I mean, yeah. I don’t like it, but the Premier League is by far the most financially dominant league in the world, and it’s got some top players to match. Let’s see who the pick of the bunch were.
Tom Starke Award: Best Goalkeeper
The race wasn’t exactly tight, the winner of the best goalkeeper award being rather obviously Brentford’s David Raya!
Raya was fantastic at shot-stopping and even better in build-up, the base of all of Brentford’s play both on and off the ball. I wish Bayern Munich would’ve looked to buy him as the long-term successor, but it seems the world class Spaniard is set to move to London and play for Tottenham Hotspur.
Dante Award: Best Defender
This award was a lot more competitive, with players such as Arsenal’s William Saliba, Manchester City’s Rúben Dias, and Newcastle United’s Sven Botman, but ultimately the award must go to Botman’s teammate, Kieran Trippier!
Trippier was beyond world class, he has been one of the best players in Europe in any position. Trippier’s defensive solidity was crucial to Newcastle’s flat defense off the ball, and his ability to aid build-up from deep was crucial to the team’s play. On top of all that, Trippier’s runs forward created crucial width down the right, also allowing the right winger to tuck in, and Trippier added to his ability to create chances by being a direct set piece threat. A top player.
Xabi Alonso Award: Best Midfielder
A number of players ran this one close too, including Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, Brighton & Hove’s Solly March and of course Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, but in the end the Xabi Alonso award simply must go to Arsenal’s Martin Ødegaard!
De Bruyne may have been more productive in a traditional sense, but Ødegaard was far more important to Arsenal’s team, playing as the central creator in the 4-2-3-1. Ødegaard’s ability to drop deep through the middle and play as a third midfielder allowed Arsenal to build up patiently but Ødegaard balanced it with his role as a threat in the final third, often playing the penetrative pass just before a goal when he wasn’t directly setting up the goals himself, which he did on seven occasions outside of the 15 goals he scored himself, some of which were instant classics. Anyone remember that tight dribble and tuck into the corner against Leicester City? Genuinely one of the best goals I’ve ever seen, a player at the peak of his powers in complete control of the ball at his feet.
Franck Ribéry Award: Best Attacker
A couple of players were in the running for this award, including Manchester City’s Jack Grealish and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, but it had to go to Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane!
It’s wild that an all-timer season like this from the English striker doesn’t even get the top award in England because he was simply ridiculous. In a middling Spurs team that was absent defensively, always overrun in midfield and wholly inconsistent in attack, Kane managed to bag 3 assists... alongside a 30-bomb season. To put it into perspective, this haul would have landed Kane the English Golden Boot in 23 of the Premier League’s 31 seasons, and he did it with, if I’m being honest, a terrible Spurs team, one that finished eighth. A fantastic return. Come to Bayern please Harry, I’m losing hope.
The Cyler d’Or: England’s Player of the Year
36 goals. 8 assists. The first time in Premier League history where a player has finished the season with more goals than appearances in the league. The new record-holder for the most goals in a Premier League season, and a treble-winner. It simply does not get any better than that. The winner of England’s best player award is Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
I mean really, what can I say about him that hasn’t been said already? He’s the best poacher in world football, one of the best in the air, one of the best finishers, an incredible physical specimen at 6’4” and with a top speed of 36.2 kmph, and on top of everything that makes him a top traditional number 9, he is also great at linking up play and playing in possession. He is literally the perfect player.
What do you think of our picks? Is there anyone you would’ve picked instead? Let us know in the discussion below.