Sky Sports writers’ end-of-season verdicts: Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Christian Eriksen among the best this Premier League campaign

With another Premier League season done and dusted, our Sky Sports writers give their verdicts on the best player, manager, goal and much more…

  • Final Day Hits and Misses: Pep Guardiola gets his Sergio Aguero moment
  • Premier League trends: Young Guns, Heung-Min Son soars and ’12th man’ returns
  • ‘Outstanding, relentless’ – Pundits on Man City’s title victory

Peter Smith: Eriksen’s impressive Brentford impact

Player of the season: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

No Premier League trophy but it was another standout season from Mo Salah, who finished as joint-top scorer and top assist maker. His scoring streak in the first half of the season was on another level, with strong cases being made for him to be recognised as the best player in the world, and when the goals dried up in the second half of the campaign he continued to have an impact, setting up important goals against Man City and Villarreal.

Manager of the season: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

The fact Liverpool were on the brink of an incredible domestic treble with 15 minutes to play on the final day of the season is credit to the way Jurgen Klopp has been able to create a relentless mentality in his group of players. A 19-game unbeaten streak almost led to a sensational switch in the title race but with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup won and a Champions League final to come, it has been a superb season regardless.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jurgen Klopp reflects on a thrilling final day, with his Liverpool side narrowly missing out on the Premier League trophy by one point

Signing of the season: Christian Eriksen (Brentford)

Christian Eriksen’s return to a football pitch was a celebration in itself but the fact he was able to have such an impact on Brentford’s season adds to the incredible story of his comeback from last summer’s cardiac arrest – and is testament to his quality. With the Dane pulling the strings in midfield, Brentford won seven of the 10 games he played – they only won six of the other 28.

Also See:

  • Final Day Hits and Misses: Pep gets his Aguero moment

  • PL trends: Young Guns, Son soars and ’12th man’ returns

  • Final Premier League table

  • Get Sky Sports

  • Get NOW to stream big moments

  • Premier League top scorers & assisters

Goal of the season: Mohamed Salah vs Man City

Both games between Liverpool and Man City oozed quality and watching Salah slalom past sky blue shirts to the sound of gasps from the home crowd at Anfield before finishing into the far corner is one of my highlights of the season. A top player in peak form delivering on the big stage.

Moment of the season: Man City’s final day comeback vs Villa

Like my goal of the season, my moment of the season was also experienced in the press box at Anfield – but the action was taking place 35 miles away at the Etihad Stadium. With Man City trailing 2-0, Liverpool’s supporters were roaring their side forwards in search of a goal against Wolves which would have moved them top of the table. Then came the three swift strikes for the eventual champions. Two brilliantly-matched teams, slugging it out until the final whistle of the season.

Match of the season: Chelsea 1-4 Brentford

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win over Chelsea

Other games had a bigger bearing on the outcome of the season but this shock result had some big storylines wrapped around it, with Chelsea supporters protesting against how UK Government sanctions were impacting their club before the game and their team finally showing the strain of those off-field matters on it. As for Brentford, it was perhaps the finest win in their history, with Eriksen superb and some brilliant goals scored by the visitors after Antonio Rudiger’s thunderbolt.

Charlotte Marsh: Guimaraes has galvanised Newcastle

Player of the season: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

It is hard to overlook anyone else but Salah. He leads the way in almost every statistical attacking category – sharing the Golden Boot with Heung-Min Son – and continues to bring his best for Liverpool. While it might not always be the headline-grabbing exploits of his early seasons in red, he remains their spearhead towards continued success.

Manager of the season: Thomas Frank (Brentford)

The job Thomas Frank has done with Brentford this season is mind blowing. He has not only kept the Bees in the Premier League in their first top-flight season, but by a comfortable margin too. They were never in relegation danger and have picked up some memorable results along the way.

Signing of the season: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)

Image: Bruno Guimaraes has shone for Newcastle since his January arrival

It has not taken long for Bruno Guimaraes to have an impact at Newcastle and cement himself as a cult hero. His performances have been superb, match-winning and much-needed as the Magpies impressively pulled themselves away from what looked like an inevitable relegation battle. He has been at the forefront of that, galvanising the club – and done it all in just a few months.

