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Back with the annual Mid-Season Awards

By Vinod Kumar :  09/01/2011 :  Comments (13) :
Salutations! After a brief hiatus, I?m back with the mid-season awards. I guess it?s premature to state that the results could be the same come the end of the season, but currently after a quick analysis since August, I believe I can pick out on the players who have been delivering the goods.

Apart from the past awards such as ?Player of the Season?, ?Best New Signing?, ?Mr Reliable? and ?Most Improved Player?, I have decided to add two more categories of awards. ?Mr Who?? signifies a player who has not been performing and is a favourite for the drop come the end of the season.

?The Young Gun? award is dedicated to the youngsters of Everton who have been plying their trade at the highest level in one of the best leagues in the world. Perceptions differ, and as fans it?s your call to voice out your opinions. So, without further delay?Drum rolls please??..

2010-11 Season

It was a pre-season that raised expectations and anxiety throughout the blue side of Merseyside. ?We have the strongest squad in years!? a phrase that was echoed throughout Goodison Park. Is this going to be the beginning of the Golden Period for Moyes?s slowly but carefully-built dynasty? Or is it going to be one of those post-Walter Smith dark days that would eventually cause the downfall of the Moyes Era?

Sadly, after 21 games to the season, many hopes have been dampened due to the insipid performances by the team. Questions have been raised. Does consistent league placing of 13, 14 and 15 show ambition by the club? Has Everton decided to participate in a different league chasing honours with Birmingham and Fulham to be the club with the highest number of draws? Has Moyes?s signings for the season turn out to be damp squibs? Has Arteta, Pienaar and Heitinga lost their form? Are the strikers in for a goal crisis?

Many issues have been ongoing, but one thing has given a silver lining. The team has performed better against clubs that are considered their close rivals. Draws against Chelsea, Man United together with victories over Tottenham, Man City and of course Liverpool has shown once again that Everton are a tough nut to crack. But then enters the question of consistency? Were defeats to Stoke, Newcastle, Brentford and the morale-sapping 1-4 thrashing to West Brom smells of complacency? Yet with the recent victories over Tottenham and Scunthorpe together with the mouth-watering prospect of doing the double over the Reds next week gives a new vigour to the whole of Everton and with that same vigour I present to you?

Player of the Season: Leighton Baines

It took him a full two seasons to show his true potential. But this season, he just blew out of proportions right from the word go! With 24 league and cup appearances this season, 7 assists and glorious goals against Man City and Scurnthorpe he?s shown that HE IS the quality left-back of Everton. Whether it?s his potent partnership with Pienaar or his dashing runs on the left flank, his wonderful crosses or his deadly set-pieces, I wouldn?t be surprised to see his goal scoring tally rising and winning THAT coveted award!

Best New Signing: NIL

Sadly, I have to give a pass to this one, as none of the new signings have lit up the league so far. Promising displays of Jermaine Beckford has put him as a front-runner but he hasn?t fully fulfilled to be named as the best New Signing. Lack of playing time for Slovakian World Cup hero Mucha and ?Moyes?s ace? Magaye Gueye has made it hard to analyze their status.

Mr Reliable: Tim Cahill

Joining past winners Carsley, Stubbs and Arteta in the list, Cahill has shown that he has more to provide apart from his goal scoring feats. With a 9-goal tally this season, he has always been the lynchpin for the 4-5-1 formation grenade. And when the strikers are not performing, it?s his goals that the team depends on. No wonder there was a rationale explanation from Moyes in the game against Birmingham when he left out Yakubu, Saha and Becks and opted to start with Cahill upfront. Cahill = Everton?s talisman.

Most Improved Player: Sylvain Distin

This award category is a personal favourite of mine as this was how I started with the award ceremony with ToffeeWeb. And there always would be a significant aura for players who are capped in this category. There?s an old saying ?from villain to hero? which is what these players are about. From the likes of Pistone to Phil Neville to Osman, it is now Distin?s turn to take this award. He has proven this season that he can overcome his limitations and transform into a formidable rock at the heart of defence!

Mr Who?: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

A close 3-way fight between the Yak, Bily and Big Vic, but Bily slightly edges out Yak and Vic due to his poor form this season. Starting the pre-season with promise, he has a mere 3 starts for the season and yet to show penetration down the flanks. With young Coleman overshadowing him and no goal scoring ratio this season, it?s his £10 million valuation that is making him the red-hot favourite for Mr. Who?

The Young Gun: Seamus Coleman

Who else? Coleman wins this award hands down. No one would have thought there could be someone running down the right flank except for ol? Donovan. But here we have one of the young guns making the right side his own and it?s pretty obvious that he has the mantle to take down opposition and has been a revelation for the toffees. If he stayed injury-free and improvise on his tracking back and dictating, then we might have a potential ?Everton?s very own Marc Overmars? in our hands.

