ve decided to plump for Diego Costa as I feel that for his team he has had more impact than any of the other potential candidates for the award. Costa is the league’s top goal scorer with 7; he’s only added 2 assists, meaning that he has been involved in almost half of his team’s goals this season. Costa isn’t just a goal machine though as he also causes havoc in the oppositions defence, constantly winding up defenders and giving them nightmares with his physical style. Costa may not be the most talented player out there but he is incredibly effective at what he does and so far he’s been outstanding this season.
Unsurprisingly it has to be Jürgen Klopp, he’s taken a Liverpool team which doesn’t have the best talent in the world and turned them into an attacking force. He is so far vastly over delivering what is expected of him this season and has really only had one bad result this season (Burnley away). Klopp has Liverpool playing a dynamic form of football and you can tell that opposing teams are really struggling against Liverpool when they are in full swing. If he were to win the league with Liverpool this season it would be one of the great managerial performances in Premier League history.
Goalkeeper is a hard position to evaluate because it often depends on the team they play for to see how you’d measure success. Despite all of that the award goes to Tom Heaton who has had an incredibly good season so far at Burnley. Heaton may not have had many clean sheets (only 2) and he may have conceded 13 goals but he plays for a team who will often have their backs against the wall. The true evidence of this is the fact that Heaton leads the league in saves (48), impressive but when you then see that he has 15 more saves than the next highest goalkeeper. Heaton has been stepping up in a big way for Burnley all season and has won them a large number of points with his saves already.
Virgil Van Dijk picks up the quarter season award for best defender and the man has been a rock in the middle of Southampton’s defence. Van Dijk has all the tools to be a top centre back, he can play the ball out from the back, he is physically very developed, he’s good in the air and understands how to play centre back (unlike a certain John Stones). The one knock I’d have of Van Dijk is that he is sometimes prone to mistakes and rash play but he has managed to tone those down so far this season. Southampton have the second best defence in the league and Van Dijk is the star of their backline, I’m sure he won’t be there at the end of the year.
Virgil Van Dijk
I can’t believe that I’m writing this…but the winner is…Theo Walcott… It’s an incredible renaissance for Walcott who hasn’t really done anything for a number of seasons and then out of nowhere has been shit hot. The biggest mark against Walcott is that he doesn’t have an end product, well this season it couldn’t be further from the truth as he’s contributed 5 goals and 2 assists to Arsenal’s run to second. Walcott seems to have regained his fire and pace which it seemed like he had lost, if he can keep producing at the important end of the pitch then opposition full backs will be having sleepless nights as they head into the Emirates.
It is of course Diego Costa; after all he did win the best player award and has been on fiyah!
Another weird winner (I guess it’s been a bit of a weird season) is Joe Allen. Allen is your run of the mill British central midfielder, doesn’t do anything particularly special but he puts in a lot of effort and is reliable, well that was until he signed for Stoke. Stoke splashed out £13m for Allen after he had a good Euros and it seemed like they overpaid a touch, yet Allen has far exceeded his price tag. Stoke are deploying Allen much further up the pitch and Allen has really responded to the faith the manager has shown in him, no longer is it a shocker if Allen grabs a goal, in fact it’s almost getting to the extent that it’s expected.
Best Young Player
It’s incredible to think that this is Sterling’s fifth year in the league and he’s still only 21. Sterling’s been up and down over the last few years but this season he has started incredibly well. The biggest mark against Sterling is that he has a poor end product, he’s always had great dribbling skills and can scare defences with his pace but was totally useless once he got into the box, this season so far has been the total opposite. Sterling has contributed 4 goals and 2 assists so far and to relegate his season down to those stats would be unfair as Sterling was one of the main reasons for City’s good start to the season.
This may be a bit of a cheat but the award is going to Big Sam getting sacked by England after one match due to corruption sting. You could argue that this isn’t really a Premier League issue, however due to the fact that Sunderland lost their manager a week before the season started, then to see him out of the job quicker than any England manager has been sacked before is so typical of Sunderland, the team in so many ways can’t catch a break. It is weird to see a Premier League institution like Big Sam get caught up in a bung scan and the strong belief is that many other English managers are also caught up in similar dealings but the question is, how long will it be until Big Sam has another job and who will be desperate enough to make that call? We shall see.
It’s been an emotional post, we’ve all had a bit too much to drink and Vardy’s throwing up in the toilets again. Yes sadly there are many sad faces out there because we can only have so many winners and that means we have to have lots of losers, it sucks but that’s life and at least they got a nice party out of it…
So leave a comment about what you thought of the Premier League Quarter Season Awards and share your jubilation! Tell me about the snubs the winners and all other things that may be on your mind!