Goal of the season: Rodri vs Everton

What a stunning hit it was from Rodri as he blasted home a strike from 25 yards against Everton in November. It had power, precision and perfect timing as one of the standout goals this year and he scored a similar goal against Watford later in the season too.

Moment of the season: Christian Eriksen returns with Brentford

After the heartbreaking scenes at Euro 2020, it was a highlight of the Premier League season to see Eriksen make a triumphant return to action against Newcastle in February. His performances for Brentford since have proven he is still hugely talented and Bees fans will be hoping he stays beyond this summer.

Match of the season: Man City 2-3 Tottenham

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win at Manchester City

This February encounter was one you could not take your eyes off. Two goals in added-time – a Riyad Mahrez equaliser followed by Harry Kane’s last-minute winner – was huge in both the title race and battle for the top four. The fact Kane scored twice was also a huge blow against his long-time suitors, adding extra spice to a dramatic encounter.

Nick Wright: De Bruyne and Pep inspire City triumph

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

If you had asked me a couple of months ago, the answer would have been straightforward but Salah has been usurped since then. As his form tailed off – albeit from incredible heights – Kevin De Bruyne’s exploded, the Belgian helping to propel Pep Guardiola’s side to the title.

Manager of the season: Pep Guardiola (Man City)

It helps when you can call on players like De Bruyne, of course. And when you have players of Jack Grealish’s calibre waiting in reserve. But I still have to go for the manager who won the title. When City looked like choking, he hauled them over the line, his changes instrumental in their recoveries against West Ham and Aston Villa.

Signing of the season: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

Image: Luis Diaz has had a huge impact at Liverpool

A few names spring to mind. Marc Cucurella has been a revelation for Brighton. I have loved watching Martin Odegaard at Arsenal. But one stands head and shoulders above the rest and that is Luis Diaz. What a player. What an impact. And he is only just getting started.

Goal of the season: Mateo Kovacic vs Liverpool

I usually opt for a team goal in this category but I will make an exception for Mateo Kovacic’s absolute stunner against Liverpool in January. Alisson got so much height on his punch but a back-peddling Kovacic somehow leathered it straight back at him and into the top corner. A perfect strike.

Moment of the season: Christian Eriksen’s return

The Dane made such a stunning impact at Brentford, single-handedly transforming a side fighting relegation into one competing for a top-10 finish, but it is extraordinary he has even been able to take to the pitch again after what he went through. The moment Norwich’s Brandon Williams went to berate him, only to realise who he was and hug him instead, summed up the goodwill his story has generated.

Match of the season: West Ham 2-2 Man City

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights from West Ham’s match against Manchester City in the Premier League

It was a pleasure to be at the London Stadium to cover West Ham’s recent meeting with Manchester City. Mark Noble’s send-off made for an extraordinarily-emotional occasion and the game itself was not bad either, a pulsating encounter which showcased West Ham’s ability to punch above their weight and City’s formidable powers of recovery.

Ben Grounds: Son eclipses Salah for major gong

Player of the season: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)

The surprise is that Son still somehow does not get the credit he deserves. The South Korean is constantly overlooked for the main prizes, as he was for the PFA and Premier League Player of the Season awards. But the 29-year-old would get into any side in Europe as he has been performing at a world-class level now for some time.

This was his most influential season yet – and were he on penalty duties, I am sure those who judge a player’s worth based purely on the most surface-level statistics would have a different opinion.

  • Final Premier League table | Download the Sky Sports App
  • Get NOW to stream big moments | Get Sky Sports

Manager of the season: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

It is not very often a side reaches the maximum number of games one can play in a season, but Klopp took Liverpool to the brink of a historic quadruple. The encounter with Real Madrid in the Champions League final is their 63rd match of the campaign, and Klopp has skilfully managed his squad to ensure fatigue has never been an issue. Whatever the outcome in Paris, it has been a truly remarkable year.

Signing of the season: Christian Eriksen (Brentford)

Twitter Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this. Open Privacy Options

It is the feelgood story of the season, but Eriksen has always been at pains to focus on getting his footballing career back on track rather than the chastening events of last summer and so should we. Signed as a free transfer on a short-term deal, he has fitted seamlessly into Frank’s structure at Brentford and his form lifted the Bees comfortably clear of any relegation danger.

