Newcastle United have just finished a fantastic season - probably the best of the last decade - earning a Europa League berth in the process.
For such a successful season, huge contributions from many a player have been essential, so let’s give out some unofficial awards to those influential players.
Player of the Season – Yohan Cabaye and Fabricio Coloccini
We’ll start off immediately with the biggest award of them all, and also the toughest award to decide on of them all – the Player of the Season award. There are probably about 6 realistic candidates for this award, but after narrowing it down to Cabaye and Coloccini, it really is impossible to call. The pair have been the unsung heroes for the Toon in a year of Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa grabbing the headlines, and they are the real reason Newcastle are heading to the Europa League. Both players are in the top five players at their position in the Premier League as far as I’m concerned, and Cabaye has even been rewarded with a place in France’s Euro 2012 provisional squad.
Young Player of the Season – Tim Krul
Tim Krul has been fantastic between the sticks this season for Newcastle, and beats out stiff competition from fullbacks Davide Santon and Danny Simpson. Clubs as big as Chelsea have been rumoured to be interested in Krul – and they already have Petr Cech – which is a great credit to the quality of his goalkeeping.
Most Improved Player of the Season – Mike Williamson
Mike Williamson looked shaky at first when taking over from the injured Steven Taylor, but has since come into his own. For a player who has played the bulk of his career in the lower tiers of English football, it has really been impressive to see the strides Willo has made this season. Alan Pardew has even gone as far as saying that Williamson will be the starter next season ahead of Taylor, based on his recent performances.
Newcomer of the Season – Papiss Cisse
The Papiss Cisse signing in January was simply inspired by Alan Pardew and the Newcastle backroom staff. At only £10 million, Cisse was a great investment for the Magpies, and has been the best striker in the Premier League in the few months he’s been in England. Cisse stole the limelight from Senegalese teammate Demba Ba, and rightly so – his goal-to-game ratio speaks for itself.
Surprise Player of the Season – James Perch
The emergence of James Perch this season when Cheik Tiote went on his run to the African Cup of Nations final is a huge part of the reason Newcastle finished fifth this year. Perch has filled in admirably in multiple positions this season, showing a new-found versatility that no-one would have expected. And all this comes after being considered somewhat of a laughing stock by a fair few Newcastle fans only a year ago.
Staff Member of the Season – Graham Carr
Without Graham Carr’s scouting, Newcastle may well have been relegated this season, and that is no joke. It was all doom and gloom for the Toon once Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique left the club, but Carr helped to bring in the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheik Tiote the season beforehand to not only replace but to upgrade on the departing players.
Golden Boot – Demba Ba
Demba Ba wins the Newcastle Golden Boot with 16 goals this season, but Papiss Cisse was not far behind with 12 in way less appearances for the club.
Goal of the Season – Papiss Cisse vs. Chelsea
Have you ever seen a goal better than Papiss Cisse’s second against Chelsea? Didn’t think so.
Match of the Season – Newcastle 3, Manchester United 0
Newcastle’s 3-0 victory over Man U at St. James’ Park let the world know that they were for real, and was without doubt the best match of the season for the Toon. To dominate a team of such high class after years of being tortured by them was fantastic and will live long in the memory of every Geordie.
Do you agree? Let us know your opinion.