Most Valuable Player


Here's my take on it: Birmingham went down because they couldn't score goals. They prospered last season by winning a lot of 1-0 matches. That was never going to be sustainable, but the blueprint was there. Be a difficult side to breakdown and do enough on the other end to collect the points.

Without McFadden there wasn't that level of guile, of experience, aggression... whatever combination of skills and traits that Faddie brought to the team. No offense to Beausajour, Fahey or Bentley, but they're not Premier League caliber starters yet, never will be, or never will be again.

So Birmingham were relegated with McFadden's absence for the large majority of the season only proving just how valuable he was to the team.


  1. If you want to go this route, the route that an absence cost a team and that the absent man could have been the savior (and thus was the MVP), you could go the other was and say that it was Thomas Vermaelen and that if Arsenal hadn't conceded so many goals, they could have won the league. Two sides of the same coin, I suppose.

  2. Seamus10:57 AM

    I agree with Lena, the lack of Vermallen or a decent replacement, cost Arsenal a lot this year. Matches they would have won last year were either drawn or lost due to defencive errors.

  3. To be more positive, I don't know that one could deny the MVP slot to Chicharito who was really _the_ impact sub who saved United's bacon on many an occasion. He started very few games, but he clinched wins in many. And his ROI in terms of cost and his return in terms of minutes played is just beyond.

  4. Anonymous11:09 AM

    McFadden was definitely a huge loss but I'd say Scott Dann's absence was a bigger deal after his hamstring injury in January.

    Birmingham scored just 1 goal less than the previous season (when McFadden played 36 games and they finished 9th) but they conceded 11 more. They had a goal difference of -5 after 20 games before Dann's injury, and ended up with a goal difference of -21 after a further 18 games without him.

    Still, when you consider they averaged less than a goal a game over 2 Premier League seasons, I don't see Birmingham's relegation as a bad thing!

  5. I'll have to find the stat, but I saw that Berbs earned ManU as many points as Hernandez. Not to deny his impact on the team and on the league this season - which for a rookie was simply incredible - but didn't ManU seem to go as Rooney went?

  6. (that was my comment regarding Scott Dann - not sure why it went anonymous!) :)

  7. I don't doubt or disagree with any of that, but what edges it for Chicharito (for me) is the positivity that he brings, the attitude, the ability, the energy, and the options when he comes on. Both Rooney and Berbatov were liabilities at various points during the season, real disruptive forces that shook confidence and trust on and off the pitch. Chicharito not only did the business, he elevated the tone. So for all of that, he's my guy.

  8. Something ought be said in favor of Odemwingie. Would WBA have stayed up without his contribution? Impossible to say, but a hell of a lot less likely.

  9. All great suggestions. Keep them coming in!

  10. Anonymous11:30 AM

    my picks for team's MVPs:
    chelsea-my pick is alex but its probably drogba/ivanovic
    fulham-hangeland (again)
    birmingham-scott dann but foster best player
    blackpool-charlie adam
    wham-scott parker

  11. I always look at MVP as being the player the team cannot do without. Brady should never win an NFL MVP because his team can win some games without him no matter how well he's played. I doubt Indy would even be contenders without Manning.

    I like the idea of Odemwingie winning it as I'm sure WBA go down without him. Tevez makes a good case too as City were poor without him. If you're looking on the impact a player had on the team then there are three choices:

    Suarez - Liverpool would've been mid table without him
    Torres - Chelsea would've won the title without him, he was very valuable from an MUFC point of view
    Hernandez - United would never have won the league without him

    But all in all, sod it - I'll just give it Vidic.

  12. VdV. Can you imagine Tot having been even close to where they were without him. He was THE spark and, thus, we deserve another photo of him, or a family member.