Since Eriksen made his first start for Brentford against Norwich on March 5, only Tottenham (26), Liverpool (26) and Manchester City (24) have won more points than Frank’s side in the Premier League (22).

Indeed, Ivan Toney made a strong case for the Dane to be the club’s player of the season despite only being present for just over three months. Class is permanent.

Goal of the season: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea vs Liverpool)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s draw against Liverpool

The hardest to pick. I struggle to remember last weekend’s goals, it has been so relentless and there have been so many, but one that sticks in the memory is Kovacic’s strike against Liverpool simply because it was so unique in its execution.

Does it have a name? The Kovacic skip? The way the Croatian readjusts his feet and strikes the ball with the outside of his right boot as he is pedalling backwards. In off the post, with pace and dip worthy of the occasion. A thing of beauty.

Moment of the season: Mark Noble bids farewell to West Ham

Mr West Ham, a one-club man. Noble was met with an incredible reception for his last home game for the Hammers against Manchester City and his farewell speech was full of emotion, class and humility.

“I’ve lived every fan’s dream,” he said having made the last of his 550 appearances for his boyhood club. Noble’s unwavering loyalty is a throwback and something of a dying breed, but he was also a fine player who never forgot his roots.

Match of the season: Everton 3-2 Crystal Palace

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win against Crystal Palace

There have been some breathless encounters that meant the heart rate for the Premier League title race and quest for the Champions League still had a pulse right up until the final day of the season. Manchester City 2-3 Tottenham, Spurs 3-0 Arsenal, the Chelsea vs Liverpool tetralogy. But in years from now, perhaps the most significant came in the final week at Goodison Park.

Evertonians have endured a wretched campaign but they dragged their side back from over the canyon to relegation in the closing weeks, culminating in this famous night at the old ground. To question the pitch celebrations for staying up when the club has spent money to achieve European football is to miss the point. This was football in its rawest form.

Trailing 2-0 only to win 3-2 and secure survival? That has happened to this club before in 1994 against Wimbledon, but Everton’s No 9 heading in the winner in front of the Gwladys Street five minutes from time made this an instant Goodison classic.

Sam Blitz: Thomas Frank made it look so easy at Brentford

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

How do you stop Salah from winning the Premier League again? The answer: you have a mercurial talent like De Bruyne in your team. The Belgian star has been superb in City’s title defence this season, producing brilliant moments in front of goal to become the best all-round midfielder in the world right now. With moments such as that excellent cross for Ilkay Gundogan’s title-clinching winner against Aston Villa on the final day, he was literally the difference in the title race.

Manager of the season: Thomas Frank (Brentford)

To put Brentford’s achievement into context, they had the smallest wage budget by far with around £40m spent. The other three teams with a budget under £100m got relegated.

Frank made it look so easy in the Premier League this season. The Bees have been such a breath of fresh air to the top flight with excellent attacking football you rarely see from the promoted teams. Frank himself is entertaining in press conferences and enigmatic on the touchline – but let’s not forget Brentford took points off Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham too.

Signing of the season: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

Just when you thought Liverpool’s front line could not handle some extra spark, along came Diaz. The Colombian winger has settled in so quickly to life at Anfield, with his confidence and directness aligning perfectly with Klopp’s philosophy. The most frightening thing is Diaz is now only going to get better…

Goal of the season: Alexandre Lacazette vs Southampton

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win against Southampton in the Premier League

How football should be played. A team move that started from Aaron Ramsdale at the back, with some intricate one-touch passing from Takehiro Tomiyasu and Odegaard to release Bukayo Saka down the right – then there is Lacazette’s emphatic finish. Yes, there was some questionable Southampton defending in there but what a team goal from the Gunners.

Moment of the season: Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier stopping the game away at Newcastle

One of the unfortunate recurring themes we have seen this season is the amount of stoppages in Premier League games due to medical emergencies in the crowds – but let’s not forget the powerful moment where fans and players came together to save a life.

Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Sergio Reguilon alerted referee Andre Marriner to an incident in the Newcastle crowd back in October after a fan suffered a cardiac arrest. The awareness-raising cries from the home support suddenly made it possible for fans to help those around them, setting a precedent that has saved multiple lives among football fans this season.

