2010 has been an extremely eventful year at Old Trafford.
We saw the best and worst of Wayne Rooney, Nani began to fulfil his promise, a legend in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left the club and Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes both continued to defy time with top performances amongst other things.
Whilst we didn’t win the major honours, we picked up the Carling Cup in an exciting game against Aston Villa and with the emergence of some of the younger players the future looks bright. At the time of writing we are top of the league and have games in hand putting us in good stead to recapture the title. We are also into the knockout stages of the Champions League and will face Marseille, not the hardest team, so 2011 could be a lot better than 2010, which in itself wasn’t terrible.
In this calender year we have had some stand out performers, from Nani finding his feet to Rooney’s goals, to Valencia’s wing play the teams isn’t as bad as people make out but who has been your player of 2010?
Wayne Rooney: Rooney started out the year well, with goals aplenty. He appeared to be filling the hole created in Ronaldo’s departure and it looked like his goals could provide the impetus to us winning our 4th title in a row. Unfortunately he suffered an injury against Munich and the goals dried up, add to this off field matters and his candidacy takes a knock. Having returned from a week long intensive training camp in America he looks his usual self but he is missing the goals despite playing extremely well, something he will hopefully add in 2011.
Credentials: 21 goals this year in United colours and outstanding performances bringing the best out of others (Berbatov).
Antonio Valencia: 2009/2010 was Valencia’s first season at the club and he took to it like a duck to water. Many pigeon-holed him into the Ronaldo’s replacement bracket but he stuck to his game and the team benefited as his accurate crossing opened up a new avenue for the team with his wing play and Wayne Rooney credited him specifically for his increase in headed goals. In 2010 injury and surgery has cut down on his playing time but his performance more than merit his place here.
Credentials: Strong performances including a man of the match performance against Aston Villa in the Carling Cup.
Nani: Apparently a goner after some out of turn comments to the media, Luis Nani’s turn around is testament to Sir Alex’s great management as he was given the time to flourish into one of United’s most potent threats. Nani can score as well as set up goals and is the unknown quantity for the team as he is capable of anything as he showed with his long range effort against Bursaspor.
Credentials: Total career turn around and is now a threat in terms of assists and goals: already has 6 goals and 11 assists this season.
Nemanja Vidic: Having missed part of last season with an injury when he returned he showed how integral he was to the team with big performances. His consistent strong displays were rewarded with a new contract and the club captaincy and it is a role he has relished as he has grown into the captaincy with some captain’s performences. His goal against Aston Villa this season saved us from defeat and beside Rio Ferdinand United’s defence is as solid as ever.
Credentials: Has grown into the captaincy with some captain’s performances. Reliable and a constant solid performer.
Patrice Evra: The definition of consistency and one of our best performers in an ever changing back line. Evra was some people’s choice for player of the season, with Denis Irwin particularly in favour of the Frenchman. One of, if not the best left back in the world Evra has offered a constant threat going forward but has balanced that with solid defensive displays like in the Bursaspor game. Also says all the right things (see quotes following Rooney saga and Arsenal!)
Credentials: Consistent top performances against teams big and small, always available for selection.
Darren Fletcher: A player unfairly labelled as dirty and a ‘destroyer’ Darren Fletcher’s influence can be felt all over the pitch as his energy is integral to our game. His work can go unnoticed and unappreciated but he does his fair share of everything, the dirty work, goals as well as assists. Some feel he has underperformed this season but he has 4 assists and 3 goals and as shown against Arsenal he is always ready to perform when needed.
Credentials: Sleeper performer and can be counted on when needed especially in the big games.
These are the candidates, if I have left someone out let me know in the comments below.
The poll runs until the 27th so get voting!
[poll id “22”]