Blowing Bubbles Awards 2016

Blowing Bubbles writers Emily Pulham, Lucy Woolford, James Jones, David Bowden, Geoff Hillyer, Kiran Moodley, David Bowden, and Danny Rust give their votes for our 2015/2016 end of season awards

Player of the Season: Mark Noble

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Emily Pulham: Mark Noble. What can I say, I’m a big fan, and this was his season. He was inspired, passionate and a tremendous leader.

Lucy Woolford: Dimitri Payet. We’ve been lucky to have so many candidates this season, whereas normally there are one or two obvious choices. I think Dimitri Payet is the right choice though – he’s come in and made a huge difference to the whole team and the dynamics.

James Jones: Dimitri Payet. There can only be one winner, though there are a number of players who ran him close throughout the campaign. However, the impact Payet had over the entire season was incredible, and some of his free-kicks were just ridiculous.

David Bowden: Michail Antonio. M Versatility himself, joining from Forest on deadline day, Michail was forced to wait around for his chance, but when it came the winger cum full back shone. Scoring eight league goals with most coming from right-back is some achievement and his goals against Spurs and Manchester United will go down in West Ham folk law.

Geoff Hillyer: Dimitri Payet. Well, who else? He’s the player who you pay your entrance money for. Apparently, he’s quite good at free kicks, and simply put – he makes every other player in the team better just by being there.

Kiran Moodley: Mark Noble. Only fitting for a local boy in the last season at the Boleyn. Payet is brilliant but Noble has improved and grown as a player. When it comes to the big games, he never disappoints, and is a leader and unifying force within an exciting squad.

David Meagher: Dimitri Payet. It’s tough on Kouyate, Noble and Antonio but Payet has captured our hearts at a crucial time in our history.

Danny Rust: Dimitri Payet. Numerous players have improved because of his quality, and he has scored so many important goals. They have been spectacular as well, with goals against Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Manchester United standing out in particular.

Young Player of the Season: Reece Oxford

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EP: Reece Oxford. Yes we saw him minimally, but he was wonderful against Arsenal and his age and skill level contributed perfectly to cause Piers Morgan a breakdown. A* result for this lad.

LW: Reece Oxford. He has had a great season and has successfully captained the Development Squad to an U21 Premier League Cup trophy in what looks a promising youth squad. He’s also made several first team appearances without looking out of place, so he’s my choice.

JJ: Reece Oxford. Some say Mesut Ozil is still in his pocket. It has been a breakthrough season for Oxford and the club have been brilliant in the way they’ve used him sparingly, keeping him away from the limelight after all the fuss earlier in the campaign. One for the future.

DB: Djair Parfitt-Williams, As a fan that hasn’t followed as much youth team football as I’d have liked this is a difficult one. But every time I have seen glimpses the Bermudan has impressed. He’s a great finisher and has scored some crucial goals in the development squad’s cup win.

GH: Reece Oxford. To be honest, I’d pretty much made this decision at the end of matchday one v Arsenal. A 16-year old marshalling Mesuit Ozil out of the game? Demonstrates a maturity beyond his years and a bright future is ahead.

KM: Unsure on this one as have not seen as much youth as I’d like. Reece Oxford was great against Arsenal but was poor the following game against Leicester. Sam Byram really impressed when he came on against Manchester City – a really tricky debut but he played brilliantly.

DM: Reece Oxford. Only 17 and already regularly mixing it against the big boys! It’s Rio all over again only nowadays we aren’t a selling team.

DR: Reece Oxford. He was impressive on his senior debut on the opening day of the season. He was comfortable on the ball and kept a £42m man in Mesut Ozil quiet in the fantastic 2-0 win at Arsenal. He is certainly one for the future.

Goal of the Season: Dimitri Payet v Man United (A)

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EP: Aaron Cresswell v Leicester City (A). What an absolute screamer. Came out of nowhere and was so well-taken. More of this next year please.

LW: Dimitri Payet v. Crystal Palace (H). What a selection we’ve had this season! Lanzini, Cresswell, Noble…all in with big shouts, but the goal I still watch back in astonishment is Payet’s free kick against Crystal Palace. The pure precision on that was a sight for sore eyes.

JJ: Dimitri Payet v. Crystal Palace (H). There have been so many incredible goals this season, but Payet’s free-kick v. Palace still baffles me. It defied all logic and was a thing of pure genius.

DB: Dimitri Payet v Manchester United (A). I was torn between two of Dimitri Payet’s free kicks, one in the league and one in the cup, I am sure you can guess which ones. I am going to plump for his effort at Old Trafford. Being at the ground to see that swerve in is still one of my favourite moments at a football match. To beat David De Gea from there shows what a special player Dimi is.