Match of the season: Brentford 3-3 Liverpool

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 3-3 draw between Brentford and Liverpool

When a Premier League game actually ended up becoming like an old-fashioned cup tie. Brentford were fearless against one of the best sides in the world, in a game that really could have ended up 5-5. A result that announced Brentford’s proper arrival on the big stage – and how costly were those two dropped points for Liverpool in the title race?

Joe Shread: Potter casting a spell over Brighton

Player of the season: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Salah tops the Premier League’s goal and assist charts, with 37 goal involvements in just 35 games. But it is not just his numbers that are impressive – it is when and where he provides them. In 10 games against the rest of the ‘big six’, the Liverpool forward scored nine times and set up another four. Even though the goals have dried up slightly in recent months, Klopp has kept Salah in the team and Liverpool have kept on winning – his importance cannot be overstated.

Manager of the season: Graham Potter (Brighton)

Graham Potter has Brighton punching above their weight in the top half of the Premier League, while his ability to integrate and then improve young players is so impressive. The fact the Seagulls have a number of players catching the eye of bigger clubs is no coincidence. After helping Brighton to wins over Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United this season, it would not be a surprise to see Potter himself in line for a high-profile move in the near future.

Image: Graham Potter has had another successful season with Brighton

Signing of the season: Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace)

The most eye-catching transfers came in January, but this award should go to a player who made an impact for their side throughout the season. There were not many big names on the move last summer, which may explain why I considered Craig Dawson as a candidate for this award. However, he has been pipped by Conor Gallagher. The 22-year-old midfielder is the Eagles’ second-highest scorer and his performances have earned him his first England caps. Gallagher has the talent to establish himself back at Chelsea next season.

Goal of the season: Mohamed Salah vs Man City

As detailed above, Salah has an uncanny knack for rising to the big occasion, and there was no finer example than his stunning goal in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City at Anfield in October. Matches between City and Liverpool often have a direct impact on the destination of the Premier League title, which made Salah’s goal – a rasping finish on his ‘weaker’ right foot after he twisted the champions’ defence inside out – even more special.

Moment of the season: Christian Eriksen’s return

A one-side Newcastle win over a 10-man Brentford team will always be remembered as being the game that saw Eriksen’s return, eight months after he suffered a cardiac arrest playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020. The stadium stood as one to give Eriksen a spine-tingling reception that reflected the joy – and relief – football fans feel at seeing the midfielder back doing what he does best.

Match of the season: Man Utd 0-5 Liverpool

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win against Manchester United

Give me drama, shock and – ideally – meltdowns on and off the pitch. With this in mind, Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford in October is the undoubted match of the season. Klopp’s side embarrassed their biggest rivals in their own backyard. Liverpool ran in laughably easy goals, Paul Pogba got himself sent off and Sky Sports’ Gary Neville delivered increasingly damning verdicts on his old side from the gantry. Sensational viewing.

David Richardson: Salah strike just perfect

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

There is not a player in the Premier League who makes football look as easy as De Bruyne does. Watching the Manchester City midfielder in full flow – like his stunning hat-trick at Wolves – is simply a joy, and he has been at it all season. De Bruyne does not run, he glides. He strikes the ball cleaner than Tiger Woods’ seven-iron. He is the reason why City have pipped Liverpool to the title.

Manager of the season: Thomas Frank (Brentford)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brentford boss Thomas Frank says he is proud of the way his team performed after finishing 13th in their first season in the Premier League

If pre-season predictions were anything to go by, Brentford will have long been preparing for a return to the Championship by now. How wrong many of us were about Frank’s wonderful side, who have been a breath of fresh air in the Premier League. They have played a fearless brand of football while Norwich and Watford, who finished above them in the Championship last season, are heading back down without landing a glove.

Signing of the season: Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

Diaz looks like he has played in Klopp’s side for four years rather than just four months. The Colombian has fitted seamlessly into Liverpool’s attacking frontline allowing Klopp to rotate at will amid their fixture pile-up. Without him, Liverpool would not have been able to maintain their title charge. He is an absolute steal for an initial £37m which could rise to £49m, but Liverpool will not care about that if the 25-year-old keeps on performing as he has.

