With the 2019-20 Premier League season now over, join us as we pick out the best talent and moments from throughout a thrilling campaign.
From the dominance of Liverpool to the rise of many young players, the past 11 months has witnessed the emergence of new stars whilst the old guard continue to astound plus there hasn’t been a let up in goalkeeping howlers.
From Best Player to Goalkeeper and our 2019-20 Premier League Team of the Season reveal coming up, this is well worth a read as we take a look at the best performers and goal of this season.
Best ManagerEmbed from Getty Images
From Jurgen Klopp to Brendan Rogers to even Ralph Hassenhuttl and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there has been plenty of stand out managerial performances this season.
Starting with Klopp, he has arguably had a tough season in charge of Liverpool in terms of contesting seven different competitions yet he managed to guide the Reds to a record-breaking maiden Premier League title with seven games to spare.
Cups wise, Klopp only has the FIFA Club World Cup (FCWC), Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup to show for his efforts but he managed to take Liverpool deep in both FA and League Cups, although Liverpool’s effort in the latter was curtailed by a Quarter Final clash with FCWC commitment.
I therefore have to commend Klopp for how he managed his team across five competitions this season, even if they could of potentially won League Cup if external factors hadn’t led to their Quarter-Final exit at Aston Villa.Embed from Getty Images
Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard have done a great job of rebuilding two fallen giants in Manchester United and Chelsea, although they both still have work to do if want to challenge for trophies next season.
Hassenhuttl by logic should of gone after a NINE GOAL thrashing at home to Leicester last October, yet he has managed to guide them to safety and reinstalled exciting football after a period of poor gameplay so great credit to him for a strong recovery.Embed from Getty Images
Chris Wilder however rates above every manager this season because he has been superb at newly promoted Sheffield United, from on field play to spending wisely and even retaining the core of the team who got the club promoted into the top flight.
Although the Blades eventually missed out on Europe, it is hard to justify not describing Wilder as manager of the season, given that he has done a fabulous job on and off pitch and even gave out of form players repeated chances throughout the season.
Winner: Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
From West Ham’s stunning free-kick from Aaron’s Creswell against Manchester United to Tottenham’s solo goal from Son Heung-min against Burnley, there has been plenty of cracking goals throughout this season.
Southampton however produced what is arguably the goal of this season, when Che Adams produced a thunderous 40-yard chip to defeat Manchester City at St Mary’s in early July.
What makes it all the more spectacular is that it came from a rare City error when Oleksandr Zinchenko gave away possession to Stuart Armstrong in midfield, with the Scottish midfielder quickly teeing Adams up to smash in beyond a dawdling Ederson.
Winner: Che Adams (Southampton 1-0 Manchester City)
(Video credit: Manchester City FC)
Best PlayerEmbed from Getty Images
From Jamie Vardy to Jordan Henderson to Virgil van Dijk, there has been plenty of stand out players throughout this season, but Southampton’s Danny Ings however has been outstanding this season.
To understand why Ings has been the best player of this season in my opinion, we need to look at the entire campaign in context because Ings has really had to work for his success unlike top players including Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Southampton were simply shambolic in the early stages of this season with Ings only producing four goals, of which just one of his goals contributed to one of their eight points by late October when they were humiliated by Southampton.
At that point, Southampton could of easily spiralled into relegation certainties but Ings has been a big influence in their recovery with several consecutive scoring runs, including seven goals in six of the Saints’ nine post lockdown matches.
Ings also possesses a brilliant quality in that he has often been able to use his pace to put opposition defences under pressure when out of possession, although his finishing isn’t the most clinical but his overall influence has benefitted Southampton this season.
I therefore believe that Ings has been the best Premier League player of the season because in an inconsistent team that only finished 11th, he has dug deep to score 22 goals and without him, Southampton probably would of been scrapping for survival these last few weeks.
Best Rising StarEmbed from Getty Images
This season saw several youngsters like Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Mason Greenwood impress but Trent Alexander-Arnold has once again proven how exceptional young talent he is.
Whether it is finishing as the league’s second highest goal assistant or producing the most shots and crosses of any defender, Alexander-Arnold has been amazing to watch all season long with his creativity and agility on the right flank.
Boxing Day 2019 however was a night in which this young right-back showed just how special he can be, relentlessly charging forward to find himself in great positions from he provided two assists plus won a penalty claim before firing in the final goal in a 4-0 win over Leicester.
In fact, what impresses me most about Alexander-Arnold is how he maturely followed up an incredible 2018-19 campaign with an equally consistent if not stronger season amidst the increased hype around the 21 year-old in which he helped Liverpool to not just a maiden Premier League title but also the FIFA Club World Cup title.
Now the pressure will be on to see if Alexander-Arnold can continue to develop at a high level because if he does, Liverpool could have a homegrown world-class fullback on their hands.
Best GoalkeeperEmbed from Getty Images
Whilst there have been some howlers throughout the season from various goalkeepers, Burnley’s Nick Pope proved to be one of the more consistent performers in goal.
From superb over the top punches of close range shots to those epic fingertip blocks and his popular star shaped blocking position, Pope has simply been excellent for Burnley all campaign and particularly with the most aerial battle victories by any goalkeeper.
I in particular admire how he managed to often keep his focus when the opposition loaded players into his box with fast expressive play in order to unleash unexpected shots, yet he managed to keep focus and make those important saves for Burnley.
Although he blew a chance at sharing if not winning the Golden Glove on the final day, Pope though has been excellent yet consistent all season unlike certain top keepers with Man Utd’s David de Gea ringing to mind as an example of a poor goalkeeping season.
2019-20 Premier League Team of Season
This team was quite easy to select because Pope has been absolutely brilliant in goal for Burnley all season long and even without the Golden Glove award, he still deserves to be this team of the season XI (TOTS).
Defensively, Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have been head and shoulders above other fullbacks in terms of not just creativity but also the main defending duties in terms of tackling and interceptions.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and James Tarkowski of Burnley meanwhile have been absolutely brilliant in aerial defending, with Tarkowski in particular producing more clearances than any other player with a brilliant work ethic on the pitch.
Kevin de Bruyne meanwhile have been amazing this season in midfield for Manchester City, because he has created so many opportunities for his teammates, whether it is via passes, crosses or even through balls whilst getting himself in amongst the goals too.
Jordan Henderson has been brilliant in terms of controlling Liverpool’s midfield but for me, Chelsea’s Mason Mount has been just as brilliant if not more creative in a manner akin to de Bruyne and that is why he gets into my TOTS ahead of Henderson.
Left-wing was a tough one between Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling of Man City but I have gone for the latter because whereas Mane has had the better pace, Sterling has been the bolder in attempting to score and create chances for teammates.
Adama Traore meanwhile has been superb for Wolves with his electric pace and ability to cause issues within the box with his crosses, which is why he makes my TOTS because he is one of those wingers who can create goal threats out of nothing if get the chance.
Up front, Ings was a definite pick because he has been brilliant for Southampton and to score 22 goals in a season when the Saints were inconsistent is worthy of a TOTS selection.
Vardy meanwhile gets the last nod ahead of Aubameyang because although the latter shone in a poor Arsenal team, Vardy has been brilliant for a striker in his twilight years and selfless to help teammates yet still managed 23 goals to clinch the Golden Boot.
We must also acknowledge that Vardy also surpassed a century of Premier League goals post lockdown, which is amazing for a player of his age and justifiably deserves to feature as the final name in our 2019-20 Premier League Team of the Season XI.