The 2022 Cylers arrive to England and the Premier League! Who of the (self-proclaimed) best league in the world will walk out of it with the honour of holding an award high?
For the uninitiated, the Cylers, short for the 2022 Cyler Awards, are the most prestigious award ceremony in the history of ever, where the only valid opinion is mine, as should be the laws of the world anyway.
Tom Starke Award: Best Goalkeeper
The award for best goalkeeper goes to... Liverpool’s Alisson!
Alisson was elite for Liverpool during their run to the Champions League final and their challenge for the Premier League title, acting as an effective fifth defender with the ball in possession and bailing the defense out time and time again despite the numerous defensive inaccuracies of everyone not named Joël Matip. During the 2022/23 season too, despite Liverpool’s massive drop in form, Alisson has only upped his game further, putting the defense on his back when even Matip’s form dipped. He has been one of the best keepers in the world, and in fashion typical to Twitter users who only watch the Premier League, has drawn comparisons to Manuel Neuer’s treble winning 2012/13 season. Never change, lads.
Dante Award: Best Defender
The award for best defender goes to... Manchester City’s João Cancelo!
Cancelo is one of the most complete players in the world. Naturally a right-back, Pep Guardiola has adapted him to an inverted left-back role masterfully. Cancelo’s range of passing with both feet is impeccable, and while his defensive technique isn’t the finest, he makes it work with his positioning and game intelligence. Cancelo forms a double pivot with Rodri when City build from the back, but he loves a bomb forward in the left half-space, and if all else fails he has the ability to launch rockets from distance into the back of the net. During the 2021/22 season he had a more primary role in chance creation due to the lack of a proper striker, but now with Erling Haaland up top, the creative unit of Manchester City can drift into new spaces and this has caused Cancelo’s role to shift to a more focal one in the build up prior to a final ball. He has not missed a step in this adaptation, shifting roles fluidly and continuing his world class form.
Honourable mention goes to Kieran Trippier who has been unbelievably good this season for Newcastle United, but I think Cancelo has been just a little bit better, as well as Cancelo’s teammate Rúben Dias who was the best pure defensive player in the league this year.
Xabi Alonso Award: Best Midfielder
The award for best midfielder goes to... Manchester City’s Rodri!
Rodri has been the other half of City’s double pivot alongside Cancelo, and has been just as good. While he has not been as adventurous going forward, Rodri’s positioning has been the base of all of Manchester City’s play. Acting as the fulcrum of attack from deep, Rodri has been the primary backwards option whenever City has played themselves into a bad position, and he is usually the one to switch play from side to side. Rodri’s range of passing is not as extravagant as his teammates’, but rather it’s the simplicity of it that makes him so important. Rather than being yet another killer ball specialist looking to pump the ball in over the top constantly, Rodri looks for safer options forward, often finding his teammates in dangerous areas without having to nick the ball over the top or through multiple players.
Franck Ribéry Award: Best Attacker
The award for best attacker goes to... Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane!
Harry Kane ended 2021 with just four Premier League goals and an assist to his name during the 2021/22 season. In the next four months, Kane would smash in thirteen goals and assist eight times, ending the season with 17 goals and nine assists. It was a ridiculous comeback after he seemed to have lost his love for North London’s white side. Kane has only continued this form with 13 goals and an assist in the 2022/23 season so far, showing that he is far from done with writing history with Spurs.
Kane is one of the most complete strikers on the planet. He is not quite as skilled on the ball as one Robert Lewandowski, but his passing ability is far beyond that of any top striker in the world. He does not sacrifice physicality, as while again he may not be as physically imposing and fast as a Robert Lewandowski or an Erling Haaland, he is still a tall man who can head well and is no slouch in the sprints. What a player.
Honourable mention must go to the aforementioned Erling Haaland. Manchester City’s latest talisman has a mind boggling 21 goals and three assists in 15 appearances. These are numbers we have literally never seen in the history of the Premier League, nothing even close to it actually. He is on track to break the Premier League scoring record with months to spare. However he was absent during the first half of the year, recovering from injury in his final months at Borussia Dortmund.
The Cyler d’Or: England’s Player of the Year
England’s Cyler d’or for 2022 goes to... Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne!
Much like Harry Kane, De Bruyne came into the year with his back against the wall. His tally for the league was just five goals and an assist, poor numbers for the player most tout as one of the greatest midfielders of all time playing in one of the most dominant teams of all time. Amongst the shouts of De Bruyne being washed up, he dug in deep and slammed in ten goals and seven assists in the second half of the league season, ending his total at 15 goals and eight assists. A casual fifteen goals from midfield.
With the coming of the 2022/23 season, De Bruyne now had a striker ahead of him to feed, and he has done so wonderfully. Adapting to a new role as the one playing the final ball — a role he should have been in anyway because his penetrative passing is the best of his generation — De Bruyne has been elite, bagging himself nine assists to go with this three goals in the league already. One of the best players of his generation, consistently churning out top drawer performances week in week out, a year after he was labelled as ‘finished’. Legend.
What do you think of my picks? Is there any major omission you would have changed? Let us know in the discussion below.