Wow!! What a season it has been. It surely goes down as one of the best seasons ever of the Premier League since its formation 20 years back. We witnessed some epic battles for almost every position in the league. Was it the fight to be crowned the Champions of the country or was it the fight to stay up in the Premier League we were entertained till the very last minute.
While the Blue half of Manchester celebrate their first ever league win since 1968, we have decided to review the complete season in two parts. Here is Part Two.
Player of The Season – Robin van Persie
The Arsenal skipper has been in the form of his life this season. The PFA Player of The Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year has almost single-handedly carried his team’s goal threat this season with a remarkable number of 37 goals in 47 appearances – only Theo Walcott is the other Arsenal player who has managed to score more than 10 goals this season. With Champions League football guaranteed for the next season and some good players joining the Gunners in the summer, the Dutch striker might just sign a new contract at the Emirates.
Many would have gone for Alan Pardew or Roberto Martinez for their brilliant work with Newcastle and Wigan, respectively, this season. But for me, it has to be Roberto Mancini. He has done a tremendous job at the Etihad this season. Yes, he had loads of money to spend and had the best squad in the Premier League at his disposal, but that didn’t make his job any easier. The Italian had to make the big-name players play together as a team and also, at the same time, had to deal with a lot of the big egos in Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He kept the squad motivated when United were eight points clear at the top in early April and looked like running away with the title.
Match of The Season – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal
This has been the toughest choice of all. We have witnessed so many entertaining and memorable matches this season but in the end the 10-goal thriller at Old Trafford topped them all. United inflicted total humiliation on Arsenal, who recorded their worst ever defeat since 1896. Gunners came into this match with several players in defence and midfield either injured or suspended, while Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had left the club for Barca and City respectively. Wayne Rooney was United’s inspiration with a hatrick, but Ashley Young also bagged a brace with two stunning goals. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji Sung and Nani also got their names on the score-sheet. Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie got very little consolation for the Gunners, while David De Gea saved a first half penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent-off in the second half.
Goal of The Season – Papiss Cisse (2nd Goal) v Chelsea
The Senegalese striker had already given Newcastle the lead at Stamford Bridge with a left-foot volley in the 19th minute, and when the game went into the 10 minutes of injury time, he topped that with a stunning shot from the outside of his right foot. Shola Ameobi touched down a throw into his path. The striker controlled it with his chest before striking a swerving angled shot that curved cruelly from left to right and ended up into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless.
The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena and he just edges out his compatriot and Newcastle teammate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he has had. Many players take time to settle down with their new clubs but Cisse has settled in quickly at his new club and has managed to score a record breaking 13 goals in 14 league appearances this season. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle have had such a successful season.
Liverpool paid a huge amount of £20m to get the England winger from Aston Villa in the summer. Everyone including Kenny Dalglish thought Downing could be the perfect player to get the best out of Andy Carroll, but it didn’t work out. Downing, an England hopeful and will probably always remain one, has made 36 appearances for the Reds in the league this season and has – wait for it – zero goals and zero assists to his name. Liverpool fans can argue that he was the Man of the Match in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City, but you can’t argue to the fact that he has been a complete waste of money and the flop of this season.
Team of the Season