To nobody's great surprise, David de Gea swept the board at Manchester United's end of season awards last night. The lanky Spaniard took home both the fan-voted Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award and the Players' Players of the Year award, as voted for by his colleagues. Presumably the latter gong is by way of an apology from the outfield squad for the state of the defence.
Though his season hasn't been error-free, De Gea has continued his all-round improvement and is one of the few (perhaps the only?) United player to emerge from the season with any credit. Top class saves against Liverpool and Sunderland stand out, along with the foot-only double stop against Olympiacos; there may not be a better keeper with his feet in the world. Plus he punched Vincent Kompany in the face, which deserves an award all its own.
I'm really happy to win this honour. I'm very grateful. Sometimes it's important for your team-mates to give you confidence and I think they're some of the best team-mates you can have. I tried to do my best this year and I think it was my best season so far. I felt really good and confident. I will try to do the same for next season.
Elsewhere, two-goal debutant James Wilson was the latest winner of the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award, joining a prestigious list of academy products that includes Paul Scholes, Giuseppe Rossi, Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda. The Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year award went to Saidy Janko, while Wayne Rooney's fifty-odd yard swirler against West Ham was voted Goal of the Season, ahead of Patrice Evra's drive against Bayern Munich.
Finally, Bobby Charlton presented Ryan Giggs with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. Full video is below (for the moment), but in short: Pele wants to embrace him, Alessandro del Piero thinks he's a legend, and United's interim player-manager got a little bit choked up. And no, he hasn't made his mind up about next season.
Update: video's gone. SO here's Ryan Giggs' Secrets & Skills from 1994. 1994!