Tag Archives: Kevin De Bruyne

Jordan Henderson Wins FWA Player of the Year

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is the recipient of this year’s Football Writers Association Player of the Year award, after a stellar season with the Reds.

The England international fended off stiff competition from Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Man United’s Marcus Rashford and club teammates Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mané to scoop the prize, the oldest individual honour, which has been handed out each year since 1948.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson were also in the running, but Henderson won it comfortably, taking home almost a quarter of the votes.

Speaking to the FWA after the announcement, Henderson said:

“I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general.

You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.”

Henderson added:

“I accept it on behalf of this whole squad, because without them I’m not in a position to be receiving this honour. These lads have made me a better player – a better leader and a better person.”

The award takes into consideration a player’s performance both on and off the pitch during the season. Overall, there is no doubt Henderson has played a significant role in both those categories.

On the pitch, Henderson has inspired Liverpool to Premier League glory, netting four goals and providing five assists, as the all conquering Reds left numerous records in their wake. Yet, his influence on the side is much more than stats.

He is the lynchpin of Jürgen Klopp’s midfield and exemplifies the high energy, all action philosophy that Klopp has instilled at Anfield. He is often deployed as a deep lying playmaker, or in the a scene of Fabinho, as a defensive midfielder. He breaks up opposition play before starting Liverpool counter attacks with his excellent passing ability.

His stamina and tenacity, are some more of his admirable qualities along with his exemplary leadership. Many players have lauded his professionalism, evident in each of the interviews he conducts after every game, while they also applaud the way he trains and carries himself.

His importance to the team cannot be underestimated. Liverpool have won 27 games in which he has played this season and in his absence a loss of drive and purpose is felt. This was evident in Liverpool’s draw with Burnley and loss against Arsenal.

Off the pitch, Henderson also gained nationwide plaudits, as the leader of the #PlayersTogether campaign. He contacted each of the 19 other Premier League club captains to explain his vision for setting up the campaign which would help to raise millions for the NHS and various other causes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative has already made a £4 million donation to the NHS, and is firmly behind the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis explained in an interview how Henderson spearheaded has spearheaded campaign, stating, “He’s effectively been the captain of this group of players involved in the initiative.”

FWA chair Carrie Brown followed that up by commenting:

“Jordan is a player his team-mates look to on the pitch and who his rivals look up to off it.

“The voting criteria for the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is one who leads by precept and example and in this country’s darkest moment, Jordan, unprompted, personally rallied club captains to establish #PlayersTogether. He is a truly worthy winner of our award.”

Despite Henderson’s great achievements this year, it was one of the closest races for the award in recent years.

Kevin De Bruyne, Marcus Rashford, Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mané could all feel aggrieved not have scooped the gong after their terrific showings this campaign.

Runner up De Bruyne has scored 11 and provided a further 22 assists this term despite City’s struggles, whilst Marcus Rashford has enjoyed his best season in front of goal this campaign.

The striker has 17 Premier League goals to his name in 2019-20 and has also contributed significantly off the pitch.

He lobbied successfully to reverse the government decision to end free school meals to vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as teaming up with the charity Fareshare to provide thousands more children with free meals.

Last year’s PFA Player of the Year winner Virgil Van Dijk has largely slipped under the radar this season, although this is through no fault of his own. He consistently performs at such a high level that only his rare mistakes are ever really highlighted.

He rarely seems to break a sweat and is so calm and composed in possession. He has helped Liverpool to keep 15 clean sheets this season and makes the players around him feel more secure.

Sadio Mané, a sure fire front runner for this year’s PFA Player of the Year (which is announced later today) along with Henderson and De Bruyne, will also be disappointed to miss out.

He has been Liverpool’s talisman for most of the campaign, scoring 17 Premier League goals, which has won the Reds a staggering 18 points in their title winning season.

Mané was one of the best players in the league, tormenting defenders with his remarkable turn of pace, his expert first touch, and clinical finishing. He was one of Klopp’s most important signings and his finely getting the recognition his performances over the past few years has deserved. He would be my pick for PFA Player of the Year.

For the FWA Player of the Year award however, I do think it is difficult to look past Henderson for all that he has achieved both on and off the pitch. He is a true leader, a remarkable athlete and fantastic midfielder who will go down as a Liverpool legend and deserving recipient of the award.

Chelsea defeat Manchester City, help Liverpool clinch first Premier League title

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The famous anthem for Liverpool has been around since April 27, 1963, after the club’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Leicester at Hillsborough. Apparently, Chelsea got the memo and helped guide Liverpool to their first ever Premier League title by defeating Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

 Entering the match, the Blues were considered the underdogs against the two-time defending champions of the league. A loss for the South London-side would have not only been detrimental in their quest for a Champions League spot but would also mean that Liverpool fans would have to wait to celebrate.

