Blowing Bubbles writers David Bowden, James Gavin, Geoff Hillyer, James Jones, Kiran Moodley, Stuart Plant, Emily Pulham, Greg Richardson, and Lucy Woolford help us choose our End of Season awards
Player of the Season: Manuel LanziniEmbed from Getty Images
LW: Manuel Lanzini. He’s a game changer and the only member of the team who that can be said about in all honesty. He inspires the players around him and makes the most impact.
KM: Manuel Lanzini. He has led when and where others haven’t. He has given his best in nearly every match, made an important impact in every game, and scored crucial goals in numerous fixtures. He rose to the occasion after the departure of Dimitri Payet and flourished. He was not given enough plaudits last year – now, he deserves them.
DB: In a season that has offered so little joy, any moments of magic have so often been inspired by one man, and that man is our very own little gem, Manuel Lanzini. He is the one player that gets you off your seat on a regular basis and watching him is worth the entrance fee alone.
EP: James Collins. Look, he’s not quick and flashy like Manuel Lanzini or a goalscorer like Michail Antonio, but this man never gave up this season. He threw himself in front of every ball, never stopped running, and did everything he could to be the best he could be for his club. He gets it when he pulls the shirt on and he always applauded the fans – something not everyone did this season. He’s the player I’m most grateful for – and he’s my player of the season.
Young Player of the Season: Edimilson FernandesEmbed from Getty Images
GR: Edimilson Fernandes. He hasn’t done anything spectacular, although his goal against Chelsea was decent, but he has always seamlessly fitted into the midfield whenever he has been called upon. He’s confident on the ball, tidy in possession and has great potential.
JJ: Edimilson Fernandes. Not many to pick from here and Ashley Fletcher has impressed when given the chance, but I’ve been mightily impressive by Fernandes. At just 20 years old it’s clear he has a bright future and looks a right steal at just £4m.
GH: Edimilson Fernandes. Not a great season for our young crop but Fernandes gets my vote. Scored the winner with a beautifully composed finish against Chelsea in the League Cup, one of my highlights of the season. We expect big things in the future.
DB: Declan Rice. A tricky one as we seldom often see youth get a chance, but in a successful season for the development squad one player has stepped into the limelight and that is Declan Rice. With him, Reece Oxford and Reece Burke the future of the back three looks very bright.
Goal of the Season: Andy Carroll v Crystal Palace (H)Embed from Getty Images
EP: Andy Carroll v Crystal Palace (H). What a stunner. Imagine if he could go a few weeks without an injury; we’d win the league. (Okay, fine, we wouldn’t but it was an incredible goal.)
JG: Andy Carroll v Crystal Palace (H). What a goal. I don’t think I will ever see a better one in front of my own eyes. It still shocks me and I must have seen it 100 times now at least.
LW: Andy Carroll v Crystal Palace (H). My jaw dropped at the overhead kick and I stood in my living room in a speechless trance! It was stunning, thrilling, exciting…you name it!
JJ: Manuel Lanzini v Tottenham Hotspur (H). Andy Carroll’s was a thing of beauty, agreed, but Lanzini’s winner against Tottenham is the one I’ll remember this season for most. It’s the goal, and win, that showed us all that London Stadium really can be home for us.
Best Team Performance of the Season: Against Tottenham Hotspur (1-0 H)Embed from Getty Images
EP: Against Tottenham Hotspur (1-0 H). On this night, we pulled it together in outstanding fashion and kept a really rather good Spurs team quiet. It was a nearly faultless team performance, they got the job done – and we finally held the housewarming party for our new ground.
KM: Against Tottenham Hotspur (1-0 H). This season has been dire, with most performances forgettable and worthy of lower league football. This was the one difference. The one match you could be proud of – and it meant so much more given it was against Spurs.
GR: Against Tottenham Hotspur (1-0 H). The effort and passion evident at that game (both from the crowd and the players) is the blueprint for making The London Stadium feel like home. From the first minute to the last the boys ran themselves into the ground and made a very good side look pretty average.
SP: Against Chelsea (2-1 H). The League Cup game where we looked like we might turn the London Stadium into a real home sooner than anticipated. Other contenders for me, were the Palace game for Carroll’s and Lanzini’s goals, and the Tottenham game, even though it’s bloody frustrating that we can suddenly turn it on when we feel.
Best Individual Performance of the Season: Michail Antonio V Crystal Palace (3-0 H)Embed from Getty Images
LW: Michail Antonio V Crystal Palace (3-0 H). His efforts stood out as a solid performance and he looked like a man on a mission that afternoon! He set up big Andy for the goal of the season, so he deserves something just for that.
DB: Michail Antonio V Crystal Palace (3-0 H). He didn’t quite win my vote for Hammer of the Year, but Michail Antonio easily wins this award. Three assists in one game is no mean feat and to do it in such an important game at that point of the season was crucial, a superb display by Iron Mike.
EP: Goal Post v Hull City (1-0 H). It takes a lot for a piece of woodwork to shine, but in this dark dismal season, that post delivered when it counted and was the sole reason we won that game.
JG: James Collins v Swansea (1-0 H). A tough one this, but I will have to go for Collins against Swansea. It was a hugely important game and he brought his experience and determination to help us get over the line. This was a pivotal part of our season and just lifted us away from the danger zone