Benchwarmer of the Year: Donny Van De Beek
Strong consideration for Lee Grant, as always, but Van De Beek managed to grab the headlines while riding the bench. Manchester United’s only big money signing ahead of the season took some time to acclimate in Ole’s system, hopefully he’s ready to step up a bit more next season.
The Busby Babe Podcast Most Criticized POTY: Tie-Alex Telles/Van De Beek
This was more difficult to consider than last year’s award, which was shared between McTominay and Andreas Pereira. These two are both new arrivals who didn’t feature much, and we found out why. Van De Beek likely still has some growing room left in him, but Telles is looking about worth what seemed like a bargain fee at the time. I guess there’s a reason those YouTube videos only show him whipping in crosses and never show him actually marking a man at the back post. Here’s hoping they both step up next season. (We didn’t actually keep track of how much time we criticized each player, but if you really want to measure that be our guest - and rate each episode five starts while you’re there.)
Hey that worked out pretty better than I thought Award: Edinson Cavani
Turns out the man can still play well enough for Ole to run it back next season.
Good Egg of the Year: Marcus Rashford
Second year running! What a guy, still the best of us.
The you need to talk about all my underlying stats to show that I’m playing well because I’m not doing my primary job award: Anthony Martial
His numbers were just as good as last year with one exception, goals. Unfortunately for him, goals happen to be what strikers are judged on.
And that award’s first cousin
You’re Talking About My Fitness Levels and Energy because I Can’t Do Anything Else Award: Scott McTominay
Hey - he can shoot too.
The ‘I said we needed new players but I didn’t mean new players in my position’ Award: Luke Shaw
And you guys actually thought Alex Telles was going to walk into the starting XI? Ha!
Forget Coffee - I’ll Get Your Heart Rate Up Award: Eric Bailly
Football should never be boring and Eric Bailly ensures that it never is.
The We Found Out The Hard Way Why I’m Worth £80m Award: Harry Maguire
Suddenly United can’t play out from the back and develop any kind of attack. The season ends differently if the skipper remains fit.
The I Actually Thrive On Your Anger Award: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Keep on hating and disrespecting the man. It only makes him better!
The Zack Snyder Movies Award for something we all think is finally going to deliver but turns out to be mediocre once again: Marcus Rashford
Coming in hot here but if this isn’t consistency then I don’t know what is.
(Whispers) There’s a reason Ole wanted Sancho and Grealish
The ‘I don’t even know if he ever walked into the training ground this year but he still got PAID’ award: Phil Jones
Lee Grant has to actually show up to matches and (sometimes) even hold the substitutions board. Phil over here legit just living the dream of sitting on his couch and cashing them checks!
If You Had a Smooth First Touch We’d Stop Questioning Your Attacking Ability Award: Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Those attacking numbers are actually pretty good for a right back, but the eye test makes you think otherwise.
Backup Quarterback of the Year: Brandon Williams
Every time Wan-Bissaka muffed a cross or just looked tired we wondered why you weren’t playing more. Every time you played we remembered.
Unofficial Mascot: Phil Jones
He was on the injury report all season long but we never had an opportunity to see the many faces of Phil Jones this season. Hopefully, we don’t see the many faces of Phil Jones next season too.
The You Must Bring the Heat in the Player’s Whats App Group Award: Juan Mata
Negotiating another new deal? Mata’s bringing something to the table behind the scenes.
Anna Kendrick’s ‘Cups’ You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone Award: Fred
Prior to the last week of the season United had won 60% of the league matches Fred started (2.16 points per match, the highest of all their midfielders) and he’s always good for 1-2 hilariously misplaced passes a game to keep the mood light. Appreciate him while we have him.