Throughout the next week, we at 32 Flags are recapping the past year as well as look toward 2015. We’ll take a look at the best and worst of 2014, best games and goals and predict what is going to happen in 2015. Today, we’re talking about the first half of this EPL season. We have some awards to pass out for the most notable teams and people in the 2014 part of the 2014-15 EPL season.
Best Player – Diego Costa
Diego Costa came over from Atletico Madrid and easily adjusted to the EPL style of play. His 13 goals in 15 appearances have Chelsea top in the EPL table and some suggesting that Chelsea could win the “quadruple.” I don’t think Chelsea is getting close to winning the quadruple but they do seem to win multiple trophies this season and that’s because of Diego Costa.
Honorable Mentions – Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez
Best Manager – Ronald Koeman
Many people had Southampton on the way down. After an impressive 8th place finish, Southampton sold most of their starting XI and got a new manager in Ronald Koeman after Mauricio Pochettino went to Tottenham. The job Koeman has done as a new manager has been remarkable. It’s halfway in the season and the team is still in the running for a top four spot. History says that they will drop spots but they’re definitely going to be better than the experts had them in August.
Honorable Mentions – Sam Allardyce and Jose Mourinho
Most Surprising Team – West Ham
While Southampton is impressing the critics, West Ham is a team that no one saw coming. Sam Allardyce has taken castoffs from other teams and tweaked his style a bit to position themselves to fight for a Champions League spot. West Ham has the fans going from being satisfied to stay in the EPL to wanting to go for Europe. I don’t think the world can handle “Big Sam” in European competition.
Honorable Mention – Newcastle and Manchester United
Most Surprising Player – Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin is the reason why QPR isn’t in the relegation zone and why Harry Redknapp still has a job (as of 12/28). Austin is responsible for 12 out of QPR’s 21 goals and 8 of 11 goals in QPR’s wins were Austin’s goals. His form is going to decide whether or not QPR gets relegated.
Honorable Mention – Graziano Pelle and Papiss Cisse
Biggest Disappointment – Liverpool
Liverpool went from being one of the best teams in the EPL last season to a team who just got outplayed by Burnley. Yes, Liverpool beat Burnley but it didn’t solve the many issues that the team has right now. Many want to point at the loss of Luis Suarez as the problem but there are more issues than just him. Luis Suarez didn’t play defense or goalkeeper and didn’t make the transfers that was made in the summer. Just like how it could be argued that Liverpool over performed last season, they’re underperforming this year. At this point, it looks as if the team has reverted to the Kenny Dalglish days before Brendan Rodgers took over the team.
Honorable Mention – Everton and Tottenham
Best Goalkeeper – David de Gea
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it wasn’t for David de Gea, Manchester United would be mid table where teams like Liverpool and Everton are. With the injuries on the back line, de Gea shouldn’t be performing at this level. He is 24 years old and is already a world class goalkeeper. He is going to be responsible for many Manchester United trophies for the next decade.
Honorable Mention – Thibaut Courtois and Fraser Forster