Coral’s special Premier League 2013/14 awards
Player of the Season: Yaya Toure
The Ivory Coast star managed to net 20 goals from midfield in the league this term, more than any other Manchester City player, to help his side ultimately win the title.
Young player of the Season: Raheem Sterling
Sterling’s stunning performances have earned him a spot on the plane to Brazil, and possibly even a starting berth for England at the World Cup.
Manager of the Season: Tony Pulis
Brought in to replace Ian Holloway, Pulis managed to turn his side from relegation battlers to top 10 challengers, picking up 45 points.
Best Individual Goal of the Season: Pajtim Kasami (Fulham v Crystal Palace)
Kasami’s Marco van Basten-esque volley against Crystal Palace in the first half of the season caused jaws to drop in awe, and that style of goal is unlikely to ever be matched… again.
Best Team Goal of the Season: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal v Norwich)
A magic one-touch tiki-taka style move involving Wilshere, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla resulted in the finest successful piece of team play this term.
Save of the Season: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal v Chelsea)
Although the England international was confused with teammate Kieran Gibbs by referee Andre Marriner, his technique and reflexes to turn Eden Hazard’s shot around the post were majestic. Just a shame he is actually an outfield player.
Biggest Flop: Jozy Altidore and Ricky van Wolfswinkel
With a goal each from 31 and 25 games for the Sunderland and Norwich strikers respectively, the stats say it all really.
Pointless Signing award: Kostas Mitroglou
An £11m January signing from Olympiakos, brought in to help save Fulham from the drop. Was injured before he could even make his debut, and made just one start after all.
Best Buy: Dejan Lovren
A cost of £8.5m is a lot for a defender, but the Croatian more than paid back his price by gaining 12 clean sheets out of the 31 games he featured in, as well as helping the Saints to an eighth place finish.
Finest Freebie: Mathieu Flamini
Formerly at Arsenal earlier in his career, Flamini returned to the Emirates last summer, but cost nothing. His gritty and dominating performances in midfield have not gone unnoticed.
Best Loan Signing: Gareth Barry
Shipped off to Everton on loan at the start of the season, the 33-year-old has been a revelation since joining the Toffees. Much like Flamini at Arsenal, he has been the heartbeat of Roberto Martinez’s side this term.
Best Header award: Alan Pardew
Although it lacked power and any thought whatsoever, Pardew’s headbutt on Hull City midfielder David Meyler certainly made headlines. A seven-match ban was the result of this lack of discipline.
Poisoned Chalice award: David Moyes
Moyes had a fantastic tenure as Everton manager, making them a firm top eight team, but the ‘Chosen One’ was out of his depth at Old Trafford, and has severely dented his reputation. However, the Scot won more trophies (Community Shield) this season than Jose Mourinho, so it’s not all bad.
Fashion Icon: Tim Sherwood
Who can forget the many poses Sherwood has made with his infamous gilet this season? The throwing it to the ground in consternation is surely a favourite, but not even his fashion sense could ultimately save his job.
Most Overrated: Vincent Kompany
A Premier League medal and a spot in the PFA Team of the Year cannot hide the fact that the Belgian has had a somewhat inconsistent season. Luckily for him, his reputation and club’s success saved him.
Fair-weather Fans award: West Ham
A 13th place finish and seven points from the relegation zone would normally be enough to satisfy most lesser Premier League clubs, but not Hammers fans. Sam Allardyce’s ‘park the blue whale’ tactics have not gone down well at Upton Park, but this is the Premier League and success is everything!
Houdini award: Gus Poyet
With Sunderland in dire straits firmly at the foot of the table entering April, four remarkable wins in five, against the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd – including a draw with Man City – earned them an unbelievable 14th-place finish.
Surprise Package award: Crystal Palace
Ian Holloway started life in the Premier League with Palace in calamitous fashion, signing too many players to fit in his 25-man squad and then getting just three points from his first eight games, no one gave them a hope. But savour Pulis shot them right up to finish in 11th place.
Most Memorable Character: Felix Magath
Certainly a Coral writers’ favourite with his disciplinarian approach to the game and somewhat surprisingly successful history both as a player and manager. Just a shame he will no longer grace the top-flight, but we are still very pleased indeed he is likely to remain with Fulham.
Worst Managerial Appointment: Neil Adams
Former Canaries midfielder and coach Adams was appointed manager to replace Chris Hughton to supposedly give the side a much-needed kick to ensure Premier League safety. Instead, the 48-year-old lost four of his five games in charge – without a win – and Norwich went down.
Biggest Underachievers: Manchester United
The Red Devils have not finished outside the top three since the 1990/91 season. Many predicted the club would slightly fall after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, but their seventh place achievement really was abysmal, especially with a squad that won the league the year before.
Parting Shot of the Season: Joe Kinnear sells Yohan Cabaye as his last act as Newcastle director of football
Everyone’s favourite football jester Kinnear – largely brought upon by himself – returned again to football, this time in charge of player transfers with Newcastle. He managed to bring in Loic Remy and flop Luuk de Jong in on loan, but really made his stamp at the club by selling Toon favourite Cabaye without a replacement, before leaving the Magpies shortly after.
Mistake of the Season: Andre Marriner sends Kieran Gibbs off instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Despite Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly stating to the referee that it was him who hand-balled Eden Hazard’s shot, his ‘twin’ Gibbs was the man sent off.
Slip of the Season: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool v Chelsea)
Liverpool were odds-on favourites to win their first top-flight title since 1990 with just three games to go. All they needed was a point against Chelsea to stay on the front foot, but a slip from club legend Gerrard in added time in the first half gifted Demba Ba a goal, and the Blues went on to win the game 2-0. The rest is history.
Scoop of the Season: Jason Puncheon
Despite having a fantastic season with Crystal Palace, his penalty kick miss against Tottenham was simply terrible and surely one of the worst ever. Had it gone in, it would have put the Eagles ahead, but they ended up losing 2-0 at White Hart Lane.