For the opening half-hour of the match, the visitors dominated possession but were unable to capitalize on any chances. 

After Kevin De Bruyne’s free kick was cleared away by the Chelsea defence, a mix-up in the back between Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gündogan caused Christian Pulisic to punish the defence with his pace and slot the shot past Ederson in the 36th-minute. 

This goal helped the American’s former manager at Borussia Dortmund, Jürgen Klopp, and The Reds get one step closer to clinching the title as pointed out by The Black and Yellow.

 

The Citizens tied the game up in the 55th-minute courtesy of a De Bruyne free kick that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had no chance of saving. This happened due to Riyad Mahrez being fouled by N’Golo Kante just outside the penalty area.

Two minutes after the De Bruyne goal, Raheem Sterling had an opportunity at a counter-attack goal but was denied by the post, giving Liverpool fans a chance to breathe.

In the 71st-minute, Pulisic seemed to have an easy chance to get his second goal on the night but was denied by Kyle Walker, who, slid across the goal line to keep the game even at one.

 Four minutes after that incident, Ederson and the defence looked to have had more goal line stops after shots from Tammy Abraham and Pulisic were denied. However, VAR awarded The Blues a penalty and Fernandinho was shown a straight red for handling Abraham’s final shot in the sequence. This caused Willian to score from the spot, helping Chelsea get a crucial three points and securing the title for Liverpool.

 

Frank Lampard and Chelsea, who have now accumulated 54 points for the season, take on Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday before returning to league action on Wednesday at West Ham United. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will face off against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on Sunday, before hosting the newly crowned champions on Thursday.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL – STILL THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN ENGLISH FOOTBALL ?

A rivalry between two of the brightest stars in the English football galaxy, separated by a mere 30 miles. A rivalry of the ideologies, economics, cultures and pretty much everything that separates the two cities. A rivalry where careers are made and destroyed. It is in fact more than a rivalry, ablood feud with high octane intensity.
Yes this is Manchester United vs Liverpool, where history is written by the day, only to be eclipsed by the night. On Sunday, United and Liverpool renew hostilities as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s red – hot team host Jurgen Klopp’s charges.

But is it still the biggest rivalry in English football ?

Liverpool dominated English football during the 1970s and 1980s , claiming the league title eleven times and the European cup on four occasions during that period. Manchester United , however, dominated the 1990s and 2000s ,winning the Premier league title record 13 times, two Champions leagues, including the prestigious treble in 1999.

When United won a record – breaking 19th league title, their legendary Manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous comment provides more perspective to this debate.


“My greatest challenge was is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f**king perch. And you can print that”

But with Liverpool still ahead in terms of European glory ,the fight for the much –glorified position atop the perch has never been moreintense.

This Rivalry has seen a lot form the players involved as well.
From Steven Gerrard  Kissing the camera, to former United Striker Wayne Rooney describing how he grew up abhorring the Reds, and Gary Neville’s passionate celebration in front of the Liverpool supporters , this Rivalry has seen it all in recent past.
But the most recent episode of this ferocious rivalry happened when former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was alleged to have racially abused ex- Man Utd defender Patrice Evra in the 2011-12 season. As a consequence, Suarez was banned foreight matches.
And following his return , Suarez had to play United at Old Trafford and the Uruguayan refused to shake Evra’s hand before the match. United won the match much to the delight of Evra and the fans, and as expected Evra celebrated infront of the supporters and made Suarez feel it.

Supporters and Hooliganism :


The two clubs might be the most supported in the world, but matches between them have seen several incidences of hooliganism.
An unidentified Liverpool fan spat at Man Utd legend Eric Cantona and threw a punch at former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the 1996 FA Cup final at Wembley as the Red devils walked to collect the trophy.
In 2016, in a second leg Europa league match at Old Trafford , there were crowd disturbances at the stadium – Liverpool supporters ripped seats and fought with United Fans.It was later reported that a Reds fan sneaked a Liverpool banner into the United section causing fury among United Fans.

As the next chapter of this Historical rivalry is about to be written on Sunday, what do we expect ? Goals? Red Cards? Stalemates ?
And is it still worthy to be mentioned as the biggest rivalry of English football ?

Who should win PFA Player of the Year?

It is the time of year that the PFA Player of the Year nominees are announced, and there have been some excellent players exceed expectations and have been performing out of their skin consistently for the whole of the season.

Manchester City have recently been confirmed as champions, and Pep Guardiola has seen three of his players be nominated for the Player of the Year award: David Silva, Leroy Sané and Kevin de Bruyne.

On the other side of Manchester, only David de Gea has been nominated from the Old Trafford squad. Meanwhile, the other two nominations are the league’s two top goalscorers, Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

A lot of fans, players, managers etc have said in interviews and on social media that the award should be either between Kevin de Bruyne or Mohamed Salah.

de Bruyne leads the assist chart with 15 to his name, along with seven goals. He has averages 73 successful passes per match and has been the key to Manchester City’s incredible success and will earn his medal more than any player in a sky blue shirt.

