After 127 consecutive months of non-stop football, with games kicking off at 00:01 and finishing at 23:59, the 2020/21 Premier League season is finally over.
Manchester City are champions, Leicester threw away Champions League qualification (again), Spurs are heading to the inaugural Europa Conference North/South League, and Arsenal built on an eighth-placed finish by coming eighth again. Good jobs all round.
So now it’s down to the fun stuff – 90min’s writers and editors have made their picks for the end of season awards, including some alternative and ‘huh, wonder why these aren’t official awards’ ones.
The team have explained their picks for this award previously, but to summarise, Dias’ effect on City has been similar to Virgil van Dijk’s when he arrived at Liverpool. Remember when Pep Guardiola’s side were clowned up and down the land for not being able to defend? That’s actually a thing of the past now. Mental.
Also received votes: Harry Kane, Bruno Fernandes, Ilkay Gundogan, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne
After years of being touted as one of England’s future stars, of being one of the best prospects Guardiola has ever worked with, Phil Foden has emerged as a key player for a title-winning team.
Whether he’s in the middle or on the flank, Foden has given defenders nightmares all season long, and his shining moment was a thumper of a goal at Anfield in the winter.
Also received votes: Wesley Fofana
The Moyessiah’s redemption arc has been one of the more wholesome underlying narratives of the season. He’s led West Ham back into the Europa League (straight into the group stage too, so no need to fret about Astra Giurgiu) and set a new record points total for the east Londoners.
Also received votes: Marcelo Bielsa, Dean Smith
It’s not outrageous to say that the Super League scandal was the biggest footballing story in around 30 years, dominating headlines around the world for around 30 hours.
The breakaway clubs (well, most of them) threw themselves into the fire pit and then limped back out soon after, with their reputations destroyed and their apologies pathetic.
Also received votes: Spurs fans thinking they could win the title, Arsenal selling Emi Martinez and not Bernd Leno, ‘the concept of Rhian Brewster’, Liverpool’s Ben Davies disappearing from existence, Man Utd fans getting fooled by Liverpool’s bus switcheroo, Eric Dier going to the loo
We have a tie!
Here’s what Arteta had to say after Arsenal lost to Spurs: “The unity it’s there. Is it possible in any club to have 100 per cent even if you win. When you look at the perspective how we are losing football matches and how we are where we are it’s pretty incredible.
“Last year against Everton we won the game with 25 per cent chance of winning, supported by the stats. We won 3-2.
“Last weekend it was 67 per cent chance of winning any Premier League in history, and nine percent of losing – and you lose. you lose. 3 per cent against Burnley and you lose, 7 per cent against Spurs and you lose.”
And here’s Solskjaer and Mourinho going at it after Son Heung-min’s reaction to a foul by Scott McTominay.
Solskjaer: “We shouldn’t be conned. I have to say, if my son stays down for three minutes and he needs his 10 mates to help him up, he won’t get any food.
Mourinho: “Sonny is very lucky his father is a better person than Ole. I am a father and as a father you have to always feed your kids, it doesn’t matter what they do. If you have to steal to feed your kids, you steal. I’m very, very disappointed.”
Also received votes: Jurgen Klopp congratulating Des Kelly on James Milner’s hamstring injury, Steve Bruce discussing social media helping get his dog back, Big Sam trying to invite himself onto Sky, Mourinho’s pony, Frank Lampard lashing out at The Athletic’s Liam Twomey before getting sacked days later
Imagine going back to dinner time on Sunday 4 October and telling football fans that Spurs thrashing Man Utd 6-1 wasn’t going to be the best game that day.
The champions were humbled at Villa Park, with Jack Grealish turning Liverpool inside-out all evening (more on that later).
Also received votes: Tottenham 3-3 West Ham, Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham, Liverpool 4-3 Leeds, Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham
Imagine being 3-0 down at your rivals with ten minutes remaining. Imagine pulling two back in quick succession. Imagine being Manuel Lanzini when this absolute cracker went flying into the top corner.
Can someone knock up an Alan Partridge edit?
Also received votes: Erik Lamela vs Arsenal, Harry Kane vs Crystal Palace, Alisson vs West Brom, Edinson Cavani vs Fulham
Say no more.
Also received votes:
“Just stop it…theeeeere.”
Also received votes: Arsenal’s relegation battle, Tottenham Hotspur, ‘LewanGOALski’, Pep Guardiola and Dan Walker’s dog, Sergio Aguero looking at bad takes, Arsenal coming out to wrestling music and still being bad
Everyone at 90min voted for West Ham, and they deserve it – they’ve been phenomenal and we’re excited to see how they do in Europe.
Bamford has been doubted for years, and for the most part the criticisms of him were valid. He wasted too many chances and that often cost his teams.
But he’s finished the season with 17 Premier League goals and is well in with a shout for England’s Euros squad. Apologies, we got it massively wrong.
From topping the table in December to scrambling for a Europa Conference League place on the final day, Spurs’ season went downhill real quick.
After backing Jose Mourinho in the transfer market, Tottenham played like the dogs that the Portuguese desired. And then they fell off a cliff.
Also received votes: Arsenal, Wolves, Southampton, Everton
The weight of expectation on Havertz’s shoulders after his £72m move to Chelsea was enormous, and he hasn’t lived up to the hype just yet.
And yet he could still end the season as a champion of Europe. Funny, that.
Also received votes: Sadio Mane, Timo Werner, Anthony Martial, Thomas Partey
But while Havertz floundered, Mount thrived, announcing himself as one of the Premier League’s finest players and a future Chelsea captain.
Also received votes: Jesse Lingard, Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho, Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Declan Rice
Whatever you do, don’t look at who else received votes.
Also received votes: Callum Wilson
Alisson’s goal against West Brom was one thing, but the emotional he gave after took it to a whole new level.
Who’s cutting those onions?
Also received votes: Marcus Rashford’s charity work, Guardiola crying about Aguero leaving, Tomas Soucek’s potato salad, Leicester winning the FA Cup in front of fans, Ray Parlour and Alan Brazil reserving a table at the pub under the name ‘The Lads’, Richard Keys telling Andy Gray he was allowed to text his family during the social media blackout
Grealish has missed nearly half the season through injury, but whenever he played you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for Eden Hazard (prime Hazard, not the one who exists to wind up El Chiringuito).
His display in Villa’s dismantling of Liverpool stood out as the best among all Premier League players this season.
Also received votes: Son Heung-min, Southampton 2-5 Tottenham
“He’s built like a brick sh*thouse, how’s he gone down like that?”
Rob Holding truly has a way with words.
Also received votes: Matt Ritchie (“How’ve you given that, ya wee d*ck?”)
Spurs fans (like the fans of most Premier League clubs) have dreaded facing Man Utd for years because of the Red Devils’ record of having big decisions go their way.
That’s why Lamela’s successful attempt to get Martial sent off – which then led to United getting thrashed – was even funnier.
Also received votes: Daniel Amartey throwing away Chelsea’s pennant, Bobby Reid taking off Edouard Mendy’s gloves, Mourinho’s Instagram tribute to the anniversary of Steven Gerrard slipping, Christian Benteke breaking a huge scoring drought and acting like he. still bags them regularly, Burnley keeping the ball in the corner when they were 4-0 up at Wolves
When the diminutive Frenchman isn’t having a laugh on Twitter, he’s busy making grown men look foolish on a football pitch.
The streets won’t forget you, Allan.
Also received votes: Ebere Eze, retiring referee Lee Mason, David McGoldrick, Marcelo Bielsa’s translator, John McGinn, James Justin