Football365’s end-of-season awards

Date published: Tuesday 17th May 2016 8:35 - Daniel Storey

Player of the season: N’Golo Kante. The best player for the best club, and the true heartbeat of Leicester’s team.

Honourable mentions – Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy.


Young player of the season: Dele Alli. We’ve got no time for players who are 23 when footballers are peaking at an increasingly young age, but Alli might still have won this award anyway. This was heart-warming proof that a) England does have some talent and b) so do Football League academies. Until Premier League clubs inevitably pillage them over the next half decade, at least.

Honourable mentions: Anthony Martial, Hector Bellerin, Marcus Rashford.


Manager of the season: Claudio Ranieri. Well, who else? Title winner against the most ludicrous of odds, and yet still managed to make everyone like him at the end. It’s an unprecedented combination.

Honourable mentions: Mauricio Pochettino, Slaven Bilic, Ronald Koeman, Eddie Howe.


Worst manager of the season: Steve McClaren. Already drinking in the last-chance saloon, McClaren dropped his glass, vomited on the floor and got led out by the bouncers.

Honourable mentions: Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde, Garry Monk, Dick Advocaat, Gary Neville.


Goalkeeper of the season: David de Gea


Defender of the season: Toby Alderweireld


Defensive midfielder of the season: N’Golo Kante


Attacking midfielder of the season: Riyad Mahrez


Striker of the season: Jamie Vardy


Game of the season: Manchester City 1-3 Leicester City. ‘Actually, they really f**king could do this’.

Honourable mentions: Norwich 4-5 Liverpool, West Ham 3-2 Manchester United, Everton 3-4 Stoke.


Worst game of the season: Manchester City 0-0 Dynamo Kiev. Fully understandable from City’s point of view after victory in the first leg, but my it was dull.


Goal of the season: Eden Hazard vs Tottenham. Long-range strikes are lovely, but for the best goal of the season you need something more than a wonderful hit from distance.

Honourable mentions: Dele Alli vs Crystal Palace, Jamie Vardy vs Liverpool, Cuco Martina vs Arsenal, Xherdan Shaqiri vs Everton.


Best signing: N’Golo Kante. Because if you win the best player award…

Honourable mentions: Toby Alderweireld, Virgil van Dijk, Anthony Martial, Dimitri Payet.


Worst signing: Oumar Niasse. Everton’s third most expensive signing in history, bought to relieve the pressure on Romelu Lukaku. For £13.5m, Everton got 142 minutes and one shot on target.


Individual achievement of the season: Jamie Vardy scoring in 11 consecutive games to break the Premier League record. Just don’t tell Jimmy Dunne.


Biggest disappointment: Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea. If blue was the colour in 2014/15, blue was the mood this season. It took the Premier League champions until December 19 to pass the 15-point mark.


Dick move of the season: The attacks on referee Jon Moss from social media and supporters were predictable, but the almost gleeful reactions from former referees left a sour taste. Particularly when the most vocal critic once gave a player three yellow cards in a World Cup match. Reminder: Players make just as many mistakes as officials, and are far more handsomely paid for the privilege.


Fraud of the season: Pep Guardiola. Sorry pal, but anyone that doesn’t win every trophy is automatically a failure.


Best pundit: Jermaine Jenas. Young enough to know how players work, articulate enough to express his point, calm enough not to believe shouting loudly is the key to good punditry.


Hero of the season: Mike Dean. Never knowingly under-acting. Here, he gives the look of the mother of one six-year-old boy to the mother of a second six-year-old boy regarding the unruly behaviour of a third six-year-old boy, whose mother works shifts and so sends the eldest brother to pick him up from school. And nails it, naturally.


Chant of the season: “Where were you when you were shit?” from Chelsea’s fans to their players after going 2-0 up against Sunderland following the departure of Jose Mourinho was nice. Leicester supporters also deserve points for their “we are staying up” boasts when top of the league.


Image of the season: Jose Mourinho sat glumly in the Upton Park directors box, as all those around him celebrate a late winner.

Honourable mention: Alexander Mitrovic starring in a Geordie superhero movie.


Celebration of the season: The outrage caused by Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side saluting the Kop after a draw against West Brom was pretty funny. Marks too go to Jason Puncheon, for we love a player doing actual tears.


Clubman of the year: Gabby Agbonlahor. Aston Villa’s club captain truly did lead by example. Ended the season suspended for going out on the piss after Villa’s relegation and holed up in a caravan with his son. All that’s left is to drive to Dundee while scoffing Toblerone.


Outburst of the season: There could only be one, Louis “Fat man” van Gaal. The frankly weird non-existent ‘points vs points’ challenge might have made it more weird, but Van Gaal’s comments really were pretty shitty.


Ridiculous statistic of the season: Jack Grealish had been touted as Aston Villa’s next big thing. He played in 16 league games in 2015/16, and lost every single one.


Young conductor of the year award: Tim Sherwood.


Humbling of the season: Riyad Mahrez on Philipp Wollscheid


Iago Aspas award for services to set-pieces: Robert Huth, for *that* free-kick.


Pre-match warm-up of the season: Eddie Smart. It’s the initial look to camera that makes it.


Banner of the season: ‘The 3 rats. Iazzard Cesl And Costa’


Famous last words: “The objective is top eight and to win a trophy” – Steve McClaren.


Roberto Martinez quote of the season: “I think you do not have a better English player. Technically, he is as good as you get. The way he executes, how he reads the game, for me he is one of the most sensational you are going to see in Premier League history. I wouldn’t sell him for any money in the current market.”

He was talking about Tom Cleverley.


Administrative error of the season: Manchester United’s broken fax machine/kidnap of David de Gea.

Honourable mention: Manchester United’s security company.


Scaredy-cat of the season: Dimitri Payet. If you’re terrified of bubbles, don’t join West Ham.


Footballer tweet of the season: Joleon Lescott’s arse cheek-induced Twitter gaffe. If only his legs were so dextrous.


Revealing quote of the season: “Every human being who is grabbed by the hair, only with sex masochism, then it is allowed – but not in other situations” – Louis van Gaal’s take on Robert Huth’s clash with Marouane Fellaini.


‘Yeah, I’ve judged the mood correctly here’ of the season: “Now it’s confirmed, maybe it’s a weight off the shoulders.” Joleon Lescott’s reaction to relegation went down well with Villa’s fans.


‘Alright Tom Daley’ of the season: Louis van Gaal’s dive to the floor at Old Trafford. When you’re the flamboyant one in an argument with Mike Dean, things have gone well.


Newspaper column of the season: Very recent, but not sure anything could beat Martin Samuel talking about caning it, central European customs and spraying Chinese hostesses full in the face.


Pass me my abacus column of the season: ‘Edwards encourages staff to use his nickname ‘Eddie’, giving a matey feel to the working environment. It is understood Rodgers has another name for him.

‘The committee have yet to explain how they came up with the figure of £29million to sign Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim, who finished eighth in the Bundesliga last season. Divock Origi, billed as ‘a world-class talent’ by Rodgers when he was signed from Lille, could not even come off the bench in the club’s last two league games. There are countless other errors.

‘The increasing influence of analysts, young men who have no experience of scouting or recruiting players, has meant the end of the road for good football men. Instead a new breed sits in air-conditioned offices, cutting up videos from matches all over the world and burying their heads in the stats’ – The then-Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton, who prefers to open a window or just stay hot like a proper football man.


Best moment: April 26, 2016. Finally, justice for the 96.


Daniel Storey

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