Who do you think has been Liverpool’s best player this season?
I’ll get to my top ten shortly but I’ve been thinking about this during the week and I reckon that if we gave ourselves a lobotomy and used the same criteria that saw Ryan Giggs named PFA Player of the Year last weekend, then the choice for our player of the year would surely have to be Sami Hyypia. I certainly do not mean any disrespect to Big Sami who has given our club some fantastic service over the years, but of all the players in our squad his stats for the season are the closest to Giggs.
By my reckoning he has started 15 games, 3 more than Giggs, he has scored one goal, the same as Giggs (article written before the weekend when and Giggs had only scored 1 when he won the award) and he has given the club more than a decade of loyal service. That may not be quite as long as Giggs has given to the Mancs but there again these awards, we are told, are meant to be about a players performances over a season not their careers, so longevity shouldn’t make any difference.
So there you go, conclusive proof of why Sami Hyypia has been our best and most important player of the season, or at least he would be if we were like the lobotomised members of the PFA! Don’t get me wrong, Big Sami has played an important role for us this season as he has done in every season he’s been with us, but our player of the season? I think not and I dare say even the man himself would agree.
I don’t have a problem with Giggs and loyalty, even if it is to the Mancs, in the modern game is certainly something worthy of acknowledgement but to confuse this with naming him not just the best player at his club but in the entire league over the past season is quite clearly ludicrous! In allowing this media driven sentimental bullshit to cloud their judgement, I think the members of the PFA have forever tainted this once important award and diminished the achievement of the many great players who have won it in the past.
But all this talk about best players etc got me thinking that although there is still some football to be played before this season ends, I’ve already pretty much made up my mind on my top ten Liverpool players of the season. I don’t expect there’s much going to happen in the remaining games to affect the placings, so without further ado and a little earlier then I’d originally planned here’s my Top 10 Liverpool Players in season 08/09.
10. Hyppia: The big Finn just keeps on going. He has now completed a decade at Anfield and in that time his bad games would barely reach double figures. He would now be our fourth choice centre back but when we’ve needed him this season he’s come in and done a great job, particularly in our game at the Theatre of Illusions when he was called into the team just minutes before the kick off but took it all in his stride and never put a foot wrong. I’m not surprised to hear that other teams are still anxious to sign him but I will be definitely sorry to see him go.
9. Arbeloa: At the start of the season I had my doubts about him as our first choice right back but I think he’s grown into the role. Thanks to the medical miracle known as Degan, we’ve been a little short of cover in the position so Arby’s had to play a lot more games this season than perhaps was originally planned but for the vast majority he’s done very well.
8. Skrtel: He’s proven to be a great signing. A very solid centre half who is sure to be at the heart of our defence for many years to come. He’s had a few dodgy moments recently as have the rest of our defence but he’s had a great season overall. I just hope he can find a way to add a few goals to his game and be a bit more of a threat when he comes up for corners etc.
7. Benayoun: He wasn’t overly impressive in the first half of the season but since the turn of the year, and particularly recently, he’s been terrific. If he can maintain this form he will be a great asset to us in the remaining games and next season.
6. Carra: He’s had a good season although not his best in my opinion but he is still the rock at the heart of our defence. Brings a lot more to the team than just simply footballing ability. Reliable and solid.
5. Reina: In my opinion he is the best goalkeeper in the Premiership and one of the best in the world. I don’t know how many goals his excellent distribution has been responsible for or how many points he has been worth to us this season but it’s a lot that’s for sure.
4. Torres: When fully fit and in form our number 9 is the most lethal striker in the game. He is an awesome player who just oozes class and is already being talked about in the same breath as some of the other great strikers who have played for the club in the past. He would definitely be higher in my list but he’s missed a lot of games this season through injury. Even so he has still managed 13 goals in barely more than 20 games so who knows where we would be now if he had been available for more.
3. Dirk: I’ve never seen a player who works as hard. He runs his bollocks off from the first minute to the last of every single game he plays in. Tiredness is never a factor for Kuyt, he rarely picks up injuries and tends to score some very important goals. He’s played a lot of games this season and been very consistent so he well deserves a place in my top three.
2. Gerrard: You run out of superlatives to describe our captain but in my opinion he is the best player in the world. There are some other great players around but none of them have as many strings to their bow as Gerrard. When he is on form he is almost unstoppable and he has developed a brilliant partnership with Torres in attack. He only misses out on my top spot because like Torres he has unfortunately missed a lot of games this season with various injuries.
1. Alonso: In my opinion this has been his best and most consistent season for us, he’s been brilliant. The fact that he almost ended up at Juventus last summer is a stick that some people have tried to beatRafa up with but the truth is that before this season he’d been very inconsistent for about two years. The close call of a move away seems to have inspired him to produce his best and he’s been excellent for us this season pulling the strings in the centre of our midfield. Let’s hope for more of the same from him next season.
So that’s my top ten. There are of course some notable omissions and while the likes of Masch, Aurelio, Lucas, Babel, Dossena and Riera have all had their moments this season, they haven’t produced them often enough to make my top ten. Insua has also been great for us but he hasn’t played in enough games.
Who’s your player of the year? Let us know in the comments below.