Manchester City Season Awards!
Please can I say, before we start, these are all personal opinions, so if you want to comment, don’t slate who I have put where, let me know what you think. Let’s keep this nice shall we?
Player of the Season – Pablo Zabaleta (Don’t slate me, it’s my opinion!)
He is a real asset to the club and I can say that I have never seen a player adapt so well to English football in his first season, bar Vincent Kompany. He’s able to adapt to a variety of positions. So sometimes ‘Sparky’ can change formation without having to make substitutions if he has a player of Pablo’s flexibility on the pitch. His performances in midfield, in arguably the most competative league in the world, have won his great praise from the fans. His work rate is phenomenal, his tackling isn’t reckless, it is controlled yet tough. Even at full back, slotting in on the left hand side for Bridge, he has shown some outstanding qualities and his superb finish against Wigan earlier this year proved what a fantastic player he can be.
Young Player of the Season – Stephen Ireland
Ireland has been a complete transformation this season, coming from nowhere having had little opportunity under Sven, to dazzle the crowds with some scintillating stuff. I think it is fair to say his phenomenal performances have come when he is playing ‘in the hole’ behind the front man. His ability to spot a pass rivals that of Xabi Alonso, and his ability to find the back of the net rivals that of Fernando Torres. he has one of the best footballing brains at the club and has boosted the team’s morale considerably. He pumps them up when the need to fight, and settles them down when they need to hold a lead. He has guaranteed himself a place in every starting XI whoever City sign. He was always a great passer of the ball, but now he makes more bursts into the box and his eye for goal has really sharpened up. His set piece deliver is consistently dangerous, his link up play is also eye catching, from defence to attack in a second. He has put in some cracking performances this season.
Most Improved Player of the Season – Nedum Onouha
This youngster has come on leaps and bounds and has developed enormously since his academy days. He plays with superb composure for a young player, calm under pressure, distributes well and has phenomenal pace and aggression in the tackle. On performances he would be my first choice centre back in the team. He is a good athlete and with Dunne alongside him, and Given behind him, it is good to see all the defenders now ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’.
Goal of the Season – Robinho ‘vs’ Arsenal – ‘The Chip’
This goal actually blew me away. Not only was it due to the audactiy, but also due to the fact he was trying to pull it off against a pretty good keeper, Almunia! The speed in which he broke was incredible and the way the ball neatly bounced and rolled gently into the back of the not showed what a tidy finish it actually was. I was astonished and amazed, yet then again, nothing can stop this boy trying things like this! Let’s hope he pulls off more stunners like this next season!
Match of the Season – City ‘vs’ Hamburg 2nd Leg
Trailing 3 – 1 from the first leg, City knew they were staring down the barrel of defeat as they took to the hallowed turf of the City of Manchester Stadium, but a monumental effort, both on the pitch from the players, and off it with the fans, will live long in the memory for those who witnessed the spectacle. Rather than anger at the end as would have been expected following a City defeat, the home supporters were content with the effort displayed and although there was disappointment, it was not of the bitter kind.
Moment of the Season – Glauber Berti coming on for 5 minutes!
I need say no more, other than what a reception he was given! Personally, I am not sure whether or not he got the joke, but nevermind! He played with spirit (which most players had lost in the 88th minute of the last game of the season) and he showed real guts! Also, may I add…what a neatly taken throw in!
The Dissapointment of the Season – Micah Richards
Micah has had a very mixed season. he has played some decent stuff at times, mainly towards the end of the season, yet at other times (and it pains me to say it as I am a fan) he has been abysmal. There was a serious lack of apparent committment half way through the season, wherre he clearly could not be bothered. This was clear against Hamburg where he was at fault for their third goal. He always began to run out of steam, or never be willing to put his body on the line (as we saw last season). I am sure however that he will work hard over the summer and get back to his best, because if he does, he is a force to be reckoned with.
Signing of the Season – Shaun Wright-Phillips!
