Yesterday saw a reflection on the 2016-17 season, as It’s Football Not Soccer looked back on the performances of each club during the campaign. But today is all about YOU (well, nearly). It’s time to reveal the team, player, young player and manager of the season all voted for by you, as well as my game and goal of the season. But first, here is the final league table…
- Chelsea are Champions. They moved top at the start of November and were not disposed from then on.
- They will be joined in the Champions League next season by the rest of the top four: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool (who will go through a play-off first). Manchester United will join them if they beat Ajax in the Europa League final tonight.
- If United don’t claim victory in Stockholm, they will play in next season’s Europa League group stage along with Arsenal, whilst Everton enter the competition in the third qualifying round.
- Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland will be playing in The Championship next season after getting relegated.
Team of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
There are three changes between your team and the PFA’s team: David De Gea, Gary Cahill and Danny Rose go out and Tom Heaton, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso come in. In total, your team includes four Chelsea players, four Tottenham players and one player each from Burnley, Liverpool and Everton. If you to ask me, I would swap Heaton, Walker, Luiz and Mane for Lloris, Valencia, Azpilicueta and Sanchez, but other than that I think you have got it spot on!
Furthermore, congratulations to Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli, N’Golo Kante and Harry Kane who have made the cut two years in a row!
Player of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
In a sport where scoring goals and pulling off fancy tricks and flicks gains the most attention, I would almost say that being a defensive midfielder is perhaps the hardest position to get praise in. So it is testament to the incredible N’Golo Kante that he has earned so many plaudits despite sitting just in front of the backline and shows just how good the Frenchman is. Off the back of signing from last season’s champions Leicester for £32 million in the summer, Kante slotted into Chelsea’s midfield perfectly and adapted to Antonio Conte’s formation switch well.
He appeared to never run out of energy, seemingly covering every single acre of the pitch, and ranked second in the division for total tackles made (126). As well as claiming a second successive Premier League winner’s medal, the 26-year-old claimed both the PFA Player of the Year award and the Football Writer’s Association Player of the Year award, plus a spot in the PFA Team of the Year. Kante is not a player whose ability you can judge by stats, yet you only need watch him on a football pitch for 10 minutes to see what a magnificent conductor he is.
2nd – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
3rd – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Young Player of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur
For the second year in a row, Dele Alli picks up your young player of the year accolade after another superb season helping Tottenham once again go so near yet so far from the Premier League title. At the start of the campaign, there were question marks over whether he would be able to repeat the excellent form he showed in his breakthrough campaign, but the youngster beat his goal tally from last season by mid-January, and ended up with 18 goals and seven assists from 35 league starts. Played by Mauricio Pochettino as almost a second striker, Dele flourished in this new role and struck up an incredible partnership with eventual golden boot winner Harry Kane.
The midfielder turned 21 years old in April, by which point he had accumulated a total of 40 goals/assists, a tally which is better at that age than Frank Lampard (15), Steven Gerrard (13) and David Beckham (12) combined. It seems that the sky really is the limit for Dele, who this season became not just one of England’s hottest prospects, but one of the best young players in the entire world. He capped off 2016-17 by winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award and a place in the Team of the Year.
2nd – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
3rd – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Manager of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Antonio Conte – Chelsea
After 10 years of managing in Italy, Antonio Conte ventured outside of his homeland for the first time last summer as he was appointed manager of Chelsea, who finished 10th in 2015-16. Yet with much the same squad, and a few canny additions in the shape of Marcos Alonso, the heavily criticised David Luiz and N’Golo Kante, the 47-year-old led the Blues to a fifth Premier League title and sixth English top flight crown. Indeed those three signings would end up making the team of the year, with Chelsea’s other big money summer buy, Michy Batshuayi, popping up to score the goal that secured the trophy against West Brom with two games to spare. Not bad business at all by Mr Conte.
It was a season of records for the former Juventus boss, who by winning 11 games on the trot before the turn of the year set a new club record with 11 consecutive league victories in a single season. Two further wins equalled the Premier League record, whilst Conte also became the first manager in history to win three consecutive Manager of the Month awards (October, November and December). In the end his side won the title with 93 points, seven ahead of Tottenham, and only two behind the Premier League record set by Chelsea’s 2004-05 team. Yet they achieved it with 30 wins, which is, you guessed it, a Premier League record. A superb debut season for Antonio.
2nd – Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur)
3rd – Ronald Koeman (Everton)
Olly’s Goal of the Season
Emre Can vs Watford
2nd – Olivier Giroud vs Crystal Palace
3rd – Dimitri Payet vs Middlesbrough
Olly’s Game of the Season
Swansea City 5-4 Crystal Palace
Substitute Fernando Llorente scored twice in stoppage time as Swansea recorded their first win since the opening day of the season in a remarkable encounter with Crystal Palace. The Liberty Stadium witnessed an astonishing seven goals scored after the break and four in 11 second-half minutes. Swansea were 3-1 ahead before Palace produced an extraordinary fightback to take a 4-3 lead. It seemed as if the visitors would end their five-match losing run in the league, but then up popped substitute Llorente with two late goals as the ground erupted on the full-time whistle. Read the full BBC report here.
2nd – Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool
3rd – Leicester City 4-2 Manchester City
Club-by-Club Player of the Season
Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez
Bournemouth: Josh King
Burnley: Michael Keane
Chelsea: N’Golo Kante
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Everton: Romelu Lukaku
Hull City: Harry Maguire
Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel
Liverpool: Sadio Mane
Manchester City: David Silva
Manchester United: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Middlesbrough: Ben Gibson
Southampton: Oriol Romeu
Stoke City: Lee Grant
Sunderland: Jermain Defoe
Swansea City: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane
Watford: Troy Deeney
West Brom: Ben Foster
If you disagree with any of the awards, please feel free to let me know who you think deserved a mention in the comments below!
The 2017-18 Premier League campaign begins on 12th August.