  13. I like the team-by-team idea. Here are my thoughts:

    mu-vidic - No doubt - he should have won the PFA player of the year, it was Man Utd's defense at home that secured the title for them, often w/out Rio.
    chelsea-gotta go Drogba here - granted his mid-season slump, but to lead the team in assists AND be 2nd in goals? That's an MVP.
    mc-tevez, duh. They missed him terribly when he was out - the one position they don't have 10 quality replacements for.
    arsenal-rvp - no question. Esp his end-of-season goal-scoring form.
    tottenham-modric - the most consistently uninjured game-effecter on the team
    liverpool-gotta go Suarez here. His January signing coincided w/ Dalglieshes changes and were magical.
    everton-not sure on this one. Nobody really stands out, so maybe I'll just agree w/ the earlier recommendation of Baines?
    fulham-hangeland - their home defense was brilliant, and he anchored it.
    villa-young was the only bright spot for most of the season.
    sunderland-gyan was their only consistent goal threat after Bent left.
    wbrom-odemwingie - no question here. World class striker on a mid-table team. #notforlong
    newcastle-w/ all his flaws, I think Barton has to be the player most responsible for Newcastle's success this season, even post-Carroll.
    stoke-I think Etherington's season warrants some accolades this year. When he wasn't injured, he was great.
    bolton-gotta go Sturridge here - every time he touched the ball in the box the opposition had reason to be scared.
    blackburn-samba's the only player with any real impact on their team (the number of goal-saving lunges he made was impressive). Man I wish they'd gone down (negative futbol + firing a coach b/c you have big plans to hire... his assistant??)
    wigan-I think Al-Habsi in goal was pretty impressive. I think the defense in front of him was weak, but he produced a lot of great stops.
    wolves-I think I'd pick fletcher this time around - can't argue w/ Wolves' end of season form (except for the last game) and without Doyle, it was Fletch who saw them survive.
    birmingham- sad to see these guys go down. But the points don't lie, and I think foster is the only reason they had any success.
    blackpool-charlie adam is the stand-out player here. Talk about a player whose team CANNOT do without him!
    wham-scott parker, obviously. But there were plenty of players who should have been impressive this season, and just weren't.

    Overall MVP (based on which team does the worst when this player isn't playing): Charlie Adam. With Odemwinge a close 2nd. And Drogs a distant 3rd (Chelsea really struggled when he wasn't on the pitch, or when he wasn't the focus of their attack)

  14. Das Boot 84:25 PM

    Here's my two cents:

    Arsenal - RVP: If he had played all season, I think they would have run away with the title.

    Aston Villa - BENT: As great a season as Young had, Bent brought the one thing Villa needed - goals. To play half the season and be the team's leading scorer is testament to his impact.

    Birmingham - DANN: His partnership with Johnson was the foundation of the Birmingham defense. When he missed out due to injury, the team suffered mightily.

    Blackburn - HOILETT: Provided a spark of energy and excitement on a team bereft of youthful creativity. One for the future.

    Blackpool - ADAM: No explanation necessary.

    Bolton - HOLDEN: It's really unfortunate he missed the end of the season through injury. He was having the best season I've seen an American player ever have. His work rate was phenomenal and he added another dimension to Bolton's midfield.

    Chelsea - MALOUDA: When he was on, Chelsea was on. They sorely missed his impact when he wasn't playing well.

    Everton - OSMAN: Everton needed somebody to step up to fill Cahill's & Arteta's shoes in the run-in, and the little man did it capably.

    Fulham - HUGHES: Truly an unsung hero living in Hangeland's shadow. Hughes played in every game for Fulham and in my opinion was the most consistent performer throughout the season.

    Liverpool - LUCAS: As a Liverpool fan, I never thought I would choose Lucas as the best at anything. However, the level of improvement in his game this season provided a trustworthy midfield springboard for Meireles & others to kickstart the attack.

    Man City - TEVEZ: Proof that money can buy great players, but not necessarily a great team. Without the Argentine in the team, City didn't have that champion-quality edge to their play.

    Man United - VIDIC: He should have been player of the season (coming from an LFC fan). His individual defending was unparalleled.

    Newcastle - BARTON: Managed a relatively trouble-free season & was the creative hub for nearly every attacking move.

    Stoke - PENNANT: For Stoke to have another wide threat in addition to Etherington made them that much more difficult to play against. He also commanded the game admirably in Etherington's absence.

    Sunderland - MIGNOLET: The Belgian made some of the best saves I saw all season, and made a shaky Sunderland lineup at least moderately more intimidating.

    Tottenham - VDV: See Arsenal above, but substitute Champion's League for the title.

    West Brom - ODEMWINGIE: I can't think of another team as reliant on one player's goalscoring ability.

    West Ham - PARKER: A model professional, and a deserved moment in the spotlight as one of the most inspirational and hardworking players in the league.

    Wigan - N'ZOGBIA: One of the few bright spots on a very lackluster Wigan side this season. If they had another player or two like him (See Stoke), they most likely would have finished a couple places higher in the table.

    Wolves - FLETCHER: Didn't play as much as some of the other players on the team, but made a big impact in keeping Wolves afloat.

    (Sorry for the long post. I got a little carried away!)

  15. Anonymous11:21 PM

    How about MNVP (Most Not Valuable Player)

    MU - Carick
    Arsenal - Almunia
    Chelsea - Torres
    M City - Dzeko
    Liverpool - Konchesky
    Tottenham - Defoe
    Everton - Arteta

  16. Lovely work! I'm definitely going to visit the blog frequently.

  17. Anonymous8:36 PM

    Fulham = Dempsey USA! USA!

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