Player of the Year: Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal

Manchester United – Michael Carrick



Michael Carrick has been crowned the Players’ Player of the Year at the club’s annual awards ceremony.

The midfielder has excelled this term, prompting Sir Alex Ferguson to describe this season as Carrick’s “best ever for Manchester United.”

Every member of the first team squad was asked to vote for their star man of the campaign and they unanimously voted Carrick as their Player of the Year.

“Obviously this means an awful lot,” explained the England international. “I work with the lads every day and train every day. We’ve got an unbelievable team spirit and players from all over the world come and fit in and make a real effort to fit in. For them to give me the vote for this means an awful lot. It really is special for me.”

The desire to win back the title from Manchester City was clearly evident throughout the successful campaign.

“We had to win it,” he emphasised. “Last year was hard to take for everyone, especially with it going to that lot over the road. It was tough and we always wanted to bounce back. I’m proud of the boys but it all comes from the manager. You don’t just play for this club – you live for this club once you’re here. The manager drives home the work ethic and always tells us don’t be afraid to work hard and enjoy yourself. That’s what we do.”

Even if Carrick feels he wasn’t at his best against Swansea, he thinks it was fitting that Rio Ferdinand’s late goal ensured Sir Alex’s final game in charge at Old Trafford was a winning one.

Source: Man Utd

Chelsea – Juan Mata



Juan Mata has been crowned Chelsea Player of the Year for the second successive season.

It was a night to remember for the Spaniard as he also picked up the Players’ Player of the Year award.

The club’s annual ceremony, which took place in the Great Hall at Stamford Bridge, was hosted by Ed Chamberlain and Vicky Gomersall from Sky Sports, with five separate prizes handed out.

The main award was voted for by supporters on this website, with Frank Lampard, David Luiz and Eden Hazardmaking up the final four nominations.

Mata became only the fourth player to retain the trophy, adding his name to a list containing John Hollins, Ray Wilkins and Frank Lampard, and the 25-year-old was understandably delighted.

‘I feel so happy,’ he said. ‘It’s my second season here and winning the trophy two years in a row is amazing for me. I just want to say thank you to all the supporters and all my team-mates.’

He went on to pay tribute to our supporters for their backing in last night’s Europa League final win over Benfica in Amsterdam.

‘Every final, like last season in the Champions League, we felt all the people from Chelsea with us,’ he explained. ‘We did it for them, we scored in the last minute, the best time to score, and we were really happy for them because they’ve been behind us all season.’

Mata was presented with the Player of the Year award by club captain John Terry, who felt the playmaker was a worthy winner.

‘He’s been phenomenal,’ said Terry. ‘It’s not just his goalscoring, it’s his assists as well. He’s fantastic, he brings so much to the team. He’s a magician, he has a great first touch and fantastic vision.’

… Young Player of the Year for Chelsea: Nathan Ake

Special Recognition Award: Frank Lampard

Goal of the Season: Oscar vs Juventus

Source: Chelsea FC

Arsenal – Santi Carzola



“He is the perfect footballer.”

As compliments go, it is pretty emphatic. In a sport where hyperbole is king, you might assume the source of this description of Santi Cazorla was an enthusiastic fan or an admiring pundit. Instead it was from Per Mertesacker, one of the most considered, intelligent members of his profession.

That was not the case. Cazorla did not hit the ground running as much as sprinting,delivering a dazzling display in pre-season against Cologne and then turning on the style in the early stages of the campaign. His first goal and first assist came three games in, against Liverpool at Anfield, and it was a portent of things to come.

You might expect a dip in form after such an instant impact, but if anything Cazorla’s influence and authority only grew with each passing week. It is the mark of a top-quality player that in the biggest games, when his side needs him most, he will deliver – and goals against Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham spoke volumes.

Cazorla is one of the leaders of the new-look Arsenal, a player whose enthusiasm, energy and brilliance has the ability to lift those around him. He is both the conductor directing the orchestra and the beating heart of a team that has quickly grown reliant on his vision, strength of character and technique.

And talking of technique, have you ever seen a player quite as ambidextrous as Cazorla? He is nominally right-footed, but seems just as comfortable delivering raking balls crossfield with his left. It really is something to behold.

“He is right footed but when you watch him play you don’t know. It shows how important that is in the modern midfield,” a bemused Wenger said. “Right or left foot was always important, but we forget about it sometimes. Glenn Hoddle was like that – left-footed, right-footed, you could not say what he was. Cazorla is similar on that front. I don’t remember anyone else I have worked with who was as two-footed.”

Cazorla may be diminutive in size, but his impact has been enormous – as his statistics testify. In his first season in the Premier League – and his first outside of his homeland – he made 49 appearances, started 37 of 38 Premier League games, scored 12 goals, laid on 14 assists and won 42.2 per cent more votes than any other player in our poll.

Perhaps Per is right, we really do have the perfect footballer.


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