It was painfully obvious that Eden Hazard would dominate the end of year PFA Awards ceremony, and deservedly so due to a simply wonderful season from the Belgian.
Harry Kane was also a shoe-in for the Young Player Award, one he graciously deserved too after forcing his way into Spurs and England reckoning.
However, what drove us mad at ComeOn! was the lack of surprise and predictable banality of the whole shebang. There was no award for huskiest voice (Sean Dyche, of course) or even the best goal, voted for by those who can appreciate the technique and ability of their fellow professionals.
Instead we have compiled our own list of awards that would otherwise be filed in the ‘other’ category.
Best Managerial Performance – Alan Pardew
Forgetting everything Pardew has done with Palace since his January arrival, the former Newcastle gaffer proved how good a manager he is by guiding the Magpies to mid-table obscurity. Despite his obvious heroics, Toon fans detested Mike Ashley’s second-hand man and made their feelings increasingly public. However, since the silver fox departed, Newcastle have plummeted and could be relegated this Sunday. What Pardew managed to do for half a season is nothing short of incredible.
Goal of the Season – Phil Jagielka
Merseyside derby, 90th minute, 1-0 down – centre-back rips one into the top corner from 25 yards. Magic.
Best Game – Leicester 5-3 Man United
If a match includes penalty drama, eight goals and a shock for a newly promoted side, it’s bound to be a belter, and this tie was no different. Leicester blew away Louis van Gaal’s expensively assembled, burgeoning team, despite a wonder goal from Angel Di Maria. Penalty decisions also went against United making the game a favourite with half of the Premier League, whilst a then-quite likeable Nigel Pearson took most of the plaudits.
Biggest Villain – Nigel Pearson
From tirades against his own fans to arguments with the press, Pearson has had a truly eventful season at the King Power. Add to that a scuffle with James McArthur during a situation that made Alan Pardew look like a well-behaved schoolboy and you have a series of truly shameful events, plenty of which will blur the quite incredible efforts his players made to keep the Foxes in the top flight.
Best Beard – Joe Ledley
Most Surprising Moment – Saido Mane and Yannick Bolasie hat-tricks
Two of the scrappiest hat-tricks you ever will see, the African pair made history by notching their trebles rapidly against seriously dour opposition. Bolasie, a man who had scored just four times in 100 games for Palace, grabbed three in 11 minutes whilst Mane went a few better by doing it in under three! His Premier League record will surely stand for many years to come but we don’t imagine his wife is as content with his quick finishing!
‘The Spurs Award’ for failing to meet expectations – Liverpool
Every year there is one team that enters into plenty of talk about their league position come May and ultimately finishes way short. Most years this team is Spurs, consistently failing to match their North London rivals Arsenal, but this is Liverpool’s year.
A 2nd place finish last season provoked hopes of going one further this season, whilst a return to the Champions League was met with a meek exit at the group stages. Millions of pounds were mis-spent on hopeless flops, whilst another top 4 finish never materialised. On top of that they sold their best player last season and now their new star has openly stated that he wants to leave. Oh, and the squad ruined Steven Gerrard’s finale at the club by falling short in the FA Cup and losing 3-1 to Palace on his final Anfield appearance. Disappointing on a scale worse than Spurs could ever imagine.