The Decipher Awards 2010
Published by Ian John on December 29, 2010
The World Team of 2010 : Barcelona
Spain may have won the World Cup, Chelsea the EPL, but it has been the performances of Barcelona that have illuminated football throughout 2010. Inter Milan may have eliminated them from the Champions League, but in terms of football quality alone, the Catalans are streets ahead of any other team. Quite simply they are a joy to watch. The way they control the ball when under pressure and break quickly to hurt teams is almost poetic at times.
World Player of the Year 2010: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)He may not have enjoyed the best World Cup, but 2010 was the year Lionel Messi made the question as to who the best player in the world is, redundant. He’s not only the best at present but at times, he looks like the best ever. That is almost unthinkable in the modern game. He still needs to do a little more for Argentina to be truly regarded alongside Pele & Maradona but in terms of club football, he has already outstripped the performances of either of his two most highly regarded luminaries.
EPL Team of the Year 2010 : Tottenham Hotspurs
Chelsea’s double was a huge achievement but Harry Redknapp’s side finally making the top four and then showing their class in a tough Champions League group just edges it for me. Over 2010 Spurs have developed into a genuine top 4 side and with a little more consistency in the league this season, would surely be challenging for top spot this year. They may still do if they can continue their recent good form into 2011.
EPL Player of the Year 2010 : Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
Like him or not, when Carlos Tevez plays Manchester City are a very different proposition. He may be homesick / angling for a new contract / wanting to move to a more prestigious club (delete as appopriate) but Tevez form for City this year has been outstanding and his importance to a team packed with expensive talents means that he is a player whom Roberto Mancini must feel that he has to keep at the club in order for them to be considered a genuine long-term top four force.
EPL Manager of the Year 2010: Ian Holloway (Blackpool)
When Blackpool got promoted to the Premier League, Ian Holloway was in shock. He gave Sky Sports a ten minute interview post game where he righted many of societies wrongs and claimed that he would give his collection of players, who many experts felt would get relegated from the Championship, a chance in the top league and that he would stick to playing attacking football no matter who they played. Many laughed at the naivety, many love Holloway for his honest approach and good nature, but take nothing away from his football acumen. Fifteen minutes of defensive play against Chelsea & Arsenal apart, Blackpool have been simply breathtaking this season. They are eighth and just a few points off the Champions League places with games in hand – many at home. Several points ahead of the giants of Liverpool and Everton. This on the finances of a club that would be poor by Championship standards, let alone Premier League standards. It is an astonishing achievement, unparallelled in modern day EPL football. Holloway has brought a touch of romance back to the EPL and my god, how it was needed amongst the billionnaire playboys and £200,000 a week footballers, but don’t let that blind you to the fact that in my view, Ian Holloway has done the best job of any Premier League manager in 2011 by a very, very long way.
EPL Team of the Year 2010 (Calendar year Jan 2010 – Dec 2010)
Manager : Ian Holloway (Blackpool)
Goalkeeper : Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Right Back : Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)
Left Back : Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Centre Back : Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United)
Centre Back : Roger Johnson (Birmingham City)
Right Midfield : Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Left Midfield : Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
Centre Midfield : Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur)
Centre Midfield : Charlie Adam (Blackpool)
Attack : Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United)
Attack : Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
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