Goal of the season: Mo Salah vs Man City

This prize should not just be about the quality of the strike but also the circumstance in which it arrives. That is why Salah’s wonderful solo goal against title rivals Man City is a worthy winner. Salah danced away from three City players before leaving Aymeric Laporte in his wake and finishing brilliantly on his weaker right foot.

Moment of the season: Mark Noble’s West Ham farewell

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mark Noble speaks with Geoff Shreeves ahead of his final home game for West Ham and reflects on his time playing for his boyhood club

West Ham gave Noble the send- off he deserved at the London Stadium after 18 years of service and 549 appearances from ‘one of their own’. The 35-year-old was reduced to tears as he was joined by his wife Carly and children Honey and Lenny as he was given a guard of honour by his team-mates, their families and the club’s backroom staff.

Game of the season: Man Utd 0-5 Liverpool

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not sacked until a month later, but this was the end for the Manchester United manager. All the pre-season hope of launching a genuine title charge faded in October after just 13 minutes against rivals Liverpool, who stormed into a two-goal lead. It was 4-0 at half-time, five after 50 minutes and had Liverpool not taken mercy with Pogba sent off on the hour, then it could have been much, much worse.

Ron Walker: Return of fans has capped a great season

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

In his prime at 30, De Bruyne has plundered his way to the finest scoring season in his career with 15 goals. That is two clear of his previous best, from eight starts fewer.

His game has shifted somewhat this season; his seven assists is nothing out of the ordinary and puts him on a par with Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo but that is largely as he has been on the end of passes, rather than making them, due to City’s regular absence of a No 9. His one-man show last week at Wolves, a team we were all highlighting as a potential pitfall for the league leaders, summed it up. And I absolutely love him as a player, which always helps these choices.

Manager of the season: David Moyes (West Ham)

Image: David Moyes led West Ham to a Europa League semi final this season

Look at what David Moyes has done with a small, limited squad at the London Stadium. Already guaranteed another season in Europe before the final weekend, he has charted their path to the semi-finals of a European competition before losing to the eventual winners.

He has taken points off Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham, and all with a side including a solitary makeshift striker, who has scored one league goal since New Year’s Day. After a tough few years it is really good to see his reputation back where it was in the Everton days.

Signing of the season: Christian Eriksen (Brentford)

Maybe I am getting sucked into the romance of Brentford, but I cannot help it. Eriksen playing professional football at any level after what happened last summer is a miracle, and it makes it feel extra-special that since signing for Brentford he looks every bit the Rolls Royce midfielder he used to be.

His influence on their resurgence in the second half of the season has been slightly overstated, as the return of a number of key players has also helped, but a run of seven wins and 22 points from the 10 games since his first start is pretty conclusive.

Goal of the season: Mateo Kovacic vs Liverpool

I don’t know what to say about this goal other than Kovacic will never hit a ball sweeter in his life. A great goal from a great game. You cannot even pick too many holes in Liverpool’s defending – sometimes you just have to stand back and applaud.

Moment of the season: Kick-off in Brentford vs Arsenal on Friday Night Football

As well as the usual transfer rumour mill there was so much talk over the summer of 2021 about the logistics of getting fans back into stadiums. After more than a year away there was a lot of understandable anxiety from all sides, and an extra dimension to that opening game of the season at the Brentford Community Stadium.

But the real beauty of it was that the moment the crowd roared at kick-off in the Brentford vs Arsenal game, the difficulties of the previous 17 months took a backseat for 90 minutes.

Football is always a wonderful form of escapism but it took on another dimension that night. It reminded us what we had been missing for a year and a half, and gave us a collective belief that things were really getting back to normal.

Game of the season: Watford 4-1 Manchester United

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s win over Manchester United

My clear bias in this category comes from being at Vicarage Road to witness this game in person, and even six months on it still carries huge significance for both sides.

I had expected the reporters who regularly covered Watford to have hopes of a home victory given United’s rocky form, but because of their own dismal run they had little belief of anything other than an away win.

That made it all the more dramatic when Watford steamrollered them almost from minute one, scoring four despite missing a penalty, while United captain Harry Maguire capped a dismal day with a reckless red card.

For them, it sparked the arguably overdue end of the Solskjaer era – while it has also transpired to remain Watford’s last Premier League home win.

