It’s been quite the entertaining year as a Liverpool supporter. Here are my end of year awards for 2016 for Liverpool FC, in conjunction with OneFootball.
Coutinho Firmino Mane
Can Henderson Lallana
Milner Sakho Matip Clyne
I’ve gone with Karius in goal because I think Liverpool have had good results on the whole with him in between the sticks and I believe in the long term he will improve and become first choice. For me if Sakho hadn’t had a public spat with Klopp he’d have been Matip’s partner. As good as Lovren has been – if Sakho had been available – then Dejan would have be third choice. The midfield picked itself, Lallana for his pressing, Henderson’s hard work but the tough one was picking between Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum. I’ve opted for Can because he was instrumental in getting us to two finals in 2016. The frontline picks itself – unlucky for Sturridge.
Bobby Firmino is the player of 2016 for me. Coutinho has had a great start to this season but Bobby has performed since January with his drop off being in December in terms of goal involvement but if you listen to our Under Pressure podcast – he’s continually working the hardest and pressing the most.
Jurgen Klopp in his first full calendar year has got Liverpool to two finals with a mediocre squad and after his first full summer at the helm at Anfield has got his side to 2nd place in the table. All of this whilst making profit in the summer transfer window and transforming his side to play the best football in the Premier League.
Being at Anfield to witness Dejan Lovren become a cult hero after scoring the winner against Dortmund is my moment of 2016. That moment is the modern day fans’ St Etienne! Love him or loath him we all went ballistic at that Lovren winner, which made it feel like those famous European nights were back at Anfield.
Same game – the Dortmund game. Going in 2-0 at half time was so demoralising for everyone but to score four goals against that team in the second half is something I’ll never forget!
The second half of the Europa League final was my biggest disappointment for obvious reasons. Close second is Mamadou Sakho’s fate.
Adam Lallana is my hero for this year. I look for his name on the team sheet now but that was far from the case under Brendan Rodgers. He’s never been a favourite of mine but his persistence and hard work under Klopp is bearing fruit and he’s the most improved player under Jurgen Klopp.
Mario Balotelli and his agent are my villains for this season for running their mouth off against Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. Mario is doing well at Nice now and I hope it continues and that this is the last time that I have to mention him!
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