Q&A – Has Karim and Chris Stonadge talk through their thoughts on the Premier League season so far


The current and unprecedented situation has bulldozed into our lives and left the football season behind.

Thus, the likely of restart seems to fade – especially of crowds overflowing the supposed social gathering limit.

So to combat this, Has Karim and I have decided to answer any questions about the season so far, and commending the players who deserve it most.

Who has been your player of the season so far?

H: “A tasty question, that. There are many answers but you’re not here for that. I’m going to go with the quite obvious answer that is Manchester City midfielder and talisman Kevin de Bruyne.

“De Bruyne has the highest goal contributions in the league at 25 (8 goals, 17 assists), with his assist count being the premier of his division.

“He’s quite clearly the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League, and probably the world, and City would be much worse off without him than they already are.”

C: “For me, there’s only one answer to this question. It has to be Liverpool’s captain, the Premier League leaders’ leader, Mr. Jordan Henderson.

“A character that has been much maligned by media and fans in the past, the ex-Sunderland man has elevated his game to a new level this season, not only on the pitch but off it as well.

“There has been doubt of his work rate and dogged determination but eventually people were going to start questioning his ability to maintain himself amongst world class players in a world class team. He has answered with three goals and six assists.

“But it’s his off the field and dressing room presence which make LFC’s captain stand out. His organisation for the player’s fund to the NHS, as well as his accordance with the Sterling/Gomez situation. The man is a top bloke.”

Who has been your biggest disappointment of the season?

H: “For me, it has to be Tottenham’s record signing Tanguy Ndombele.

“Obviously he’s struggled with injury since joining Mourinho’s (and formerly Pochettino’s) men in the summer for £53 million but overall his numbers are just not akin to his days in Ligue 1 with Lyon.

“He’s completing the same amount of dribbles per game, and his key passes and shot numbers have fallen off a cliff – for a man that commanded such a high fee this is not what anyone would’ve expected.

“Sebastien Haller was another who upset me a little. After his exploits in central Germany with Frankfurt. Last season he hit 15 goals and 9 assists in just 23 games. He only has seven this season and is registering the same amount of shots per game at 1.9, showing that his clinical edge has taken a hit after signing for West Ham United.

C: “Jean-Phillippe Gbamin.

“The Mainz man joined Everton at the start of the season expected to help out where they needed it most – at the back end of the pitch where Marco Silva’s men had leaked goals last season – especially away from home.

“The Ivorian ‘number 6’ has been intermittently in the Toffees squad this season due to injury and has not hit any heights whatsoever as the Blues are back to relying on the ever-ageing Morgan Schneiderlin.

“Gbamin should and probably will be given more starting berths under Carlo Ancelotti, but that time will come probably behind closed doors.”

What has been your biggest surprise of the season?

H: “You could give a lot of answers. Typically it would be Sheffield United, Teemu Pukki’s crazy August, Leicester steamrolling their way to the top four under Brendan Rodgers, as well as the surprise impact of young Dan James at Old Trafford.

“But for me, Chris Wilder’s men have been a true revelation at this level. Come the start of the season they were favourites to be relegated, but after 14 matches they had 19 points and were seventh in the table where they have remained intermittently since with the second best defence in the division behind Liverpool. Just 25 goals conceded, which is six less than Man City and only four more than Liverpool.

“Considering they were probably looking to find safety, they must be thrilled with the way their season has gone.”

C: “I agree with Has, the overlapping centre back extraordinaires Sheffield United have been simply breathtaking in our league this year.

“You could find more with the likes of Todd Cantwell’s emergence, the early season form of the aforementioned James and Gabriel Martinelli, and Liverpool totally obliterating the competition. But Sheffield United tops them all.”

Who’s been your young spark of the season?

H:Everyone knows the easy answer here – Trent Alexander-Arnold. And whilst he definitely deserves the shout, I’m going to choose a different option: James Maddison. The Leicester City man may only boast a modest 9 goal contributions, but his underlying stats are mighty impressive.

“From what was played of the 19/20 season – Maddison was second in the league for the most key passes and has created a total of 80 chances, more than any other U23 player in Europe. In the Premier League? Only De Bruyne bested Maddison’s chances created per game. Perhaps more impressively, the midfielder is showing sustained consistency. From his form in the Championship, he has translated that to the top flight and has been integral to the Foxes push up the table. He is more than deserving of the title ‘best young player of the year.”

C: “I agree with Has that Maddison has been excellent yet his form in the second half of the season isn’t to be desired as much.

“I think one that is left behind is Aaron Wan Bissaka. Although he is yet nowhere near the talent of Alexander-Arnold offensively, defensively he is at least an equal if not superior. They’re both wonderful and have to be in the reckoning for EURO 2021.”

Your manager of the season?

H:Again, the easy answer in this scenario is Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp. Whilst I want to take nothing away from the German, I simply cannot ignore the brilliant storm of marvel that has been Chris Wilder. 

“Coming up from the Championship, people automatically wrote Sheffield off as guaranteed relegation candidates. What came next is something nobody could have imagined. At the time of writing, they hold the second best defensive record in the league and find themselves in contention for Europe. Let’s not ignore the fashion in which they have achieved this. They’ve been a breath of fresh air, they are daring, exciting and new – a lot of that is down to Wilder’s brilliance. 

“Jurgen Klopp has put up an elite season – but he also has an elite roster and a budget to match. It’s impressive but not beyond the realm of possibility. What Wilder has achieved this season for me is more impressive. With a shoestring budget and the smallest wage bill in the league, Sheffield’s head honcho has punched well and truly above any and all expectations. Bravo.”

C: “It’s unprecedented what both managers have done this season. But Jurgen Klopp has done what no manager has ever done. Simply has to be the German I’m afraid.”

And finally, how do you think the season should end?

H: “The million dollar question with no obvious answer. Do you go the route of the Eredivisie – end the season, no title and no relegation, or do you go the Ligue 1 route – award the title and choose the rest on a points per game basis? 

“It seems no approach can be done without causing a ruckus somewhere. Nullifying the season causes frustration, ending it on current standings causes frustration. It seems the waiting game has no certainty and has a longer lasting impact. However, the idea of waiting for a safe point to resume is the fairest option – even if it comes with other issues such as player contracts expiring, lack of fitness etc.”

C: “Again, nailed it Has Karim. However, what I’d like to see is if any season is null and voided it is next season. If you had eaten 75% of your roast dinner on a Sunday, you’d eat the rest. Don’t get rid of it to save space for next week.

“Finish this meal, and see when the next one will be. As simple as that.”


About Author

Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

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