‘Arnautovic takes home the top prize after a talismanic display’

Blowing Bubbles writers look back at the very best from the 2017/18 campaign

Blowing Bubbles writers James Jones, Lucy Woolford, David Bowden, David Meagher, Meirion Williams, Brian Penn, Holly Worthington help us choose our End of Season award winners

Player of the Year: Marko Arnautovic

JJ: Believe it or not there were, for me, a couple of contenders but I think it has to got to Arnie for the way he overcame a difficult start to become by far our best player.

LW: As far as being the player who’s made the most difference to the squad and has put a bit of spark back into the club, it’s Marko Arnautovic. He turned things around for himself after a stupid red card and listened to his critics. He’s a player to enjoy watching.

HW: It goes without saying but he saved our season and pushed through to prove himself as one of the Premier League’s best performing players. I daren’t think where we’d be right now without his performances this season!

Young Player of the Year: Declan Rice

BP: In an age when managers are less likely to give youngsters a chance, Ricey has firmly established himself in the squad playing in a variety of positions. But for the odd lapse he has delivered some highly polished performances. The long-term replacement for Mark Noble methinks.

DM: Declan Rice. Twenty seven Premier League appearances and a full international debut say it all but his maturity in bouncing back from poor performances against Newcastle and Arsenal suggest that we may well have the new Billy Bonds on our hands.

MW: A no brainer in my eyes with Declan Rice being the clear winner. He has grown with every performance, it’s hard to believe that he is still a teenager.

Goal of the season: Pedro Obiang v Tottenham Hotspur (A)

MW: Although probably the most important goal was Mark Noble’s at Leicester I would have to give the goal of the season to Pedro Obiang against Spurs. It was beyond belief and well worth that trip to Wembley. Loved the way it silenced the home support.

BP: Pablo Obiang’s goal against Spurs in the Premier League; a sweetly struck long range effort under the lights at Wembley. It had everything; technique, power and the wow factor.

HW: It has to be Obiang’s screamer against Spurs. Out of the blue, an unbelievable finish and best of all… against Spurs. Best Team Performance: Southampton (3-0 H)

LW: Surprisingly I believe there are a few to choose from, including our games at home to Huddersfield and Chelsea, and away to Stoke and Spurs (in the League Cup). But I’d have to go with the home performance against Southampton though. An important game and a strong performance to seal the deal before half time.

DB: Considering the tension around the ground, especially after what happened in the last home game against Burnley, this was a performance full of character and class. Two wonder goals and a match we truly dominated, how often have we been able to say that at the London Stadium?

HW: There’s nothing better than a clear win, three goals when we needed it most against a relegation rival and especially after such a troublesome game before!

Best Individual performance: Marko Arnautovic v Southampton (3-0 H)

BP: Arnautovic was sensational in the home game against Southampton scoring two goals. He tied their defenders in knots and could have played them all by himself. It also broke a run of three heavy defeats and was the perfect antidote to the Burnley debacle.

JJ: Marko Arnautovic really stepped up against Southampton and away at Stoke just when we needed him most. Two match-winning performances against his Mark Hughes’ teams, which wasn’t coincidence.

MW: Another contender for Arnautovic must be that away game in Huddersfield and although Lanzini got all the plaudits with his two goals, it was Arnautovic who was the catalyst for everything good, he was virtually unplayable. The Terriers defence just couldn’t handle him, a great day out and a great performance by our star man.

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