If you're a film fan, you know that awards season starts well before studios start releasing their Oscar hopefuls late in the year. You know which festivals to pay attention to as buzz for a title begins to mount or completely dies away once the critics have seen it. You know which of the guild awards predict later Academy Award success, and which combinations of awards are true predictors of a film achieving the most coveted — if not always most critical — validation.
While there are far fewer awards to keep track of in football, it too has its own awards season and with two weeks left in the season, we're heading right into the thick of it. While only Philippe Coutinho managed any sort of accolade of note at the PFA awards last month, it's been harder to guess which players might walk away with honours at Liverpool's own awards ceremony at the end of the season. Luckily, the Liverpool Former Players Association had its own gala awards ceremony on Monday night, and they voted Simon Mignolet and his tiny suit as their Player of the Season.
It may not be the most important thing Mignolet stands to win this year with the Golden Gloves still on the line, but it's a nice nod to a player who was unceremoniously benched in favour of Brad Jones midway through the season. Mignolet has performed exceptionally well since returning to the side, earning enough clean sheets to put him in contention for the top individual accolade for a keeper in the league. It's not a place anyone would have expected him to be by season's end four months ago, but it's one of the reasons Liverpool managed to maintain their Top Four challenge for as long as they did.
The Former Players Assocation handed out a handful of other awards as well, mostly to other former players:
- Hall of Fame: Ian St John
- Player of the 1970s: Chris Lawler
- Player of the 1980s: Alan Kennedy
- Player of the 1990s: Jan Molby
- Player of the 2000s: Steven Gerrard
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Shankly
- You'll Never Walk Alone Award: Steven Gerrard
(via James Pearce)
Whether or not former players are any good at predicting who might up as Liverpool's own player of the year is anyone's guess, but there are few others who could reasonably compete against Mignolet for the honours. With at least one awards body throwing their support behind the keeper, Mignolet's cause might now have enough critical mass to have his teammates vote the same way.
- Liverpool Repeating Mistakes with Burnley's Danny Ings
- Liverpool FC Transfer Rumours: Reds Battle Arsenal and United for La Liga Superstar
- Sinclair: “It Was a Dream Come True”
- Liverpool Reportedly Nearing Deal to Sign Relegated Striker
- Rodgers: Players Will Need to Step Up in Gerrard's Absence Next Season