GH: Dimitri Payet v Crystal Palace (H). It’s that man again. Watch the reaction of the other players as the free kick is taken – it’s as if they are expecting him to score. I still can’t work out how he managed to get that dip on the ball. Incredible.

KM: Dimitri Payet v Manchester United (A). I still remember watching it at home with my housemate and saying, ‘He’s going to pass it, that’s too far out.’ The rest is history.

DM: Dimitri Payet v Manchester United (A). As he stepped up to take it a mate beside me said….’surely he’s not going to shoot against De Gea from out there?’ The sound as it whacked the inside of the post was thrilling!

DR: Dimitri Payet v Crystal Palace (H). Numerous goals could have been chosen, but I think the best was Payet’s magnificent free kick against Crystal Palace. Having already missed one earlier in the first half, Payet’s next effort gave Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey – and a huge wall – no chance.

Best Team Performance of the Season: Against Man United (3-2 H)

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EP: Against Arsenal (2-0 A). First game of the season. What a statement of intent for our season. We made it look so seamless and easy. Angelo Ogbonna was immense and yet, to this day, he still has no idea what ground he actually played in.

LW: Against Manchester United (3-2 H). There were a few in the shortlist until the last home game of the season. Along with dealing with the emotion of the occasion, the players knew what the win and performance meant to the fans and the club and they delivered big time!

JJ: Against Manchester United (3-2 H). There were so many superb team performances but that final game at Upton Park pips the lot. To go 2-1 down in the second half but still come back to win 3-2 in a game fuelled by emotions and passion says a lot about the character the squad has.

DB: Against Liverpool (3-0 A). Again I was torn between two performances, both in Merseyside, both scoring three goals, both wins. But for me the 3-0 success over Liverpool at Anfield takes it. I was beginning to think it would never happen, but we went up there and smashed them, a great day and a proper performance.

GH: Against Liverpool (3-0 A). I thought I would never see such a complete West Ham performance against Liverpool in my lifetime. I was tempted to put the Manchester United home league game here, but a win at Anfield for the first time in over 50 years pips it.

KM: Against Spurs (1-0 H). It wasn’t a memorable game – bar the result – but I feel the Tottenham home game was a phenomenal performance. They were on the up and could have gone top. Yet they hardly threatened, they were completely subdued but Bilic’s tactics. Glorious

DM: Against Arsenal (2-0 A) The combined team effort set an impressive and important trend for the season.

DR: Against Manchester United (3-2 H). The atmosphere was incredible on the final night at the Boleyn Ground, and the players showed passion, quality, skill and determination to come from behind on an unforgettable night.

Best Individual Performance of the Season: Mark Noble v Manchester United (H)

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EP: Mark Noble v Manchester United (H). In our final home game of the season, he was everything a captain and a West Ham legend should be and made absolutely sure we left that ground on a win.

LW: Michail Antonio v Spurs (H). Forced into his unfavoured right-back position, he still showed his presence on what felt like every inch of the pitch and was effective throughout. What’s more, he scored the only goal for the win.

JJ: Michail Antonio v Spurs (H). Not just because he scored the winner but because he just didn’t stop running and caused Spurs so many problems throughout. Antonio could’ve beaten Payet to player of the season, but he always managed to provide when we needed him most.

DB: Andy Carroll v Arsenal (H). It was obvious how important the big number nine would be for the Hammers against the Gunners feeble backline and Carroll performed out of his skin to strike his first hat-trick for the club. He won every header, pressurised the back four at every opportunity. It was just a magnificent performance from the big man.

GH: Andy Carroll v Arsenal (H). 2-0 down to Arsenal at home, and suddenly it becomes the Andy Carroll show. A hat-trick in eight minutes showed just what he is capable of on his day – if only he could stay fit, he’d be unstoppable.

KM: Mark Noble v Manchester United (H). A perfect example of what he’s all about: running around the place, committing himself to winning every ball and making things happen. That sums him up.

DM: Slaven Bilic! There were so many player performances to remember but perhaps the best individual contribution was by Mr Bilic in the home victory over Spurs. His tactical courage totally outwitted a capable opposition. Class.

DR: Michail Antonio v Spurs (H). Michail has been somewhat of an unsung hero this season. He had to bide his time before Slaven Bilic gave him a chance but he proved his quality. Antonio was superb in the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. He scored the winning goal and was excellent at right back.

Click here to view the winners of Blowing Bubbles Awards 2014/15

Click here to view the winners of Blowing Bubbles Awards 2013/14

Click here to view the winners of Blowing Bubbles Awards 2012/13

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