When I say SWP, i do mean the player not the ball boy! (Those of you who go to the games will know what I am talking about!) It is absolutely brilliant to see this whizz-kid back in action and flying. His debut was insane, but nothing short of what we expect from this top young England International. It is great to see him play with confidence, something he lacked whilst at Chelsea. He is never shy to run at defenders (something we lacksed for the previous two seasons) and he does, when he catches it, have a vicious shot that swerves and dips like a Ronaldo freekick. I’m delighted he i playing for us again and at a big profit too! He has scored some crackers, notably his goal against Pompey in the 6-0 rout. He beat David James at his enar post with a deadly shot. More next season please Shauny.
Worst Player of the Season – Gelson Fernandes
He is always kept very busy, and always runs about, but he just is not good enough for this level. His defending is pretty bad, always being brushed to the side. He is a silly little headless chicken who cannot kcik with both feet. He is always either out of position or he gives midfielders like Gerrard far too much room and you cannot afford to do that. The amount of times midefielders are able to walk into our box when he is on the pitch is incredible. He gets beaten too many times, I’m surprised he is good enough for the bench to be honest. Always negative football with Gelson, he never looks to go forward with the ball. Main culprit of silly tackling and giving the ball away.
Dark Horse of the Season! – Felipe Caicedo
Felipe always seems to score when he plays! Yes, I know they are usually tap-ins but at least he still sticks them in the back of the net, unlike Rolando Bianchi! No man should have a body like his, nevermind at the tender age of twenty! He is physical, can’t control a thing, but he still scores, and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what we need!
Best Individual Performance of the Season – Robinho ‘vs’ Stoke 3-0 OR Ireland ‘vs’ Hull 5-1
There are two performances which deserve a mention. The first is Robinho’s performance against Stoke when we beat them 3-0 and he got all three goals. It was a mesmorising display of talent for everyone to see. He scored three superb goals, all worthy of his hefty price tag! It was a scintillating show for the fans, who now adore him! The next performance was also brilliant. Stevie Ireland when we battered Hull 5-1 at home. It was a simply stunning show from the magician. He ran the show in the first half, creating all four goals, and certainly deserved his goal. It was clear what a fantastic footballer her was becoming. This acted as a catalyst which spurred him on to do greater things on and off the ball.
Save of the Season – Shay Given ‘vs’ Middlesborough from Alfonso Alves
This was simply outrageous! Alfonso Alves, a few yards out and Given somehow manages to save it! It was the sort of chance you would put your house on a striker scoring, but the reflexes of this keeper still stagger me! Top save from a top keeper. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw this. I have been trying to find a decent reply, but have been unable to get one so far. It could have been a very miserable say without this keeper being on incredible form.
Most Reliable Player of the Season – Vincent Kompany followed by Shay Given
You can always rely on this top man! He is an absolute tock and sits very comfortably infront of the back four with his also every so dependable friend Nifty Nige. He has strugn together some great games this season, even playign with several numb toes! He mixes agression with control and is exactly the sort of player we need to replace the wimpering Hamann. I am sure he will have a few more successful seasons at the club, hopefully as skipper. He is energetic and never shys away from a battle. This was evident agains Liverpool at Anfield. He was up against mighty Mascherano and the effervescent Alonso, yet he handled them with apparent ease.
The Unlucky Player of the Season – Joe Hart or Valeri Bojinov
The transfer window was Hart’s downfall. Infact, Joe had not done anything wrong at all throughout the season, yet City were leaking goals left, right and centre. He has been a rock for City, rarely if ever putting a foot wrong. Hart is the reason City were in Europe too, as he saved two penalties against FC Midtjylland. Unfortunatley he will not be involved in the England 1st team as he is just not getting the chances. Playign understudy to Given looks a huge possibility, or else it is inevitable he will be his way out.
p.s all credits for the Hamburg paragraph must go to Steven Goran Eriksson.