N’Golo Kanté’s clean sweep of awards season was prevented by none other than his own teammate. Having already won Player of the Year awards from the players (PFA), the writers (FWA), the “experts” (the Premier League), and his countrymen (UNFP, i.e. the French PFA), Kanté was surely the odds-on favorite to win Chelsea Player of the Year as well, but the award went to Eden Hazard instead. Kanté did win the Players’ Player of the Year award as consolation prize.
Hazard’s win is his third in four years, making him only the second player after Frank Lampard in the award’s 50-year history to win it three times. Hazard, as expected, also won Goal of the Season for his tremendous solo beastmode run against Arsenal.
Other winners on the night included Mason Mount (Academy Player of the Year) and Karen Carney (Chelsea Ladies Player of the Year), but the biggest cheer was reserved for John Terry, who collected a special recognition award alongside long-time coach Steve Holland, who’s leaving us this summer to join the England coaching setup full-time. Holland’s never been one to hog the spotlight, which is why JT’s own special recognition of the coach in the last match of the season at Stamford Bridge was so important.
“It was a special moment I will always remember. It is nice to get this kind of send-off but I am one of a team at Cobham with some really fantastic people in all sorts of departments that support the team. We have a brilliant medical department, our match analysis is as good as any in the country and I am proud to have been involved with them, and hopefully I have helped in the success the club has had.”
-Steve Holland; source: Chelsea FC
Good luck to both Holland and JT in the next phase of their careers. And of course congrats to all the award winners, and the rest of the team on an excellent season as well.