In the coming days, the consensus picks for English Premier League awards by the network of SB Nation soccer writers will be revealed. Rather than ludicrously vote just 3 weeks into the season like the PFA and FWA, we decided it might be prudent to wait until season's end to vote. Here are the picks that I submitted:
* Player of the Year: Nemanja Vidic
* Young Player of the Year: Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
* Manager of the Year: Sir Alex Ferguson
* Best Match: Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal FC
* Best Goal: Wayne Rooney's overhead goal vs Manchester City
Best XI after the jump...
Goalkeeper: Edwin van der Sar
Some goalkeepers are exceptional at times, yet equally erratic (e.g Heurelho Gomes). Some are brilliant for stretches of the season (e.g Joe Hart, Ben Foster). Some are just very good (e.g. Peter Cech). However, it could argued that none are as consistently world-class as Edwin van der Sar. The 40-year-old Dutchman finished off a stellar career by being arguably the best goalkeeper not only in England, but also in Europe.
Right-back: Phil Neville
The former Manchester United defender, and current Everton FC skipper, had another solid season in the Premier League. Although he spent much of the season as a holding midfielder, Neville was very steady at right-back when he appeared there - including inspired performances against Gareth Bale. The Premier League didn't have a consistent stand-out this season at right-back and I didn't want to vote for Bacary Sagna.
Center-back: Nemanja Vidic
Months ago, I felt that the United captain should be the player of the year in the Premier League. Nothing since then has changed my mind. Vidic was quite simply the standout performer in England this season - both in quality and consistency. Generally it's goal-scoring strikers or creative midfielders that get these sort of accolades, but the Serbian defender outclassed them all in his first season with the captain's armband.
Center-back: Vincent Kompany
In the summer of 2008, the free-spending Manchester City purchased the Belgium international for just £6 million. Perhaps this has been their best recent buy. Kompany was a rock for City this season as they ascended into a Top 3 finish and won the FA Cup. At just 25-years-old, the center-back provides a fine foundation piece for City in their ambition to challenge for the English Premier League.
Left-back: Leighton Baines
In the modern game, the attacking full-back has emerged as an important player for many winning sides. It is perhaps because they are often the players offered the most space to move forward while in attack. It can be argued that Baines' marauding runs forward expose his side at times in defense, but there is no debating his merits as an attacker. Quite simply, 11 assists from a full-back are exceptional. He also provided 5 goals; many of which game from penalties or deadly free-kicks.
Holding Midfielder: Scott Parker
The West Ham United talisman had an exceptional season despite his side being relegated. Being chosen as the FWA's Player of the Year and recently earning a starting spot in England's XI can testify to this. His East London side were under siege all season but it was Parker that not only stymied attacks while shielding his defense, but he also ignited attacks from deep. The England international will almost certainly stay in the Premier League next season with rumors that he may be joining Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool FC.
Central Midfielder: Luka Modric
There might not be a midfielder in the Premier League that is more assured and tidy with his passing than the skilled Croatian. It was teammates Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart that often got the spotlight this past season, but it was the consistent Modric that was Spurs' heartbeat this past season. The playmaker is now being linked for a possible move to Old Trafford in the coming weeks.
Wide Left Midfielder: Clint Dempsey
After a terrific run through Europe last season in the Europa League, one that saw the American score pivotal goals in their route to the final, Fulham quietly had another solid season under manager Mark Hughes - 8th in the table. With attackers like Bobby Zamora missing much of the season due to injury, it was the consistent Dempsey that held the attack together. In a seemingly quiet fashion, one that mirrors Fulham's solid season, Dempsey contributed with a career high 12 goals this season.
Wide Right Midfielder: Nani
Although the Portuguese international couldn't crack Fergie's first-choice lineup for the run-in, it could be argued that Nani was United's most valuable attacker for the season's whole. With Wayne Rooney struggling with personal matters and injury, with the injuries to Park Ji-sung and Antonio Valencia, and with Chicharito's acclimation period to the Premier League; it was Nani, along with Dimitar Berbatov, that kept United afloat and in title contention with their stellar play. The winger finished with 10 goals and 15 assists in all competitions for the season - it was almost criminal that he wasn't a finalist for the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards.
Withdrawn Striker: Wayne Rooney
Rooney's struggles, both in his personal life and on the pitch, were well documented in the early parts of the season. However, the England international regained his form for the run-in and became the talisman once again for United. After spending much of last season as a lone striker, and in a false-nine role, Wazza flourished this season as his side's number ten. Despite his first-half of the season struggles, Rooney still finished the season with 16 goals and 13 assists in all competitions - and arguably in the form of his life.
Striker: Carlos Tevez
The former United attacker and current City talisman isn't without this theatrics and drama, but he is also undoubtedly an exceptional footballer. For much of the season, when City's attack was stagnant, it was Tevez that often came to the rescue with a crucial goal. He finished the season at the Premier League's co-leading goal-scorer and he was able to lift the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium as his side's skipper.
Let's see your choices in the comments below!