Manchester City 2014-15 End of Season Awards


Sergio Aguero’s hat trick against Bayern Munich was why he was Manchester City’s best player this season. (via Manchester City Facebook)

Manchester City’s 2014-15 season has come to a close. It began on August 10th with the Community Shield against Arsenal and ended with a 2-0 win over Southampton on May 25th. In between that, City finished second in the Premier League, made the round of 16 of the Champions League, and suffered early exits in both the FA Cup and League Cup. To look back on this season, let’s hand out some awards for the best and worst of it.

Best Game

Roma 0-2 Manchester City: City didn’t have very many memorable games this season. While they managed to finish second and get to the round of 16 in the Champions League, you won’t find very many games to reminisce on looking back on 2014-15. But the one game that quite clearly sticks out is the game that put City through into the Round of 16. Samir Nasri put City up 1-0 with a fantastic strike off the post and in and then Pablo Zabaleta made it 2-0 to put the game on ice. It was a must win game in a tough environment that City actually managed to win. Additionally, this game produced the iconic picture of Zabaleta kissing the badge. City’s 3-2 win over Bayern should also get recognition, but if City doesn’t win in Rome, that game is ultimately for naught.

Worst Game

Manchester City 0-1 Burnley: The amount of choices for City’s worst game are alarmingly large for what seemed like a successful season. There’s blowing a 2-0 lead in the Champions League to draw with CSKA Moscow in Russia. City’s home leg against CSKA where they lost 2-1 and Fernandinho and Yaya Toure both got sent off is a lovely candidate, too. Perhaps it was City’s uninspired performance at Old Trafford where they lost 4-2. However, there was only one game where City lost to a team that got relegated. And that was when City went to Turf Moor and lost 1-0 to Burnley. In the loss, City looked underwhelming and unmotivated. It was especially bad because they should have known not to overlook Burnley, as Sean Dyche’s men grabbed a 2-2 draw with City at the Etihad earlier that season.

Best Player

Sergio Aguero: Since Sergio Aguero didn’t make the PFA Team of the Year, can we really say he was City’s best player? Jokes aside, Aguero really is the only answer for this. Joe Hart and David Silva both had very strong seasons worthy of recognition but neither of them were Aguero. Aguero won the Golden Boot with 26 goals along with eight assists in the Premier League. Aguero was equally as good in the Champions League, scoring 6 goals in 550 minutes, a rate of almost 1 goal per 90 minutes. Aguero had numerous great performances this season including his four goals against Tottenham and his hat trick and assist against QPR. But the game that everyone will think about when looking back on his wonderful season was his hat trick against Bayern Munich. He rescued City’s Champions League hopes by slotting three goals past the best goalkeeper in the world in Manuel Neuer. When City needed a goal (or three), more often than not Aguero was there to provide it.

Most Consistent Player

James Milner: Being boring means being consistent, doesn’t it? Every time a City fan saw James Milner on the team sheet, they know that they were going to get. Milner’s consistency was useful for City this season when many players, Aguero included, had form that wildly varied. Manuel Pellegrini recognized Milner’s consistency, too. Milner started both fixtures against Chelsea, both legs of the Barcelona tie, Roma away and Bayern Munich home. If Milner does indeed leave City this summer, his steadiness and calming influence in big games will certainly be missed.

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Most Inconsistent Player

Yaya Toure: Yaya Toure on his game is dominating force and one of the best midfielders in the world. The problem was that this season, Toure wasn’t on his game that often. City’s Ivorian midfielder regularly had games where he wasn’t involved like he usually would be. He still had his fair share of great performances, but when he was off, he was really off. Samir Nasri was also particularly inconsistent, but Toure’s highs and lows were much more extreme than the Frenchman.

Most Disappointing Player

Vincent Kompany: In one season, Vincent Kompany went from the defensive rock and captain of the Premier League champions to a defensive liability and the third best center back on his own team. Kompany became alarmingly mistake prone this season. While there were several costly ones he made this season, the first one that likely comes to mind is his mistake that led to Jordan Henderson’s goal in City’s 2-1 Anfield defeat.

Most Improved Player

Eliaquim Mangala: Eliaquim Mangala has received a lot of criticism this season from both fans of City and neutrals. A large amount of it hinged on Mangala not performing up to his £32m transfer fee. Mangala struggled to transition from Liga Portuguesa to the Premier League. His worst performance came against Southampton, when he got two yellows and was sent off. However, Mangala really came into his own as the season progressed. He became more familiar with the Premier League and his partnerships with both Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis became more developed. Mangala’s growth this season should be cause for optimism for City fans. 

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Best Individual Performance

Joe Hart, Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City: While Sergio Aguero was City’s best player this year, the best performance of anyone on City came from Joe Hart. The English first choice goalkeeper had an excellent season, and it’s peak was in the Champions League against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. While he failed to keep a clean sheet, Hart did just about everything else to keep City in the game as Barca’s offense tore apart City’s backline with alarming ease. Hart made 10 saves and prevented the second leg of the tie from being a bloodbath at the hands of Barcelona’s vaunted trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Best Transfer/Loan

Frank Lampard: For this award, I am strictly considering the 2014-15 season. It is very likely that by the 2016-17 season, the transfers of Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala or even Fernando Reges could prove to be more beneficial for City. But just looking at this season, the best transfer had to be the loan of Frank Lampard from MCFC’s MLS club, NYCFC. Lampard’s last season at Chelsea should his career looked to be decline, and not much was expected from his loan spell. However, Lampard proved to be a useful player at age 36 for City. He scored six goals in the all competitions and appeared in 34 matches. His most notable goal, of course, was the equalizer against his old team at the Etihad. Lampard exceeded his expectations and was a pretty good value for City.

Worst Transfer/Loan

Fernando Reges: Again, evaluating transfers based only one season is a tricky thing to do. Sometimes players need more than one season to settle in, or a player can have a great first season for a club and decline after that. With that being said, the worst transfer of the 2014-15 season has to be Fernando Reges. Most of the issue with Fernando is the fact that he was brought into to be an improvement over Javi Garcia. City sold their Spanish CDM to Zenit to make way for Fernando, but the Brazilian CDM really didn’t do anything different or better than Garcia did. Fernando isn’t a flop, but he wasn’t the most brilliant piece of business over this summer or winter for City.