This week it wasn’t necessarily about winning games, it was simply about staying up. Yes, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, Manchester United, Tottenham and Sunderland all ended the season with wins and deserve great credit, but there were two performances that were produced when it really mattered. Blackburn have been awful since Steve Keen took over and I hoped that they would go down if I’m honest. Having said that, they put in a great performance when they needed a result and took a 3-0 half-time lead at Wolves. They conceded twice in the second half, but that was a fine win.
The winners of this award for me however are Wigan. They were under the cosh at times at Stoke but showed resilience, spirit and quality to gain the 1-0 win that kept them up.
It would maybe be cruel to pick a team that have been relegated. Blackpool gave a great showing at Manchester United as they have done all season but in the end, they just weren’t good enough. Birmingham have been poor for a few weeks, but they too gave it a really good go at Tottenham.
I’m afraid I have to go with the other relegated team West Ham. In their last game, in front of their home fans, you would think they would give it their all. Instead, they put in an abject performance devoid of anything good as they lost 3-0 to a out of form and under strength Sunderland. If I was a West Ham fan, I’d have been furious.
As I said earlier, Wigan were under the cosh at times in their game at Stoke. The home side hit the target five times but Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi was equal to them all. He kept a clean sheet and Wigan won the game. It was a fine performance from a man who has had a fine season.
Scott Carson. I haven’t given this award to him for quite a while and I really don’t think he is very good.
I can only assume that Everton’s Phil Jagielka had an outstanding game in their 1-0 win over Chelsea. To keep a clean sheet against Fernando Torres and make him totally anonymous for the ninety minutes is a great achievement….well, it would have been a couple years ago anyway!
I am sorry to do this to a man when he must be really down but Blackpool’s Ian Evatt has been ever present in Blackpool’s leaky defence this season. The team has conceded seventy-eight goals and that doesn’t happen with good defending. His own goal to give Manchester United a 3-2 lead pretty much summed up how his season has gone.
West Brom were 3-0 down at half-time at Newcastle and the game was all but lost. However, the spirit they have found under Roy Hodgson showed itself again as Somen Tchoyi scored a second half hat-trick to earn a share of the points.
Joe Cole was given his first start for Liverpool in a long while. The sixty-eight minutes he spent on the pitch showed exactly why that is. I would be very surprised if that wasn’t his last sixty-eight minutes in a Liverpool shirt.
Hugo Rodallega has a good shout for this award with such an important goal, but in a season of disappointment at Arsenal, this award goes to Robin van Persie. His goal in the 2-2 draw at Fulham was the ninth away game in a row in which he has scored and was his eighteenth goal since January 1st. A remarkable effort in a team that has been performing badly.
He is a really promising player who has shown at Bolton this season that he has got what it takes to do well in the top division, whether it is at Chelsea or somewhere else. I like Daniel Sturridge as a player, I really do, but what on earth was he thinking when he went in needlessly high on Edin Dzeko and got himself sent off five minutes from the end of the season. Silly.
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yeah, Wigan deserve that, but I feel sorry for how Wigan fans might be feeling next season. . . but then again, they might find some way to stay up again.