Richard Morgan: Noble’s Hammers send off brought a tear to the eye

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

The Belgian has been the driving force behind Man City retaining the Premier League title, contributing 15 goals and eight assists from midfield, including scoring an incredible four times at Wolves in May, with his hat-trick arriving after just 24 minutes.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ match against Manchester City

Manager of the season: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

The Liverpool boss has bounced back from what he called the hardest season of his managerial career last time around to his best ever as he kept the Reds in with a chance of a historic quadruple right until the final day of the campaign – and all this having added just a back-up centre-back in Ibrahima Konate last summer.

Signing of the season: Marc Cucurella (Brighton)

The curly-haired left wing-back joined Brighton from Getafe for just £15.4m back in August to little fanfare, but has gone on to shine in his debut campaign by the seaside. So much so, in fact, that the 23-year-old is now reportedly interesting champions Man City.

Goal of the season: Mohamed Salah vs Man City

The Liverpool forward produced a mesmeric, spellbinding solo run to split open the champions’ entire back line at Anfield in October, before finding the far corner of the net with an arrow of a shot past Ederson.

Moment of the season: Mark Noble’s Hammers send-off

The Canning Town-born midfielder brought down the curtain on his 18-year career in the East End of London with his final home game in front of an adoring West Ham faithful in May, and it was an emotional afternoon for the long-serving one-club man.

The 35-year-old entered the fray late on to a standing ovation from the London Stadium, before being given a final on-pitch farewell – flanked by his family – from team-mates and his adoring Hammers fans in a moment that brought a tear to the eye.

Match of the season: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s match with Liverpool in the Premier League.

A real pre-Christmas thriller in north London that summed up why the Premier League is the most exciting championship in the world as the high-octane contest swung one way, then the other in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Adam Smith: Final Day bonanza

Player of the season: Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne was off the boil until mid-December but his impact from that point on helped City over the line. In fact, I do not think a player has ever had quite as much of an impact between January and May. Bruno Fernandes, in his maiden Premier League season, maybe? But De Bruyne won the title this term and his powerful bursts, leadership, deliveries and net-busting finishing was, and is, simply out of this world.

Twitter Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this. Open Privacy Options

Manager of the season: Graham Potter

Obviously, Guardiola and Klopp are the best managers in the league. But, looking at bosses working miracles in tighter spaces, Patrick Vieira and Potter stand out for me. The latter has delivered sustained progression for some time now. The Seagulls’ style is morphing into that of the very top teams and signing one quality striker could trigger something quite spectacular on the south coast.

Signing of the season: Christian Eriksen

There are a few candidates in this category, but Brentford were starting to slip down the standings before the great Dane made his full debut. Eriksen slotted in seamlessly, just like he did when returning to international action, and his effortless style epitomises his world-class ability – and defies his above-average running stats. Does any other player in the division scan and deliver as effectively as him? Only one other player comes to mind – you know who. That quality, coupled with the immense talent of Toney, were instrumental in seeing the Bees home and dry.

Goal of the season: Heung-Min Son vs Leeds

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the match between Norwich and Tottenham

This game in February was packed with world-class deliveries and finishing – but nothing beats Spurs’ third and fourth goals in the 4-0 rout, which sealed Marcelo Bielsa’s exit at Leeds. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg executed a beautiful pass for Harry Kane to smash home first time. That was stunning. But the fourth goal went one step further, with Kane delivering the assist of the season from deep inside his own half for the eventual joint-Golden Boot winner, Son, to collect and finish with aplomb. Breath-taking.

Moment of the season: Final Day

The sheer quality and drama of this Premier League campaign culminated in a Final Day worthy of proper-noun status: everything was on the line in every key area of the table. Even the Golden Boot hung in the balance until the final whistle – and the Golden Glove. Shouts and screams rang out from all angles as the goals rained and the permutations unfolded – but who knows who was supporting whom amid the chaos.

Match of the season: Man City 3-2 Aston Villa

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the match between Manchester City and Aston Villa in the Premier League

For all of City’s quality and growing influence in world football, the Real Madrid result raised questions about their ability to manage games and pressure when it really counts. After all, City’s style is to build slowly and dominate over time. This game, bouncing back from two goals down to ensure destiny remained in their hands, was a sign of progression and nerve – and sets the tone for greater heights to come.