Salah joined Liverpool for £36.9m from AS Roma and in his first season at Anfield has seen him score 30 goals and easily able to break the record for most goals in a season, and has guided the Reds to the semi-final of the Champions League and third place in the Premier League.

Behind the stats, the two have been incredibly impressive with their performances and pride they show for their respective clubs, and have attracted the attention the world.

It is almost impossible to decide who wins this award, but to nearly break a goalscoring record in his first season, and to be the most crucial cog in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool machine, it would have to go to Salah, but it’s fair to say there would be no complaints if de Bruyne were to claim the award.

Football fans do you agree Salah should win it? If not who should get the award? Let us know in the comments section…

Combined Arsenal Man City XI

Man City prepare to play Arsenal for the second time in five days after their comfortable Carabao Cup final victory. This time the two face off in the Premier League, but who would make the cut in a combined XI?

GK Ederson- The influence Ederson has on this City side cannot be understated, one of the key differences between the City of last season, and this season is the presence of a world class goalkeeper. Ederson’s ability with the ball at his feet is his strongest attribute, but his all round goalkeeping cannot be underestimated. This can be seen by his miraculous save from a close range Lukaku effort in the Manchester derby earlier this season.

RB Kyle Walker- Guardiola moved quickly to ensure he replaced his ageing fullbacks with young, quick players, and in Kyle Walker they got one of the best around. Going forward he offers pace and solid delivery into the box, complimenting the wing play of Leroy Sane perfectly, who prefers to come inside, leaving the space for Walker to overlap. Defensively he is also solid, his pace managing to nullify most wingers.

CB Vincent Kompany- Despite his numerous injury troubles over the past  few seasons, the fact remains that when he’s fit, he’s the best defender in the country. Now enjoying an injury free run in the side, Kompany is back to his best, and at only 31 years of age, he still has a good number of years left to cemente his legacy as one of City’s greatest ever players.

CB Nicolas Otamendi- Otamendi is one of the most improved players in the Premier League. Often seen as a bit of a liability at the back before this season, Otamendi now looks like a completely new player. Calm and composed, compared to his previous erratic and unpredictable style of play, Otamendi is a player reborn under the tutelage of Pep.

LB Nacho Monreal- The first Arsenal player to make the team, Monreal is having his best season in England, despite the constant turmoil currently going on at the Emirates. Monreal is having the best goal scoring season of his career, with 5 goals in all competitions (the same amount as Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck). Not bad for a left back.

CM Fernandinho- Fernandinho has consistently preformed in City’s engine room for the past few seasons, and allows their more dangerous players to attack relentlessly. However, he is much more than a standard defensive midfielder, capable of scoring and assisting goals making him a very well rounded player, and perfect to play a similar role that Sergio Busquets played at Barcelona.

CM Jack Wilshere- Perhaps a controversial choice in the centre of the park, but when he’s on form, Wilshere is a brilliant player. Another player who has suffered with injuries over recent years, Wilshere finally looks to be injury free, and has been putting in impressive performances this season. With his contract situation still not resolved, Wilshere could move on this summer, and if he carries on playing like he currently is will not be short of offers.

RW Leroy Sane- Sane continues to impress during his second season in the Premier League, and despite not being the main man at the Etihad, his potential is frightening. 11 goals this season reflects a brilliant return for the wide man, but it is his all round wing wizardry that has captured the attention of fans across the country.

AM Kevin De Bruyne- Possibly the best player in the Premier League, De Bruyne is unbelievable to watch, and does not have a single weakness opposition teams can try to take advantage of. His consistency is unrivalled, and there is not a single team in the world that De Bruyne wouldn’t instantly improve. 11 goals and 19 assists highlight his ability, and you can guarantee there are plenty more goals and assists to come as he leads City’s treble hopes.

LW Raheem Sterling- Sterling has gone from a tricky winger who failed to deliver an end product on a regular basis, to one of the best and most consistent wingers in the Premier League. If you’d have said at the beginning of the season Sterling would have 20 goals by February, most fans and pundits would have laughed you out of the room, but that is exactly what has happened. The improvement is as clear as day, and even Sterling’s most harshest critics cannot deny that he is justifying that £50 million price tag.

ST Sergio Aguero- Not a lot can be said about Aguero that hasn’t already been said, put simply, he is one of the greatest goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen. Despite rumours that Pep wasn’t his biggest fan, Aguero has continued to bang in the goals, and is on course for his best ever season. Already City’s all time top scorer and one goal away from 200 strikes for the Citizens, it doesnt look like the goals will be drying up anytime soon.