So, there you have it?The Jury is out. The Awards are given. The presentation is done. Half the battle has passed. Now it?s another gruelling 4 months to know the outcome of Everton?s season as well as how the players have fared overall. But results are not the only thing that matters? what matters most is that we are behind the team through thick and thin. COYB!

Reader Comments

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Ajay Gopal
1   Posted 09/01/2011 at 07:26:18

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Can't really argue with any of your selections. If I were to add 3 more cheeky categories: "The Most Diappointing Player of the Season" award would be a close call between Saha, Heitinga & Arteta (My choice: Arteta). The "Mr. Inconsistent" award would be between Howard and Jagielka (Howard for me) and Mr. Anonymous - Pienaar, Rodwell & Neville (Rodwell).
Steven Pendleton
2   Posted 09/01/2011 at 07:54:13

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The Mr Who award is a bit unfair on Bily as he hasn't had a run of games. The Yak wins this award by a country mile.
Rob Teo
3   Posted 09/01/2011 at 08:04:03

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Mr Who is Arteta for me by virtue of his poor, poor form relative to his undoubted ability, top-cat status at the club, and the expectation we had of him.
Dermot Ryan
4   Posted 09/01/2011 at 08:40:45

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Heitenga must get an award for his second season malaise. It seems not long ago when I was among the many thinking of Johnny as a future captain and a future legend. And now I just look at him as a mercenary that we need to get rid of at a good price.
Roman Sidey
5   Posted 09/01/2011 at 11:29:56

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Really unfair on Bily. Moyes won't pick him. He is seriously one of the most naturally gifted players we have, but he isn't able to show it. Give him a few games in a row, and he WILL shine.

Johnny could be a captain, as long as he is playing centre half, and we are doing well. He gets way too much stick, and if you believe everything you read in the paper, then you need to do one - most of his insane comments are made in Dutch, to Dutch media, so a lot would be getting lost in translation.

Just to be funny, I think the best candidate for "Mr Who?" for the last 2 years is Lescott!
Denis Richardson
6   Posted 09/01/2011 at 15:58:41

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Agree with above, Billy and Jonny H get too much stick; Billy hardly gets a chance to prove himself and JH has been played out of position most of the times he's played this season.

My Mr Who? would also be Arteta for me given his performances in relation to his ability and top earner at the club - again however, you could argue this is part due to the manager playing him so deep in most games.

Distin and Baines have been immense this season so far.
Christopher McCullough
7   Posted 09/01/2011 at 17:08:00

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Most likely to lift the FA cup? Neville, Cahill or Arteta?

Neville, probably. But i'd love to see all three up there together.

Andrew James
8   Posted 09/01/2011 at 21:08:15

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Yeah have to agree with most of this although a bit harsh on Bily who barely gets on the pitch and hasn't looked bad when he's on it. I have a theory about him that he will blossom but anyway.

Baines and Cahill have been awesome whilst Coleman has really made the right side his own since the clocks changed. I think I was at the first game where he was named to start on the right at Fulham and he looked like 90 mins was too much at that point. Subsequently he has really matured and can run and run.

The only one you don't manage to fit in is Fellaini who has become pivotal since coming back from suspension. With him in the middle I think we can really go on a decent run, not because he attacks but because he protects the back four and keeps things ticking over. If he could score a few more like he did in his maiden season then maybe he might become the complete player. Nevertheless, it shows the strides the squad has made that we are winning games regardless of Pienaar and Arteta because of Fellaini and Coleman doing the business. Three seasons ago the removal of those two older players would have spelt disaster.
Ian Smitham
9   Posted 09/01/2011 at 21:35:30

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Just for a laugh, Dermot @4 Did you not read the typing lesson we had last week? FFS "h" is no where near "w"
Aiden Doyle
10   Posted 09/01/2011 at 23:04:49

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I?d like to see Gueye honoured with this season?s ?For Fuck?s Sake Hibbo? award for that extraordinary aircraft threatening cross that he put in at the end of yesteray?s game.
John Ford
11   Posted 10/01/2011 at 01:42:29

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I'd like to give Johnny H the one (and only) 'get out of jail free' card. We've been switching players positions too much, but it was never more obviously the wrong thing to do than with JH. He is a top player at CB, but nowhere else. At some point this should have been picked up.

I'd like to also propose Victor Anichebe for the Ian Rush stupidity award. I could do without the little tantrums, arrogance and mostly the complete lack of any kind of vision or nous... There is a reason he looks so vacant.
Roman Sidey
12   Posted 10/01/2011 at 05:03:58

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Yeah John. Back when Vaughan and Vic were coming through, I was a staunch supporter of the big Nigerian and could barely stand the sight of Vaughan. I still don't really like Vaughan, and quite frankly think 2mil is great business, but seeing Vic take the field now fills me with unprecedented hatred and rage - 2nd only to the frustration at seeing Hibbo get the nod.
Mike Rourke
13   Posted 11/01/2011 at 11:15:02

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Yep Johnny H, definitely deserves the World Cup Finalist Centre Back Most Shat On By His Club award.

I will be gutted when he is inevitably sold.

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