Declan Olley: Unexpected Kulusevski impact key for Spurs

Player of the season: Heung-Min Son

Tottenham would never have finished in the top four without him. To win a share of the Golden Boot on 23 goals without scoring a penalty is an incredible achievement.

What elevates Son above Salah and De Bruyne is his consistency – his longest goal drought in the Premier League this season was four games. Son is a sensational player who could play for any team in the world.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Heung-Min Son said it was a dream come true to win the Golden Boot, after scoring 23 goals alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah

Manager of the season: Thomas Frank

Considering Norwich and Watford finished above Brentford in the Championship last season and the club having one of the smallest budgets in the division, a 13th-placed finish for the Bees in their first Premier League season is remarkable – and it is all down to head coach Frank.

He has masterminded memorable results against Arsenal and Chelsea, is an extremely likeable character and approaches the game in the right way with his team an exciting and interesting watch.

Signing of the season: Dejan Kulusevski

No one could have predicted the impact the Swedish winger has had for Spurs since joining on deadline day in January – after all, he arrived with little fanfare considering he was a Plan B signing after the club missed out on Diaz.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Tottenham’s attacking trio of Harry Kane, Son and Dejan Kulusevski have formed into a formidable front three since the Swede’s arrival in January

But five months later, Kulusevski is now an instrumental part of Tottenham’s attack having been directly involved in 13 goals in his 18 league games (five goals, eight assists). His form has been key in Spurs qualifying for the Champions League. And, aged just 22, there is more to come from the on-loan Juventus forward next season.

Goal of the season: Mohamed Salah vs Man City

A special solo goal from the Liverpool forward that displayed his unique talent. Pure class from the Egyptian.

Moment of the season: Christian Eriksen’s return

The Danish midfielder’s emotional return to football just 259 days after suffering a cardiac arrest was the feelgood story of the season.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brentford midfielder Christian Eriksen and Soccer AM’s Tubes share their own stories about what they went through when they had their heart attacks and waking up in a hospital bed

His comeback is made even better considering his outstanding performances for Brentford, who have lost just two of the 10 games he has started in, with seven of those wins.

Match of the season: Man City 2-2 Liverpool

A game that lived up to the billing. The title showdown at the Etihad was football at its very best as both teams went toe-to-toe that made for a compelling watch.

Laura Hunter: No one can strike a dead ball like Ward-Prowse

Player of the season: Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)

So integral to Tottenham’s success and often overlooked. His understated demeanour speaks volumes about the way he operates – almost happy to fly below the radar. Never loquacious. 23 goals is a phenomenal return for a player who is not a central striker, and does not take penalties.

Twitter Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this. Open Privacy Options

He is also a scorer of crucial goals – only twice has the South Korean hit the net in defeats this season. He is a big game player who is thriving under the stewardship of Antonio Conte and deserves to share the Golden Boot with Salah this term, even if the Egyptian is often the one who attracts most of the headlines.

Manager of the season: Thomas Frank (Brentford)

Frank has been a revelation this season and a great addition to the Premier League. A mid-table finish on one of the division’s most modest budgets is commendable, but doing so by playing attractive, exciting football, deserves equal recognition.

Beating Arsenal on the opening night set the tone for the season and signalled a purposeful arrival to the top flight. Brentford’s breath-taking win over Chelsea in April was also a highlight. Despite a mid-season dip, if assessing Frank’s contribution to the league across the season, it has been nothing short of remarkable – not to mention the genius behind Eriksen’s January signing.

Signing of the season: Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham)

Image: Dejan Kulusevski has shone for Tottenham on loan from Juventus

Tottenham’s missing link. Kulusevski has been an inspired addition to Conte’s already abundant frontline – a perfect garnish to the Son-Kane cocktail. Despite not making his full debut until February, the Swede has registered more assists (eight) than any other player in 2022. He has played a key role in Spurs clinching Champions League football at the expense of Arsenal.

