Player of the season
Whichever Manchester club wins the title, they will have done so without having the league’s outstanding player in their ranks. That might change next season, Manchester City are always linked with the world’s best players and Robin van Persie is now undoubtedly in that group. Arsenal are now playing as an impressive collective group, but for much of the season they were totally reliant on the goals, both opportunistic and individually brilliant that their captain provided week in, week out. His form has been a reminder why the mooted departure of Arsene Wenger was always fanciful – he is a fine judge of a player and his recruitment of van Persie is paying handsome dividends and fans of Victor Chandler should remember this.
Manager of the season
Perhaps the pre-eminence of managers hat are products of other leagues is on the wane. The evergreen Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson, a recent manager of the year, have been joined by Harry Redknapp as elder statesmen of the English league managers union and whilst, like Ferguson, many of the other domestically reared bosses that have impressed are not suitable for the England coach’s role due to nationality – David Moyes, Owen Coyle, Paul Lambert, Martin O’Neill and Brendan Rogers – the overall picture bodes well for the future. Alan Pardew has suddenly emerged as a top English manager but it is Rogers, who has quickly established Swansea City as a top flight force that has been outstanding, as he has not just made the Swans successful, but has done so with a brand of eye-catching football people looking at Bet Victor will be wondering if they can repeat this next season.
Comeback of the season
Thierry Henry enjoyed his own brief fairytale return at Arsenal and it is possible that Carlos Tevez might yet claim this award, with City fans will hope the script is written for the re-assimilated star to fire his club to title glory. As it stands, it is a rather different type of professional that has had most influence after a voluntary break. Paul Scholes’ return to Manchester United has been mocked as a desperate measure by some, but as Ferguson points out, bringing in the country’s best midfielder of the last 15 years into your team, ageing or not, can only be a good thing. The proof is in the passing.