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Manager of the season? Easy, it has to be Mick McCarthy

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<b>Mick McCarthy</b><br/>
Chastised for his decision to rest 10 players for December's defeat at Manchester United, the 51-year-old has been more than vindicated by subsequent results, keeping the Molineux club in the division with ease, despite the club being one of the pre-season favourites for the drop.

<b>Mick McCarthy</b><br/> Chastised for his decision to rest 10 players for December's defeat at Manchester United, the 51-year-old has been more than vindicated by subsequent results, keeping the Molineux club in the division with ease, despite the club being one of the pre-season favourites for the drop.

<b>Mick McCarthy</b><br/> Chastised for his decision to rest 10 players for December's defeat at Manchester United, the 51-year-old has been more than vindicated by subsequent results, keeping the Molineux club in the division with ease, despite the club being one of the pre-season favourites for the drop.

It's awards time. So without further ado, here are this season’s winners:

Player of the season: Wayne Rooney. No one else came close. He was in a different league and kept Manchester United in the title race. Without him they would have been as bad as Liverpool! Obviously here it was Coleraine’s Rory Patterson who had that wonderful habit of scoring virtually every time he touched the ball.

Game of the season: Not that many memorable matches to be honest but one that sticks in the mind is Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3 when Michael Owen scored a last-gasp winner.

Manager of the season: Carlo Ancelotti won the double for Chelsea, Roy Hodgson guided Fulham to a European final and Harry Redknapp took Spurs into the Champions League. All worthy achievements, but best of the lot was Mick McCarthy keeping Wolves in the Premier League. Written off by everyone back in August, Wolves were safe well before the final day.

Goal of the season: Wayne Rooney’s 100th Premier League goal. It came against Arsenal at the Emirates and encapsulated his determination, desire and finishing prowess. Here Liam Boyce’s sensational ‘Glenn Hoddle like’ chip for Cliftonville against Lisburn Distillery. No wonder Barcelona are after him!

Comeback of the season: David Jeffrey looked to be on his way out of a job at Linfield earlier this season. Five months later his side won the double. Honorable mention to Lisburn Distillery, who under the shrewd guidance of Tommy Wright,

staved off the threat of relegation with a fantastic end to the campaign.

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Tactical masterclass of the season: Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho going back to haunt Chelsea at the Bridge in the Champions League. Even better than Inter’s success against Barcelona.

Most irksome individual of the season: Take your pick from John Terry, Ashley Cole or Didier Drogba.

Disappointment of the season: Liverpool FC and Rafael Benitez.

Interview of the season: Neil Lennon, caretaker boss of Celtic, in mean mood after the Bhoys lost to Ross County in the Scottish Cup. Sir Alex Ferguson’s “typical Germans” comment after Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

Signing of the season: Darren Bent always said he could score goals in the top flight given half a chance and he proved it after leaving Spurs for Sunderland, hitting the net 24 times (including the famous beach ball strike). Peter Thompson returning to Linfield on loan from Stockport was also hugely important as it gave the Blues confidence to go on and win the League and Cup.

Story of the season: It could happen on Saturday if Blackpool win promotion to the Premier League. If not, Keith Gillespie coming home to play in the Irish League for Glentoran.

Team of the season: Hart (Birmingham); Ivanovic (Chelsea), Dawson (Spurs), Hughes (Fulham), Cole (Chelsea); Milner (Aston Villa), Lampard (Chelsea), Fabregas (Arsenal), Malouda (Chelsea), Rooney (Manchester United), Tevez (Manchester City).


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