In the second part of our review of the excellent 2013/14 season we decided to hand out (not literally) our player awards for the season. Here we discuss our player of the season, the best signing and the most improved player.
Player of the Season
Ciaran Murray @CityScrawlings
David Silva. Unlike last season – when only really Zabaleta deserved any real praise – in this season we’ve been spoiled for choice with regards to great players. Obviously it’s difficult to look past Yaya Toure but I’m going to. David Silva, this season, morphed into a super human version of David Silva. You know in Mario Brothers games when they get a mushroom or a flower or a leaf and can then fly or shoot fireballs? That’s how Silva went. His passing got sharper; he worked harder and was more fierce and tenacious; he was physically stronger; his influence in games was more pronounced and he scored some seriously important goals. Injuries hindered his momentum at times but when he was fit and firing, he was absolutely majestic.
Alex Timperley @WeNeedYouAlex
Much like Ciaran I have to go for David Silva, with compliments to Yaya as well. This was the year the opposition started to truly fear the Spaniard as he tore apart team after team. He levelled up significantly and staked a claim to be the league’s outstanding playmaker. Away games at Hull and Liverpool were among the highlights, but really you could pick any game Silva was fit for and see how astoundingly well he played this season. My favourite thing about him is that he never hides and never stops doing his thing in the face of either intense pressure and increased physical attention from inferior players. He is also naturally quite aggressive, both in how he attacks defences and how he chases the ball and wins it back, picking up more yellow cards than you’d expect for a player like him.
This was the hardest category to be honest, splitting between Silva and Toure. It’s a shame that Aguero didn’t stay fit and score 45 goals to make this a bit easier…
Rob Pollard @RobPollard_
You’d have to say Yaya Toure. I thought Silva, Fernandinho and Nasri were also consistently excellent, but with 24 goals in 49 matches from midfield, Yaya definitely gets it. That’s a phenomenal effort.
There’s no question in my mind that Silva is the best player in the league and also the best player I’ve ever seen at City, and some of his performances this year have been incredible, but he missed quite a few games here and there, so in terms of consistency and influence throughout the entire season, Toure has been the best.
Bob Toole @RealBobToole
Such a tough decision. There have been so many great performances all over the pitch this season. I actually think David Silva is City’s best player but I don’t quite think we have ever seen Yaya is such irresistible form before so I have gone for him. He is quite simply incredible and dictates so much of our play. Those trademark runs, those trademark free kicks, does he ever look like he will miss a penalty? I’m sure I could find some passing percentages to prove how good he is but it’s all irrelevant. Just watch him and enjoy!
Signing of the Season
Again, unlike last season – where the transfer window brought us Scott Sinclair et al – in this season our signings were all successful to some degree. Had we seen Jovetic stay fit all season or Negredo maintain his early season form, this would have been more difficult. However, it can only really be Fernandinho for me. The ferocious terrier tackling of De Jong, the box to box athleticism of Jack Rodwell and the passing, vision and control of Gareth Barry all rolled into one – that’s Fernandinho. Add the assists and goals he’s totalled up and the freedom Yaya Toure’s been allowed since the little Brazilian arrived and you’ve got one hell of a great signing. And he’s going to Brazil! He seems such a popular little member of our squad and I’m thrilled for him.
Fernandinho, no contest. I’ve got nothing to add regarding the Brazilian that hasn’t already been said by my esteemed colleagues. I have a feeling that if Jovetic had managed to walk from his car to the training ground without getting injured more often we might have a different winner in this category, but it wasn’t to be. Earlier in the season Negredo would have been in with a shout but his recent form has been, well, abysmal.
Fernandinho is a deserved winner. Hopefully he has a lovely time in Brazil and comes back better than ever for next year.
Fernandinho. I think we’ve got ourselves one of the best midfielders in European football. There’s not much he can’t do, is there, really? He’s got energy, he can run all day, he can tackle, has a great range of passing and scored a few, as well. His arrival allowed Yaya to do what he’s done. He needed freeing, and Fernandinho made it possible.
I think we’ll be unanimous in our decision. It has to be the Brazilian maestro, Fernandinho. His debut against Newcastle gave us a glimpse of what was to come and we’ve never really looked back. He is a complete engine and gives City’s midfield so much more pace. He has freed Yaya up as well to get forward more and we have certainly reaped the benefits. What a debut season for him. Two trophies and in the Brazil squad for the World Cup.
Most Improved Player
I owe huge apologies to Samir Nasri, Javi Garcia, Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko. I’ve made some comments in the past that I’m not proud of and, last summer, I kind of hoped and expected at least three of the four to leave and to never darken our door again. Pellegrini has inspired improvements in nearly every player at the club and I’m going to say Edin Dzeko as my most improved. It’s the fact that he didn’t just improve under the new manager, but kept improving as the season went on. He’s still lacking in finesse and his first touch will never be his strong point but his fight, desire and goalscoring ability just kept growing and getting better right up to the last week of the season when we needed him most. To think of the sulking he was doing last season and earlier on in this, and the names I was secretly calling him – to how I feel about him at the moment – now that’s an improvement.
Nasri gets my shout in this category. He has been a different player and a different man this year, both of which are vital improvements over the general disappointment of last season. From being not arsed if he left last summer I would now be very put out if the club didn’t sign him up on a new contract. Missing the World Cup is probably not great for him personally, but if he gets a whole Summer of rest for next season then that’s a good thing for City. Who cares about the French national team? Shout out to his super angry wife, Anara.
Most improved from last season is Nasri, who’s gone from a player on the periphery of matches struggling to influence things, to one of our best performers. He’s been incredible. A special mention for Demichelis here, too, because he was the victim of a full-on scapegoating campaign at one stage of the season, and yet emerged as a key player in the run in. He was our best defender for the last two months and proved to be a great piece of short-term business.
Javi Garcia. Could have easily gone for Samir Nasri here but I think everyone knew Samir had it him to be decent whereas I don’t think anyone really believed our Javi could be of any value to City. Pellegrini clearly trusts him and he seems to relishing his role in the squad. He’s never going to be a top drawer player but it was great to see him start the last few games of the season in the vital run-in. He’s good looking, too. Not that he wasn’t last season.
— Javi Garcia (@javigarcia06) May 15, 2014