Thursday, May 15, 2008

HEC 2007-08 End Of Season - Awards

The annual HEC end of season awards. With so many changes in personnel this was a lot harder to pick. I'm amazed, having spent much of the season moaning about him, I've managed to give Joe Kamara two awards, while conversely there are a number of players I've really admired who haven't got any. Special mentions must go to Brede Hangeland (who despite a couple of dodgy games has looked very solid since his arrival), Danny Murphy (who has been at the heart of Roy's design for a passing team and of course scored THAT goal), Clint Dempsey (who has worked so hard all season and also finished top scorer) and Brian McBride (who was so hugely missed for most of the season but still played a big part in our success).

Player of the Season: Simon Davies - Simon has been mister consistent throughout the season. Worked hard, wherever he has been asked to play, and been responsible for much of our more fluent attacking play. (Last season: Liam Rosenior)

Young Player of Season: Elliott Omozusi - Junior retains his title. He came in at a very difficult point in the season and did exceptionally well. I think he only initially lost his spot due to injury but was then kept out of the side by the very reliable Stalteri. I'm sure Roy will be able to continue the development of one of the few success stories of our youth program. (Last season: Elliott Omozusi)

Best New Signing: Paul Konchesky - Difficult one to pick but Konch has been solid all year. (New Award)

Goal of the Season: Diomansy Kamara v Spurs - I like a spectacular goal and this has to rank up there with one of the best I've seen. Completed a remarkable come back against a Spurs team that really should have seen us off. (Last season: Clint Dempsey v Liverpool)

Moment of the Season: Diomansy Kamara's double to help turn the game at Manchester City on it's head. A game that encapsulated our season in 90 minutes. Two down and out for the count, there was a point when we were actually relegated. The team put in a phenomenal performance to turn the result around and Joe's impact on the game was immense. The moment when the impossible suddenly seemed possible again. (Last Season: Ian Pearce v Pompey)

Most Improved Player: No award - With such massive upheaval there's no player I feel has had the opportunity or time to improve. Hopefully things will be more stable under Roy. (Last season: Tomas Radzinski)

Most Disappointing Player: No award - There are players that didn't live up to my pre-season expectations, but the squad have pulled together under Roy and I don't think anyone deserves to be picked out. (Last season: Collins John)

Most Underrated Player: Aaron Hughes - A bit like Simon Davies, he goes about his business without much fuss or bother but usually puts in a good shift and rarely makes a mistake. He's been overshadowed in recent games by the towering performances of Brede Hangeland, but I think Hughes has done well all season. (Last season:Liam Rosenior)

Player Performance: Jimmy Bullard v Aston Villa - Possibly the point where things really started to turn. Jimmy was on fire at this point and put in a number of "one man team" performances. Created the equaliser then scored the winner and claimed our first three pointer under Hodgson. (Last season: Moritz Volz)

Team Performance: Away v Reading - Like last year it was a game that I missed but this was a complete performance from the whole team. We won 2-0 but might have scored more had we not found Reading's crossbar in excellent form. (Last season: Home v Arsenal)

Best Opposition: Tottenham Hotspur - Can't quite believe I've typed that, but Spurs were the team who performed best in both matches against us. They absolutely hammered us at home and yet somehow contrived to allow us back in for a spectacular point. They didn't make the same mistake in the return leg, catching us at our lowest ebb they inflicted our worst defeat of the campaign. Man United, Arsenal & Liverpool all comfortably completed doubles over us but none of them had to shift very far from first gear to do so. (Last season: Liverpool at Anfield)

Best Oppo Player: Javier Mascherano - Orchestrated an impressive performance from a second string Liverpool side and completely out foxed all our attempts to get a foothold in the game. (Last season: Henri Camara (Wigan)/Kevin Doyle (Reading))

Best Goal Celebration: The Whole Team following Danny Murphy's survival clenching goal at Fratton Park. Happy Days! (Last season: Jan Lastuvka's at West Ham)

Quote of the Year: Roy Hodgson "I Won't need to celebrate. If we win and stay in the Premier League it would bring me such satisfaction that I would happily go home and have a glass of water and read my book" - Seems to sum up everything about Roy. He is the antithesis of so many modern day managers and all the better for it.


Coach said...

Chopper - agree with nearly every award but you MUST be able to pick a most disappointing player... there are loads but here's a couple that really under performed this year. Seol Hi-Hyeon, Chris Baird and my winner Steve Davis.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you being positive, Chopper. I hate scapegoating and it's nice that you passed on the opportunity to pour scorn on those who have already had so much shit thrown their way.

Agree on Aaron Hughes too - good call.


Rob said...

good set of awards chopper and totally agree on most of them - particularly simon davies being player of the year. how people can criticise him really is beyond me

Colin said...

Good picks. I think I would be inclined to give Davies the Most Improved award too, I think he's really done a lot to make himself a better player this season compared to last.

Chopper said...

Thanks for the comments all.

Coach - I tend to think both Baird and Davis suffered from being part of the massive upheaval wrought bu Lawrie Sanchez. I suspect both could still be useful parts of Roy's squad, should he choose to retain them, but won't be surprised if both decide it's best to move on. I'd actually completely forgotten about Seol, which possibly says quite a lot.

Colin - I think you're probably right about Simon D. Again I think my memory let's me down and I can't actually remember a point when I didn't think he was great!

Bad Andy said...

Got to be Seol Ki-Hyeon or Chris Baird for worst players. And whatever happened to Eddie Johnson?
Hang on - surely the worst signing has got to be old Jari Litamen!

Chopper said...

I think Eddie will have a chance to make his mark next season. Don't know how much Jari cost us in wages but we didn't need to pay a transfer fee so I don't think it hurt having him on board. I'd still love to see him play in a Fulham shirt but that must be a very dim possibility now.

I've enjoyed you're blog as well Andy - nice to read a different angle on our season.