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Post Season Award Time For Liverpool, Let's Dish Out Some Silverware

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Liverpool may not have won a trophy this year, but that won't stop us from handing out a few of our own.

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Well done to you too, El Capitan.
Well done to you too, El Capitan.
Laurence Griffiths

From seventh-placed to a surprise title charge, even Steven Gerrard's horrifying slip can't take the luster off of what was an excellent season for Liverpool.  Blistering attacking play, Champions League qualification, and the first steps in Justice for the 96 meant it was a good year to hang out in the Kop.  The Reds didn't bring home any trophies, but we still think some awards, and nasty envelopes, deserve to be handed out.

Player of the Season

Lucas Leiva.  Ah, psyche!  It's the Gremlin, and it's not really that close. One of the most outrageous seasons I think any of us has ever seen by an individual player. Zidane considered footy to be an art form, but the aggression with which Suarez brings to his technical ability and vision makes him seem more like Man on Fire. (Matt)

I'm not sure we can call Lui "Gremlin" anymore, Matt. After the season he's had, he blew us all away. While Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, and Stevie G all have shouts for this, he's head and shoulders above all of them. Even his fellow players say that. (JAceKopite16)

It can't be anyone but Suarez. Suarez was the unquestioned best player in the world for at least half the year. He's always been a handful, but for large parts of this season, he was virtually unstoppable. It didn't matter what he did, the ball was going on the net at some point. He was so good that when he slowed down to simply being the player he'd always been at the end of the season, we thought he looked bad. Suarez spoiled us this year. (blunatic)

Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz. (Dan)

Most Improved Player

If the first award was incredibly straightforward, this one heads the opposite direction. Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Jon Flanagan, and, yes, even Steven Gerrard (c'mon he learned a new position no one ever thought he could play) are candidates here. I'm going to take Henderson. Brendan Rodgers took a chunk of play-doh and made the Mona Lisa. (Matt)

Hendo. All the way. He's to this side what Steven Gerrard was to Rafa Benitez era Liverpool. Okay, he may not be as inspirational, but he fills that role and has played everywhere across the midfield, and scored a few goals as well. Tell me you saw him having this good a season in August. Most of us were still viewing him as a prospect. Now? Well, you saw what we did without him for the games in which he was suspended. (JAceKopite16)

I'm actually gonna go a different direction with this one. I'm going with Suarez, but not because of actually skill improvement. Yes, he was playing the best football of his career for part of this season, but that's not why I'm picking him. I'm picking Suarez because the improvement to his attitude and demeanor was absolutely remarkable. He eliminated nearly all of his questionable behavior in just one summer. The Suarez who dove, complained to the refs non-stop, and did things like biting players, was virtually gone by the time he got back on the pitch after his suspension. He still complains at times, but nowhere near as often as he once did. He still dove a couple of times, but it was very clear he made the effort to stay on his feet the majority of the time. The transformation Luis made this year was incredible. All of the things Suarez once did to (rightfully) earn himself a reputation as a villain are basically gone from his game. (blunatic)

Raheem Sterling transformed from immature, unrefined prospect to indisputable star this season. He put a purpose behind his tools, and rather than running around aimlessly and maybe drawing a foul or two, he started to actively pressure and unlock defenses. The results were stunning, and if he wasn't the most improved (which I strongly believe he was), his improvement still may have been the most important to Liverpool's future. (Dan)

Best Transfer Signing

Woof.  Honestly, woof.  I'm going to go with Mamadou Sakho simply because he was the only one who got meaningful playing time down the stretch.  Maybe one day we'll look back on Tiago Ilori as the guy who saved this window. (Matt)

The thing about Mama Sakho is…the jury's still out on him for me. Ilori (who I affectionately call Bruno Mars) and Alberto are still young, and Moses and Aly were loanees...Do Sergi Canos and Pedro Chirivella count? Hahaha (JAceKopite16)

This is pretty much Sakho by default. He was good at times, but he's still rough around the edges. One day he could be an absolute monster in the back, but he's got a lot of work to put in before he reaches that point. (blunatic)

Luis Alberto must have done something behind the scenes that upset Rodgers deeply, because he couldn't get any playing time whatsoever even during a December stretch in which the Liverpool midfield was ravaged by injury. Aspas was a disaster, Toure crapped himself at the Hawthorns, Cissohko wasn't good enough, and Moses didn't exactly part defenses. Sakho was decidedly "meh" after being anointed the anchor of Liverpool's defense for years to come. Despite some mistakes, Mignolet represented the clearest step up from the man he replaced, so the honor goes to him. (Dan)

Worst Transfer Signing

Pin the tail on the donkey here. Aly Cissokho was brutal but only a loan signing, same goes for Victor Moses who had the temerity to bitch about playing time. I'm going to go with Iago Aspas though, we''ll probably flip him on this summer for next to nothing -- which is more than he brought to the team. (Matt)

Aspas was brought in as the back up plan in case Lui did leave, and once he didn't, Iago never got much of a look in, and didn't take it when he did. (JAceKopite16)

I don't care if Victor Moses was just a loanee. I have to pick him here. It was actually painful to watch him most of the time he was in the game. I never liked the loan to begin with, and I'm thrilled I won't have to watch him in a Liverpool shirt ever again. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Vic. (blunatic)

Victor Moses was actually pretty impactful in his first appearance against Swansea, scoring once and causing problems throughout. After that it was a steep downhill, but at least there was an important result that he influenced, no matter how frustrating it was to watch him give zero you-know-whats as he trotted around for 5-10 minutes a match. Iago Aspas was atrocious in all of his Premier League games, and worse, we can't return him to where he came from like Moses. (Dan)

