By Neil Leverett
- Britwatch Sports takes an irreverent look back at the 2018/19 Premier League season
- As Manchester City retain the league title and Cardiff, Huddersfield and Fulham are relegated, we hand out the gongs for the good, the bad and ugly
- Awards up for grabs include biggest flop and angriest manager
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – As the 2018/19 domestic season draws to close this weekend with the Emirates FA Cup final, Britwatch Sports hands out its’ annual irreverent end-of-season awards.
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Nominees: Hamza Choudhury, Ederson, Paul Pogba, Gaetan Bong
Winner: Hamza Choudhury
Despite both Pogba and Ederson‘s patented and indeed patterned cut-in designed barnets this season, together with Brighton full-back Bong’s glorious hair-bun, it’s Choudhury who takes the prize for best locks. Sporting a glam afro cut that would not be out of place in a Pam Grier movie, the Foxes’ homegrown midfielder has not only stamped his own brand on the field but in the salon also.
Even before Brendan Rodgers took over the King Power Stadium hotseat toward the end of the campaign, the England U21 international has had a breakthrough season in the east Midlands and has been one of Leicester’s unsung heroes this season.
Sporting a similar barnet to Marouane Fellaini, Choudhury however is no headless chicken in the middle of the park. The Foxes may already have capable midfielders in their ranks in Wilfred Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy, but under Rodgers Choudhury is very much one to watch next season, both on and off the pitch.
Nominees: Wilfried Zaha, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero, Divock Origi
Winner: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Perhaps a surprise winner for a man of such exquisite follicle management in the past, but for his style sported against Crystal Palace in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat to the Eagles, the Gabonese striker made a critical faux pas.
Whilst in the past the Gunners hitman has donned mohawks, quiffs and general superb grooming, his cut against the Eagles was indeed a cut very much below, appearing with a half comb-over more Rab C Nesbitt than style icon.
Though Aubameyang may be one of the most lethal forwards in Europe, and having shared the Golden Boot with both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the number fourteen did not cover himself in glory or indeed beauty, with this one. No thanks Auba.
Biggest Transfer Flop
Nominees: Mohamed Elyounoussi, Jean-Michael Seri, Fred
It was a relatively close run thing between himself and Seri, but the Manchester United midfielder takes the most unenvious award of the season. Arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer amidst great fanfare, the Brazilian failed to hold down a regular starting place early on and despite the Red Devil’s poor season, even the Brazilian could only manage 17 appearances all season.
Heralded as a Fernandinho type who could score and provide a link between United’s shaky back line and an attack which still lacked creativity, Paul Pogba‘s move to a more advanced role hindered Fred, as the midfielder scored just once and assisted just twice all campaign.
Recruited initially by Jose Mourinho, the player’s fortunes have not fared any better under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and with accusations being made over Fred being one of United’s biggest flops in recent memory, his Premier League tenure in England may be cut short in the close season.
Nominees: Jurgen Klopp, Neil Warnock, Roy Hodgson
Winner: Neil Warnock
The victor by a landslide was the relegated Cardiff City boss. Though the Sheffield native may protest the Bluebirds’ drop back down to the Championship was as a result of many an officiating call against his side, Warnock is not one to shirk expressing emotion – often in explosive manner – and this past term was no exception.
Though now having turned 70, the veteran steward of no less than 12 different league clubs in England and Wales, Warnock shows has shown no concern for his health with many a touchline expletive-laden rage this past season.
Perhaps Warnock’s most famous infamous outburst came at home to Chelsea – in glorious fiery fashion. With his side leading by a goal to nil, the hosts were denied a contentious penalty after Sean Morrison had his shirt pulled by Antonio Rudiger, before a late double from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek saw the Blues steal all three points, leaving Warnock seething.
Confronting officials after the final whistle, one would have paid to be a fly on the wall and perhaps made a small fortune from a swear jar, as Warnock cemented his place as perhaps the most angry man in the Premier League – or rather, was.
The Emirates FA Cup final takes place on Saturday, as Premier League champions Manchester City face Watford at Wembley Stadium