(*Yes, it’s more than the usual 6, but It’s my list so I can what I want)
With the usual suspects coming out for this year’s nominations, I thought to myself, ‘It’s always who scores loads of goals and maybe the odd token midfielder’.
Never do we really see goalkeepers or defenders have a chance to hold aloft a trophy that looks a lot like the Open Championship in golf one. So to redress the balance I’ve decided to produce a list I reckon is for the real heroes, the goalies who throw themselves about week in week out. The galloping full backs whose lungs near breaking point at the end of each game, the central defenders who put with Diego Costa’s nonsense.
1) Kyle Walker & Danny Rose:
Yes a two for one to start things of with. Like Xavi and Iniesta, you can’t really have one without the other. Both have engines the size of trains and keep going running like Usain Bolt on a sugar rush. I know if I ran as fast as they do up a pitch I’d lose all sense of where I was, get dizzy and pass out, yet they both gallop like Grand National winners and still have the composure to cross the ball to Alli or Kane. No coincidence that Man City need two full backs, HANDS OFF PEP!
2) Jordan Pickford:
After the season he has had most people would be in therapy. Back ache must be an issue for every time he is picking the ball out the net. Hands blistered from save after save. Also having a manager that at the beginning of the season more or less said that they would be relegated could not have installed much confidence in the young lad. Yet he has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to become a future England number one. Forget La La Land or Moonlight, this is your true Oscar winning story.
3) Ben Mee:
With a name that belongs on CBEEBIES, the Burnley centre back has come on leaps and bounds this year. I would like to think most of us have a soft spot for Burnley, Joey Barton aside obviously. And with Ben in the side, children in Burnley can finally answer the question, who is your favourite Burnley player? By shouting ‘MEE!’
4) Michael Keane:
How many times will it take Man Utd to learn that the ones they let go, more often than not, grow into better footballers than the ones they keep? Keane could end up back at Old Trafford and still be the best centre back they have. England call up deserved it’s another shot in the arm for defenders.
5) Adam Lallana:
The Liverpool player has done well since those dodgy Nivea adverts first aired. Voted for as England’s player of the year for 2016. Which to be fair even I was up for. Silky skills and a smooth face have propelled the former Saint to heavenly status.
6) David Luiz:
Sideshow Dave deserves a lot of credit for managing to get Chelsea to first part with a heap of cash for his services and making people believe he can play in a back three. Sadly, for me anyway, he has proved the latter correct. Though prone still to the odd crazy moment, he has seemed calmer and therefore a better player this time round. Uncle Bob would be proud.
7) Victor Moses:
Going from Chelsea/ Wigan/ Liverpool reject to Chelsea right wing hero is no mean going. You got the feeling he would have played left back if it meant regular football. Conte saw something that no one ever has seen before, and knowing poor Victors luck, will sign someone else for next season.
8) David Silva:
The calm in the Pep sized storm. I still though he was 28 but he is now football old at 31. He is one of those players every other team secretly would like in their own.