Goal of the season: James Ward-Prowse vs Wolves

Majesty. A goal that many will not remember, because Southampton lost the game 3-1, but a strike of the highest quality. There are few players on the planet who can strike a dead ball like James Ward-Prowse. His technique is almost always exquisite, but this example offered something not yet seen from the Saints’ captain. He is like a free-kick cheat code. Criminally, it did not win January Goal of the Month, thanks to Kovavic’s strike against Liverpool – I suppose that is not a bad goal to lose out to.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win over Southampton

Moment of the season: Christian Eriksen vs Chelsea

One of this season’s most wholesome stories centres around the re-emergence of Eriksen. His strike against Chelsea was hardly vintage, but as emotional moments go, it is right up there. The crescendo of a fairytale comeback for the Dane. His presence has been the driving force behind much of Brentford’s success in the second part of the season, but that goal, beyond being a tearjerker, was a poignant moment for the whole of the footballing world after witnessing the trauma of Eriksen’s collapse at last summer’s Euros. It was as if watching Eriksen score allowed football to collectively breathe a very welcome sigh of relief. He will be high on the watch list of many clubs this summer, and rightly so.

Game of the season: Everton 3-2 Crystal Palace

The agony and ecstasy of football perfectly summed up in 90 minutes. Goodison Park has scarcely seen such euphoric scenes – reminiscent of the ‘great escape’ of 1994. After being 2-0 down, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 85th-minute winner sent the stands into a frenzied state of hysteria. The manner in which the action unfolded, coupled with the significance of the outcome, easily makes it one of the most memorable games of the season.

Zinny Boswell: Ronaldo’s glorious return was fun while it lasted

Player of the season – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Liverpool may have finished the season in second, but Salah was anything but this season. Often derided for being selfish, Salah found a way to be prolific and a provider this season, notching 23 goals and 13 assists, as Liverpool took the Premier League title race to the final day only to be pipped by a very special Manchester City side.

Manager of the season – Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

It feels an obvious choice, but it is hard to look past Guardiola for manager of the season. Leading Manchester City to a fourth title in five years is evidence of his dominance in England. And when you consider the Liverpool side they have been up against, it is all the more impressive. They even shrugged off question marks around their mentality after the Champions League exit to Real Madrid to fight back from two goals down in their final two games of the season to seal the title. Guardiola is the best ever, enjoy him while he is here.

Signing of the season – Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

Diaz only arrived at Liverpool in January but has already established himself as one of most exciting players in the Premier League. It takes a special talent to break into a front three as strong as Liverpool’s and Diaz is now regarded as an almost guaranteed starter in the big games. After hitting the ground running since his move from Porto, big things are expected of the Colombia international next season. He may not be at the top of the scoring or assisting charts, but he delivers consistently and constantly poses a threat to opposition teams. Liverpool have Tottenham to thank for his mid-season arrival, as Spurs’ January approach accelerated their plans to sign him.

Goal of the season – Mateo Kovacic vs Liverpool

Kovacic only scored three goals for Chelsea in the Premier League, but his backpedalling volley against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge was the pick of the bunch for me this season.

It was a jaw dropping moment, with Chelsea 2-0 down against Liverpool, in a game which at the time was considered to be a clash between two title contenders. His moment of brilliance inspired Chelsea to a 2-2 draw against the Reds.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Kovacic falls on his backside or fires the ball high into the stands. But the stars aligned for this audacious strike – producing, for me, the goal of the season.

Moment of the season – Cristiano Ronaldo’s return against Newcastle

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return was a whirlwind. Within 48 hours he had gone from being in advanced talks to join Man City to being confirmed as a United player once again. His arrival came with great expectations and many doubters, but in his first game against Newcastle he lived up to the billing in front of an expectant Old Trafford crowd. His two goals inspired a 4-1 win over Newcastle and left United fans in raptures. As Ferguson said: “It was like Caesar entering Rome after victory. I came, I saw, I conquered. It was fantastic.”

Match of the season – Man City 2-2 Liverpool

The big games usually let you down, but that certainly has not been the case for Manchester City and Liverpool this season, with the title-chasers producing two of the most enthralling encounters of the Premier League campaign. But the second game, at the business end of the season, just pips it for me due to the context of the game. Two titanic teams going blow for blow in a game that had the potential to derail either team’s title bid. Ederson’s casual dummy on the goal line summed up the level of composure on show that day. Nerves of steel.

They may not be throwing pizzas at each other after the final whistle, but we have never seen a rivalry like this one in the Premier League.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm


No votes yet.
Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *