The Season that was

I guess it’s quite safe to call this the most exciting season yet. For one the verdict came in long before GW38. Tears were shed by the three teams that were below the red line, a satisfactory grin was evident by Arsenal for the mere fact that they would be finishing above Spurs yet again and the now all too familiar sight, United out of the champions league. But I guess the most incredible story is the Foxes’, they actually did it! And to think they did it using fringe players. They almost made me reconsider my position as regards fairy tales and miracles… almost ….. Almost.

morgan
he finally gets to kiss it

It’s for this reason that I decided to do an end of the season review in a different way. Most of my readers know my stance as regards who should have won the PL trophy. So to avoid being biased I got hold of some of the most enthusiastic people about football and got their views as regards a number of categories. Off we go!

BEST MANAGER

Sam Mulei

Claudio Ranieri

Geoffrey Koech

Claudio Ranieri

Brian Moseti

Mauricio Pochettino

Hanaan Osman

Claudio Ranieri

Eugene Barasa

Claudio Ranieri

Ajawin Lahm

Claudio Ranieri

Peter Mumu

Claudio Ranieri

Antoe Rottoh

Claudio Ranieri

Calvin Njagi

Claudio Ranieri

Ken Matiba

Mauricio Pochettino

Aloha

It’s clearly obvious why most of them chose Ranieri. After all, he did get silverware ey? And along the way captured the hearts of millions across the globe with their unlikely story. However I’m with Ken and Brian on this one. The man in Spurs’ dugout deserves it. Poch devised a very intricate style of play at the white Hart Lane, employing some of the best total football techniques ever seen in the premier league. He also did it using a bunch of very young players. This showed the belief that he’s instilled in the young ones and it is for that reason that a good chunk of them are going to be on England’s first eleven for the Euros.

claudio
Where they first got it right.

 

BEST PLAYER

Sam Mulei

Riyad Mahrez

Geoffrey Koech

Riyad Mahrez

Brian Moseti

Riyad Mahrez

Hanaan Osman

Riyad Mahrez

Eugene Barasa

Riyad Mahrez

Ajawin Lahm

Riyad Mahrez

Peter Mumu

Riyad Mahrez

Antoe Rottoh

Riyad Mahrez/Dimitri Payet

Calvin Njagi

Riyad Mahrez

Ken Matiba

Riyad Mahrez

Aloha

This has to be the most obvious of them all.  Not much was known of the Algerian who was got from Le Havre for 400,000. However, 38 Games, 17 Goals and 11 Assists later, no European club won’t be blessed to have him! His dazzling foot works have put defenders to shame. His pinpoint passes have been a blessing for Jamie Vardy and his range of vision is just impeccable. Whether he stays is a completely different story altogether.

Mahrez

 

BEST GOAL

Sam Mulei

Dele Alli against Crystal Palace

Geoffrey Koech

Dimitri Payet against Crystal Palace

payet ill

Brian Moseti

Jamie Vardy against Liverpool

Hanaan Osman

Dele Alli against Crystal Palace

Eugene Barasa

Eden Hazard against Tottenham

Ajawin Lahm

Christian Benteke against Man United

Peter Mumu

Jamie Vardy against Liverpool

Antoe Rottoh

Harry Kane against Arsenal

Calvin Njagi

Jamie Vardy against Liverpool

Ken Matiba

Jamie Vardy against Liverpool

Aloha

One of the toughest categories for me. I’ve always been a lover of a good piece of skill and instinct. Be it Payet’s up and down curler against Crystal palace that seemed to defy, at least for two seconds, the very laws of gravity, Vardy’s half volley that sent Mignolet reeling on his rear end, Benteke’s acrobatic scissor that rifled past De Gea or Harry Kane’s sublime finish that caused the whole world to erupt but if your heart cannot be set alight by a teenage boy controlling a cushioned header, takes another touch to take Jedinak out of the equation before lashing a ferocious volley past Hennessey from 25 yards out, then you  simply have no heart.

alli

 

BEST GAME

Sam Mulei

Everton V Stoke. The game had it all. It’s a seven goal thriller in the premier league, come on! But what sets it apart is Shaqiri’s second goal. To attempt that kind of skill while at full sprint and just clip the ball over Howard from 18 yards out is what the word sublime was created for.

shaqiriscores

Geoffrey Koech

Arsenal V Leicester. I probably chose this game because we are just about the only side who got the better of the foxes both home and away. For once, Leicester style of play found its match. Sanchez’s match ball was just the peach of it all.

Brian Moseti

Norwich V Liverpool. No words needed. Just have a look at the time stamp on the goals and that tells it all.

Hanaan Osman

Chelsea V Tottenham. Perhaps my most satisfying moment as a Spurs’ opposer. Hazard’s brilliant leveler sparks scenes of violence from the Spurs players. Their reaction was akin to children (wait…. Aren’t they?) In a playground. Still buzzing we piped them for second place.

Eugene Barasa

Newcastle V Tottenham. The score line was really shocking considering the positions in the league of both teams but for once Newcastle showed us that never say die attitude they’ve always possessed, albeit for the last time.

Ajawin Lahm

Norwich V Liverpool. The atmosphere was buzzing and Lallana’s half volley to seal the three points was just awesome. Most pulsating game for me as a neutral.

Peter Mumu

Liverpool V Arsenal. Four goals in 25 minutes just set the tone of how much was at stake for both clubs. Arsenal thought they had wrapped things up but the Welsh Xavi had other ideas netting the equalizer late on. Firmino’s second was an absolute beauty.

Antoe Rottoh

Newcastle V Tottenham. A first hand show of just how much teamwork can count. Newcastle pulled a Leicester though a little too late.

Calvin Njagi

Norwich V Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s spectacles taking part in the celebrations did it for me.

klopp

Ken Matiba

Manchester City V Leicester. Mahrez slaloming through that defense like it didn’t exist, Huth being on a hat trick and Vardy reminding the City fans of the score line. What’s not to like?

vardy

Aloha

I had the unfortunate experience of traveling during the Norwich v Liverpool game and the commentator was going crazy on the radio. Watching the re run made it feel as though I hadn’t missed a thing and the man was right to scream his head off. Goals Galore.

 

BEST SIGNING

Sam Mulei

Dele Alli

Geoffrey Koech

Dimitri Payet

Brian Moseti

Dele Alli

Hanaan Osman

Petr Cech

Eugene Barasa

N’Golo Kante

Ajawin Lahm

Dimitri Payet

Peter Mumu

N’Golo Kante

Antoe Rottoh

N’Golo Kante

Calvin Njagi

Dimitri Payet/ Anthony Martial

Ken Matiba

Wabi Khazri/ N’Golo Kante

Aloha

N’Golo Kante nicks it for me with Martial a close second. The 5.6m signing from French 2nd division side was a bargain! He’s lived far and beyond his price tag by making the most tackles and interceptions in the division. His relentless work rate is just amazing. As Steve Walsh accurately described Leicester’s setup, “We have Drinkwater in the middle and N’Golo kante on either side.”

kante.jpg

 

FLOP OF THE SEASON

Sam Mulei

Theo Walcott

Geoffrey Koech

Memphis Depay

Brian Moseti

Oumar Niasse

Hanaan Osman

Raheem Sterling

Eugene Barasa

Louis Van Gaal

Ajawin Lahm

Eden Hazard

Peter Mumu

Jose Mourinho

Antoe Rottoh

Eden Hazard/Memphis Depay

Calvin Njagi

Falcao… ha-ha?

Ken Matiba

Arsene Wenger/Memphis Depay

Aloha

Depay makes it to a host of lists but Eden Hazard is my pick. You can’t go masquerading for about 35 games and show up in the last minute and expect all of us to join your stupid bandwagon. Then that whole ‘world class’ tag suddenly appeared before his name again. Consistency is the word and Hazard was miles away from that. Remember when Jose referred to him as better than Cristiano? Dare I say the most flaccid reigning player of the year ever? Barney Ronay certainly thinks so.

hazard
Still no.

 

SURPRISE OF THE SEASON

Sam Mulei

Alex iwobi

Geoffrey Koech

Memphis Depay

Brian Moseti

Vardy breaking Ruud’s record. And for it to be done against United. I expect the Reds to do our old boy a favor.

Hanaan Osman

Hazard’s slump. I’m still yet to find the words to describe it.

Eugene Barasa

Sunderland’s fight back. In December, the future looked bleak for the Black Cats but a managerial change and wise business is January have rescued the Black Cats from relegation at the expense of their Tyneside counterparts. They have only spent 38 days out of the relegation zone this season and preserved Big Sam’s status quo of having never been relegated.

Ajawin Lahm

Divock Origi. Took to pressure like a duck to water and delivered memorable moments in the process.

Peter Mumu

Leicester/Chelsea. To sum it up, when the season started, Leicester is where Chelsea hoped to be at the start of the end of the season and Chelsea is where Leicester hoped to be at the end of the season. For tables to turn like this, was shocking to say the least.

Antoe Rottoh

Dele Alli. There’s always something about lads who score on their PL debut. However I knew there was more to him when he also netted in his senior Int’l debut. The lads composure and skill has been amazing as well as his versatility. Should work on his temperament though.

Calvin Njagi

Marcus Rashford. Brought on when the team had no one to look up to and has been a fairytale ever since. A brace in his European debut, a brace in his PL debut and the winner in his Derby debut. Bright doesn’t even begin to describe this lad’s future.

Ken Matiba

Kasper Schmeichel. Vardy’s and Mahrez’s names will be sung all round but kas definitely caught my eye. On the rare moments when the Foxes’ backline was breached, he still stood strong and kept them in it. He’s made crucial saves and most recently is the big left hand keeping out Jese Lingard’s strike which would have put the game beyond Leicester.

Aloha

Daley Blind. I will actually put him here because there is actually evidence of me admonishing him as the ideal partner to Chris Smalling. However 35 games later and Blind has been one of the stand out players this season. In another average and disappointment filled season, the Netherlands’ captain rose up and played for the badge. Given he is not vertically gifted, one would wonder how he dealt with the likes of Lukaku and Benteke. He’s played against Lukaku about four times this season and no one remembers what the big Belgian did in any of those games. He was constantly out muscled by Blind. Blind also had really good tackles and shadowed DDG expertly. And the few times he was gifted with acres of space, he gave us Scholes-esque passes that were a joy to our forwards although more often than not they didn’t return the favor.

 

All in all this has been a very lively season. There was no game worth missing and we fell in love with the game even more. We can’t wait for August!!

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4 thoughts on “The Season that was

  1. Thats good though I differ in most aspects like my best coach was Ronald Koeman, otherwise it is a good article.

    Like

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