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Handing out prizes for the best of the 2011/12 Premier League season
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EPL Musings - The Soccerclips Awards

By prolifik on May 14th, 2012 in English Premier League Analysis 25 comments
EPL Musings - The Soccerclips Awards
Best in show - van Persie
The overall quality of this year’s iteration of England’s top flight remains open to debate – Chelsea’s unlikely run to the Champions League Final notwithstanding – but there is no doubt that the run-in to the 2011/12 season has been one of the most enthralling in recent memory. Heading into the final weekend, three major places were up for grabs: city rivals Manchester City and Manchester United were duelling for the title; Arsenal, Tottenham, and Newcastle were fighting for third place and automatic Champions League qualification; and the last relegation spot would be decided between QPR and Bolton Wanderers. Adding to the drama was the fact that City and QPR were set to face off in what was potentially must-win for both sides.  

Occasions like these often fail to live up to the hype, but the events that unfolded on Sunday blew most people’s expectations out of the water. City edged ten-man QPR 3-2 in an astonishing match that featured a trademark meltdown from R’s skipper Joey Barton and two City goals in stoppage time, including the title-clinching strike by Sergio Aguero. The result rendered United’s 1-0 victory at Sunderland academic – with the teams tied on 89 points, City’s superior goal difference carried the day. QPR, who deserved something from a spirited away performance which belied their usual ineptitude on their travels, would still secure their survival as Bolton were held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke, ending the Trotters’ 11-year stay in the Premier League.  

The race for third provided its share of thrills and spills as well. Newcastle would have needed both their counterparts to lose to even stand a chance of finishing in the top four, and slumped 3-1 at in-form Everton to rule themselves out. Spurs were in the box seat early on, with Emmanuel Adebayor notching the first goal of the day to put them 1-0 ahead against Fulham (they eventually prevailed 2-0), but a topsy-turvy encounter between West Brom and Arsenal ended with the Gunners taking all three points from the Hawthorns to hold on to third place. It meant that “St. Totteringham’s Day” – the point in the season where Arsenal confirm that they will finish ahead of arch-rivals Tottenham in the league table – came unusually late in the season, but given that for much of the season it seemed unlikely to come at all, Gunners fans won’t be quibbling. (They could even have more to chastise their Spurs counterparts for if Chelsea win in Munich, denying Tottenham a berth in the Champions League qualifiers.)  

So with 38 games completed and City crowned worthy champions, only one question remains: who will claim the top prizes at the inaugural Soccerclips Awards Show? Let’s find out…  

PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Robin van Persie (Arsenal) The Dutchman has had this one wrapped up for months thanks to his jaw-dropping goalscoring exploits – his 30 Premier League strikes tied Thierry Henry’s Arsenal record and won him the Golden Boot by a four-goal margin. With most of his fellow attackers misfiring, van Persie’s ability to convert even a hint of a chance settled numerous tight games for the Gunners, and his 11 assists further underscore his influence in the final third.
Honourable mention: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Kyle Walker (Tottenham) Afforded the chance to establish himself after a series of loan spells, the ex-Sheffield United full-back was impressive enough to claim the PFA’s version of this award. As injuries and inconsistency bedevilled winger Aaron Lennon, Walker’s searing pace and boundless energy made him a crucial source of width on the Tottenham right.
Honourable mention: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Joe Allen (Swansea)

MANAGER OF THE SEASON: Alan Pardew (Newcastle) With experienced hands like Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, and Jose Enrique departing, the Magpies were expected to struggle. Instead, Pardew brilliantly integrated newcomers like Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Davide Santon, and Papiss Cisse over the course of the season to push the Geordies within a whisker of a stunning top-four finish. Newcastle kept more clean sheets (15) than anyone outside of the top two, despite losing key defender Steven Taylor to a season-ending injury in December.
Honourable mention: Brendan Rodgers (Swansea), Paul Lambert (Norwich)

BEST SUMMER SIGNING: Michel Vorm (Swansea) At just £1.5 million from Utrecht, the Dutch international proved a huge bargain for the promoted Swans, as his supreme shot-stopping ability and sheer consistency between the posts helped form the foundation of one of the division’s stingiest defences.
Honourable mention: Demba Ba (Newcastle), Mikel Arteta (Arsenal), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), James McClean (Sunderland)

BEST WINTER SIGNING: Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) The Senegalese striker cost £10 million from Freiburg, but such was his explosive impact that the fee already looks a snip. 14 goals in 13 league games is a staggering start to life in arguably the toughest league in Europe, more so considering the quality of those strikes, which ranged from “impressive” to “breath-taking”.
Honourable mention: Nikica Jelavic (Everton), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea, loan), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham), Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

WORST SIGNING: Stewart Downing (Liverpool) What does £16 million get you these days? In the case of Downing, who joined the Reds from Aston Villa in the summer, 35 appearances without a goal or an assist. The former Boro man showed signs of promise early on, but his timidity and lack of imagination meant he soon came to symbolise a disastrous year in the transfer market for Liverpool.
Dishonourable mention: Charles N’Zogbia (Aston Villa), Roger Johnson (Wolves), Gervinho (Arsenal)

GOAL OF THE SEASON: Papiss Cisse (Newcastle) vs Chelsea with an improbably swerving half-volley that left Petr Cech helpless.
Honourable mention: Peter Crouch (Stoke) vs Manchester City, Robin van Persie (Arsenal) vs Everton, Luis Suarez (Liverpool) vs Norwich, Kyle Walker (Tottenham) vs Blackburn   

TEAM OF THE SEASON

GK – Joe Hart (Manchester City)

RB – Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
CB – Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
CB – Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle)
LB – Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham)

RM – Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
CM – Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
CM – Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
LM – David Silva (Manchester City)

ST – Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
ST – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Bench: Michel Vorm (Swansea), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
By prolifik on May 14th, 2012 in English Premier League Analysis

EPL Musings - The Soccerclips Awards
25 responses
Rania
8 Jun, 2012
Well no complaints, we got a petrty good draw, compared to what we could of gotIt will be an interesting matchup with AC with most of their players and manager saying that Barca are the only team better than them (haha) We'll show them that we are light years ahead of them, then there is the chance to shut Ibra up Not too sure about the other 2 teams, but they'll fight it out for Europa Look forward to seeing the team be in Munich
Thalita
10 Jun, 2012
Well no complaints, we got a pertty good draw, compared to what we could of gotIt will be an interesting matchup with AC with most of their players and manager saying that Barca are the only team better than them (haha) We'll show them that we are light years ahead of them, then there is the chance to shut Ibra up Not too sure about the other 2 teams, but they'll fight it out for Europa Look forward to seeing the team be in Munich
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Charles
21 Jul, 2012
hm great to see you in the top of the league hanivg a match less..if you sell coentrao for 40m then buy bale!if you dont want to spent a lot buy alex sandro wonderful talent
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Rafael
4 Aug, 2012
we cant complain too much. i was ceraitn uefa was gonna smash us with ac and $ity, so got half of it. but our group is more than manageable. ac is tough but their defense isnt too great and they will be worried playing us. we can make zlatans life a bit tough as well which makes me happy
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