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THE BUSBYS™, Part II: Pleasant Surprise of the Season and Disappointment of the Season

Part 2 of our end of season awards.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Pleasant Surprise of the Season

Brent Maximin: Is Sergio Romero actually good now? We all knew he had excellent reflexes, but every other part of his game was suspect before this season. His improvement has been such that it’s not a totally ludicrous decision to have him start in goal for the most important match of the season - something that would have been unthinkable a year ago. We should be under no illusions as to his suitability for the number one role, but he’s turned into a very capable back-up.

Andi Thomas: Marcos Rojo. I touched on this in the player reviews, but there have been quite a few squad players who have markedly improved this season, and Rojo's perhaps the most obvious. Few things in football are more satisfying than watching a punchline develop into a serious answer: it's a transformation that says all kinds of encouraging things about both the player and his coaching.

Jack Sargeant: Zlatan Ibrahimović. Hands up, I was unconvinced. Hands down, I’m convinced.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Disappointment of the Season

Brent Maximin: José Mourinho. We didn’t quite get the joyless bully who alienated his players and dragged his own title-winning team within spitting distance of the relegation zone while at Chelsea. But we didn’t get the charming tactical mastermind who elevated a team to something greater than the sum of its parts either. The tactics were uneven, some of the excuses were risible, and the football wasn’t even always watchable.

Andi Thomas: Left-back. All of it. Whether it's Matteo Darmian sitting back and not really doing anything, Luke Shaw being psychologically stripped down for parts, Daley Blind pottering around, or Ashley Young giving it his best, the whole position has become a kind of metaphor for United's season: an unhappy blend of cowardice, dysfunction, and making do.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Jack Sargeant: Anthony Martial. There have been flashes of the player that burst into the Premier League and made a mockery of those making a mockery, but it hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Frenchman. Four Premier League goals represents quite a disappointing return after last season's double-figures, and he’ll be looking to do better next year.