What a game last night. When Leeds were a goal up I thought Derby were done and dusted. That goal before half time was huge. It changed the complexion of the match. Derby were brilliant in the second half and were thoroughly deserving of their victory. The celebrations in light of the spy gate incident were fun to see to. Seeing Frank Lampard in the PL next season would be very nice, but I get the feeling regardless of if Derby go up or not, we will see him in charge of a PL club some time next season. Anyway onto the next 5 teams...
Player of the season: Pereira
Under Claude Puel, I thought Leicester were an absolute chore to watch. They were never entertaining. His reign only merited a D grade. But under Brendon Rodgers, I found Leicester really impressive. They began playing really good football and to be honest, they have a lot of high class players. Pereira, Chilwell, Tielemans and Ndidi are just a few of the really good players this team has. Under Rodgers, we saw performances and results that were more fitting of what this team should be doing. I will be very interested to see how this team does next season. Rodgers gets a B, so overall, Leicester end with a C.
Player of the season: Van Dijk
Ah Liverpool. 97 points. 2 Golden Boot winners. Golden Glove winner. 2nd place. Best LOSERS ever. After a really, really good season where they performed fantastically and consistently, losing only the one game, they ended up second. No PL trophy yet again. Yes, Liverpool were outstanding this season coming second to arguably the best team to ever play in this league. Yet, I feel like they had a little period where they let this slip. Let me get this straight, they didn't bottle it or cock up. But to beat City, you need to make sure you don't drop any points where you should win. In a 6 game period, Liverpool went DDWDWD. 8 dropped points. The dropped points? Home to Leicester, away to West Ham, away to a depleted Manchester United and away to a struggling Everton. Liverpool will look back at this period where they probably lost the league. City were ruthless and relentless on them during this period, but Liverpool may live to regret that. Mane and Van Dijk were the main stars, while Robertson, Wijnaldum and Alexander-Arnold were also superb. I don't think Salah was as good as many make out. He went on a HUGE dry spell where he couldn't score and missed crucial chances at Goodison Park and Old Trafford. As well as that his selfishness cost Liverpool many huge opportunities. He scored 2 goals against the top 6 all season, one of them a penalty. All his goals came stat padding against weaker teams. He knows how to score against the weaker team, but I don't think his season is as impressive as his stats make out. Disappointment for Liverpool, but they will have their eyes on the Champions League final.
Player of the season: Bernardo Silva
The greatest Premier League team ever seen. But that's what happens when you spend billions. It's easy to buy the best of the best. They have a good coach too. Bit tactically inept as we see in Europe. But as I said, that doesn't matter when you spend all that money to build the biggest and best squad for the league. Their bench would be good enough to get top 4. Gundogan, Sane, Stones, Jesus, Mahrez all sit on the bench. It's a joke. They will dominate for years. They will win the league next year again. And probably the year after. And in Bernardo Silva they have a very special player. He works so so so hard and his ability on the ball is a treat. As Kompany said, he is a future captain of the club. Overall though, it's completely unfair and impossible to compete with the money the splash. Apparently they will go on another spree again this summer. Lovely. But what can you do. Have nothing much else to say.
Player of the season: Lindelof
Picking a player of the season for United was tough. There was no way I was giving it to Luke Shaw. Unfit but ironically a lightweight on the football pitch. United have been nothing short of pathetic this season. Aside from a little spell in the middle of the season where they kept winning is all that stopped it from being an E. The players performed disgustingly, with the most tepid performance coming at Goodison Park. The management wasn't great either, with Mourinho acting strangely and like a man who didn't want to be at the club, while Ole is just not good enough. United are in real trouble for next season too. With Ole at the wheel, United are going absolutely nowhere. It's going to be a wasted season. They need to revamp the whole structure of the club from top to bottom. But the way United is run right now, I don't trust that to happen successfully.
Player of the season: Ritchie
I think Newcastle have been pretty good this season. Their run towards the second half of the season has been great, with Rondon and Ayoze being lethal together. Defensively they have been strong too, with Schar being particularly impressive. Their home form has been good too. Whenever a team comes to St James' Park, they know it is a tough place to go. I feel for Newcastle fans though. They want more. Rafa Benitez wants more. If they are given more money Rafa can push them to the next level. But when is the ownership problem going to be sorted? My man of the season for them is Ritchie. He doesn't get the accolades like Rondon or Ayoze Perez, but his job in defence has been incredible. He has gone from a winger to a left back and done unbelievably well. Attackingly he is a threat too, with wicked left foot. I think he is their unsung hero, and worthy of being player of the season.
Tomorrow, I will take a look at the final 5 teams, including Spurs and Wolves. See you then.