352 days after the 2019/20 Premier League started, it’s finally over and it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride. There’s been a few mundane things, a few insane performances, more than a thousand plus goals scored and even more saved, so without further ado here’s the end of season awards.
Manager of the season
Jurgen Klopp broke Liverpool’s top flight, and Premier League, title drought. Sean Dyche worked miracles with a shoe-string budget at Burnley, Nuno Espirito Santo turned Wolves into a genuine contender for the top six but in the end, Chris Wilder has to win this accolade. Overlapping center-backs, finishing 9th in the Premier League, collecting 54 points and stunning the world with possibly, on paper, the weakest squad in the competition. It’s been a sensational first season back for the Blades and the world can’t wait to see what their second season brings.
Winner - Chris Wilder but only just. (Sheffield United)
Best Goal of the Season:
1034 goals scored between twenty teams over the course of 352 days, plus lockdown, so naturally there were bound to be a few stunning attempts. But in the end while Heung-Min Son, Kevin De Bruyne and Jamie Vardy all make the honourable mentions, Jordan Ayew lifts the award. Son of the great Abedi Pele, you’d expect Ayew to work something incredible and he does just that against West Ham as he danced past three defenders before beating Roberto with a perfectly weighted chip to break the deadlock and he did it in the 90th minute no less.
Winner - Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
Offensive player of the year (Big six)
Kevin De Bruyne is a creative god. That’s right, a creative god and arguably the best player in the Premier League with the evidence plentiful to prove just that. Ignore his aesthetically perfect crosses, or his effortless passing that found teammates or the fact that he could do everything. The sheer fact that De Bruyne created 136 chances this season with 104 from open play proves just how other-planetary he has been this season. Oh, and he finished the Premier League season with 20 assists for the first time since Thierry Henry did in over 17 years, alongside 11 goals only adds to his impressiveness.
Winner - Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Defensive player of the year (Big six)
Ederson may have won the Golden Glove but if there was a defensive player of the year award, it would go to Virgil Van Dijk. We all know what Netherlands international can do and being dribbled past numerous times this season hasn’t fazed the world’s best defender. Instead, he’s taken it in his stride and lead Liverpool to their first Premier League title, all the while producing more than a few breathtaking tackles and interceptions. Not to mention his impressive repertoire of passes and ability to pop up with a crucial goal only adds to his ability.
Winner - Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Offensive player of the year (everyone else)
After the season he has had, Benfica might be kicking themselves somewhere because Raul Jimenez walks away from the 2019/20 Premier League season as one of the best center-forwards in England. He might just be the best all-round center-forward in the league and that’s saying something given that it is a league with Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Roberto Firmino. 17 goals, six assists and a million yards covered thanks to an insane work-ethic that few forwards in the world possess. Add that to the fact that there seems to be nothing he can’t do and it does look like at £30 million Wolves have got themselves another gem.
Winner - Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Defensive player of the year (everyone else)
Everyone loves Sheffield United and who can blame them? But while Lord Lundstram, Oli Norwood’s aesthetic brilliance, Dean Henderson’s stunning saves and Chris Wilder stole the show, few will deny how good John Egan has been. Consistent with him missing two games all season and he finished the season as arguably the best defender in that Blades’ back three. A key part of their overlapping center-backs’ system, Egan played as the left center-back and caused problems not just defensively but offensively as well. All that and more for just the bargain fee of €4.5 million that the Blades paid Brentford in the summer of 2018.
Winner - John Egan (Sheffield United)
Rookie of the year
Mason Mount, Bukayo Sako, Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey, Neal Maupay and a few others all have a claim to this title as Rookie of the Year (Ages 22 and under only, playing his first full-season). But in the end, given his insane impact for Manchester United, it had to be Mason Greenwood. He finished last season with three Premier League appearances and one Champions League appearance. This season he became only the fourth teenager to score 17 goals in a season for Manchester United, the third player to score 10 goals aged 18 or under and the first since Michael Owen in 1997/98 season, and a knack of causing defenders and goalkeepers’ problems. Need we go on?
Winner - Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Game of the season
In a 38 game season, there are bound to be more than a few sensational ones and the 2019/20 season had more than it’s fair share. About eight, at the last count, but in the end, fabulous entertainment won out in the form of Wolves’ 3-2 win over Manchester City. It had everything from red cards, to penalties to retaken penalties to Adama Traore doing things to a comeback in the dying moments of the game. Honourable mentions go out to Sheffield 3-3 Manchester United, Liverpool 3-2 West Ham and Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City.
Winner - Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Manchester City
If you told Southampton at the start of the season, that when they paid £18 million + £2 million in add-ons to Liverpool last summer, that they’d get a 10 goal striker, they would have been happy. If you told them they would get a 15 goal striker, they’d be overjoyed. But tell them that they’d get the Silver Boot winner of the 2019/20 Premier League season with twenty-two league goals, they would have laughed in your face. But that’s what Danny Ings has proved to be, a hard-worker, a key part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team and a world class finisher.
Winner - Danny Ings (Southampton)
When stingy Mike Ashley brings in a £40 million striker, you’d expect that he’d be the next great thing since Alan Shearer. Instead, as it turns out Joelinton was anything but and through no fault of his own. Simply because he was/and still is a square peg being forced into a round hole with him seldom looking comfortable leading the line for the Magpies. There have been glimmers of quality but unless Newcastle finds a better way to use the forward, nothing will change.
Winner - Joelinton (Newcastle United)
Best save of the season
Where you have goals, you have insane saves from goalkeepers and nothing describes it as much as Dean Henderson’s second save in his triple save against Norwich City. His leap to save the first header, after a corner, was brilliant and he kept it from crossing the line but Henderson’s second save after Josip Drmic pounced on the rebound was even better. It made his third save looking nothing more than a routine stop although none of the three from that triple save was anything but extraordinary. Honourable mentions go out Tim Krul for every single save he made this season, Bernd Leno vs Manchester City and Norwich City, Hugo Lloris vs Sergio Aguero and a collection from Vincente Guaita and Martin Dubravka.
Winner - Dean Henderson's triple save vs Norwich City
Worst decision made by technology
This was supposed to be a VAR dominated part of the article but then the most reliable piece of technology the league has had this season fails. Take nothing away from Aston Villa and their battle against relegation but in all likelihood, they would have been relegated had the goal-line technology detected that Orland Nyland was indeed standing three feet inside his own goal. Instead, Hawk-Eye revealed that the impossible had happened and that the most reliable piece of tech that the Premier League had in their possession had failed. Maybe their apology might stop Bournemouth from pursuing legal action.
Winner - Goal-line technology: Aston Villa vs Sheffield United