Unsung Hero

I can't say Hendo twice and his absence in three of Liverpool's last four kind of made people properly appreciate him anyway. Let's go with Flanagan then. A great season coming out of nowhere and his versatility to play on either side was immensely helpful. (Matt)

Flanno for me, also. As Matt said above, he came completely out of left field, especially, as you'll remember from Being Liverpool, he was sent down to the U21s last year. And now he's on standby for the World Cup squad... Though being honest I'm not sure why he's not in the squad proper as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling never get in the United side, and I'm not even trying to put United down. (JAceKopite16)

I'd like to say someone else just to be different, but we didn't use too many players, and Flanagan just fits the unsung hero mold so well. Flanno was a key player in this squad for most of the season. He was far from flashy, and didn't created tons of goals, but he was all around solid, and pretty quietly put in a great season. I think Liverpool fans realize how good he was, but not many outsiders really do. Perhaps the best thing Flanagan did was keep Cissokho out of the lineup. Thank you for that Flanno. (blunatic)

Flanno and my reasoning is outlined above. (Dan)

Most Disappointing Player

This one could get wildly different answers from everyone, simply because it's dependent upon your expectations going on.  My predictions of Lucas having a huge season make him a serious candidate, but I'm going to go with Simon Mignolet.  He made some excellent reaction saves but also failed to properly communicate with his defenders, consistently flapped at crosses, and made a few boneheaded plays.  I honestly wouldn't mind Liverpool going after another keeper this summer. (Matt)

While Mignolet struggled at times down the stretch with the mistakes mentioned by Matt, I actually still thought he had a good year overall and I believe in him at least going into next season. This is something that might make a good discussion in the comments, because goalkeeper evaluation can be highly subjective and often leads to interesting debates. As for the most disappointing player, I'll go with Glen Johnson. You'd think in a contract year ahead of the World Cup he would have put in a better season, but instead he's likely headed elsewhere this summer due to an inability to defend and an erosion of his attacking talents. (Dan)

No player really disappointed me. We knew the likes of Ilori and Alberto were young, and Aspas, if Lui stayed, was back-up. I suppose I might've expected more from Martin Kelly. But then, he actually did well when he came in. (JAceKopite16)

This may be an unpopular opinion, but Coutinho was the most disappointing player for me. After what he did upon his arrival last year, I was fully expecting Coutinho to be in the running for our player of the year at the very least. He played well at times, but there were other times where he was just plain bad. He just disappeared for long stretches of play. Also, his shooting made me cringe way too many times. I think he'll bounce back just fine next year,  but I was really hoping for more out of Phil this year. (blunatic)

Best Goal

I'm taking Suarez's first against Norwich. Even the security guys seem stunned at having to take their "after goal" positions on the field. Technique, audacity, Norwich. Three words that sum up Suarez's time at Liverpool. (Matt)

I have a few, there were 101 of them... Lui's goal against Norwich is up there, (and probably takes it)  as well as his first against Spurs (Jordan Henderson backheel nutmeg anyone?). Also one against Cardiff, where Daniel Sturridge backheeled from the corner of the box after missing his own chance to Lui who scored from about 12 yards out.

Danny also had the winner against Stoke at the Brittannia which he took down his own shot with a header onto his chest and then controlled and beat Begovic high into the corner. Also Flanno's against Spurs. Just because of the pure emotion of it. (JAceKopite16)

This is going to sound rather silly after what I said for most disappointing player, but I'm going with Coutinho's goal against City  as best goal. It may not have been the prettiest, but it was still an impressive goal, from one of the last players you'd expect with the way he was shooting, and it was a very crucial goal for our title hopes at the time. He was running full gait away from goal, and somehow turned on it just enough to tuck it into the corner. I can tell you it was definitely the goal that elicited the loudest screams from me. (blunatic)

In terms of the most impressive goal, Suarez takes the cake easily, but Coutinho's came when we needed it most. I'll give the edge to Suarez. (Dan)

Performance of the Season

For me it's between Arsenal and Everton. We spanked Spurs twice and hammered one of the final nails into David Moyes' coffin, but those teams were out of sorts all season. I think we helped contribute to Arsenal's slide down the table (cue Gooners whining about their injury problems...we started Aly Cissokho and Kolo Toure for long stretches of the year, take your complaints elsewhere) with the savage beating they took at Anfield, but I'm going with Everton. Roberto Martinez did a fantastic job with that team, one that I didn't see coming at all to be honest, and to totally disassemble the Toffees on the Red side of town was just incredible. Danny Sturridge's lob was nice too. (Matt)

Alright, this one takes the biscuit, there were too many great, memorable nights. We could go on forever, Everton at home, Man U at Castle Greyskull, Arsenal at home, Tottenham both times, Norwich at home... But I'm going with the Man U away. Most of our great performances were at home, and yes, Man U had the role reversal....But nothing's sweeter than beating the Mancs, and by the end of the night they needed to steal Mark Clattenburg's whistle for the hurting we gave them. (JAceKopite16)

So many to pick from here with as many lopsided victories as we had against the top teams, but there can be only one for me. The win against Arsenal. Arsenal were still very much in the race for the title at the time, and we absolutely took it to them. That first 20 minutes was the most fun I've ever had watching a sporting event. I was giggling like a little girl at how silly we were making Arsenal look. My mom still makes fun of me for it. I'll never forget how much fun it was to watch that thrashing. (blunatic)

There were a lot of good ones, but Liverpool beating Manchester City 3-2 was the pinnacle of the season and the moment when we all thought the title was in our grasp. Not only was it a classic win, but it was a classic match, a brilliant back and forth between two heavyweight sides. (Dan)