Who are the favourites for this brilliant season’s accolades?

Rice and Bowen are battling for Hammer of the Year with Johnson and Lanzini also likely to win

Manuel Lanzini (WHU) Takehiro Tomiyasu (A) at the Arsenal v West Ham United EPL match, at the Emirates Stadium, London, UK on 11th December, 2021.

As we approach the final third of the 2021/22 season, our thoughts turn to the end of season awards. After a strong start to the campaign, there are plenty of individual and team performances to look back on.

Player of the Season:

There are two clear front runners for this award. Unsurprisingly, it is Rice and Bowen. It is interesting to note that Soucek won last year, with Coufal as runner up. Their hard work last season made this decision a no-brainer, however this season, neither player has found the same form. Instead, we have seen Bowen emerge as one of the Premier League’s top goal scorers and Rice continuing to show why David Moyes values him at over £100m.

Young Hammer of the Year:

This is likely to go to Ben Johnson, having forced his way into contention for David Moyes’ starting XI. Other players worth a mention include Armstrong Oko-Flex, who has been excelling in the under 23s since we signed him from Celtic and has 11 goals in 16 games at the time of writing. Another impressive performer this season has been Sonny Perkins, who is also making a name for himself in the under 23s at just 18 years of age. 

Goal of the Season:

Lanzini’s screamer against Palace in January sticks in my mind as the best goal of the season so far. He took it past Joachim Andersen and set himself on his left foot to fire the ball in off the underside of the crossbar. The other goal that could be in with a chance is from Lanzini again, for his late goal against Man City in November.

Best Team Performance:

We’ve had our fair share of good performances, particularly early on in the season. Given our lack of squad depth, these games have been made even sweeter when multiple players have stepped up to make the difference. For that reason, my favourite team performance was West Ham v Liverpool in November, ending in a 3-2 home win after an eventful 90 minutes.

An early own goal from Allison gave us the lead in the fourth minute, before conceding just before half time to make it level at the break. Two more from Fornals and Zouma made it too late for Liverpool to come back, despite a Divock Origi goal in the 83rd minute. An important three points, which also brought an end to Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season. Another game in contention is our 3-2 win against Chelsea. Coming back from 2-1 down at half time, Bowen equalised in the 56th minute, before Masuaku found the top left corner with a beautiful shot, which was definitely not a cross!

Best Individual Performance:

It’s been hard to choose an individual performance of the season, so naturally I took the question to Twitter. The two most common answers were Bowen against Chelsea and Antonio’s brace against Leicester in the second game of the season.

Save of the Season:

My save of the season so far has to be from Fabianski, away to Watford. Destined for the top corner, Fabianski pulled off an incredible save in the dying moments of the game, resulting in a 4-1 win.

With plenty of the season yet to come, here’s hoping we have many more positive memories which outshine those I’ve mentioned.

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