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EPL Awards, 2008-2009 Winners

epl-award-logoThe voting for the inaugural EPL Awards has concluded, and the Best of the Best of the 2008-2009 Premier League season can now be revealed as voted by you, the readers. More than 60,000 votes were cast to identify the best footballers, managers, blogs, podcasts, books and more.

Here were the winners, runner-up and editor’s choice winners in each of the 41 different categories.

Best and Worst EPL Players, Teams and Managers

So many awards honour footballers before the season is even over. Instead, the EPL Awards take the entire season into account to recognize the best footballers, teams and managers.

Most Exciting EPL Team

Manchester United won the 2008-2009 Premier League title, but the majority of readers voted Liverpool as the most exciting team of the season. With a goal difference of +50, six goals better than Manchester United, it’s no surprise that the Reds of Merseyside are the deserved winners.

Winner: Liverpool
Runner-Up: Manchester United
Editor’s Choice: Liverpool

Most Boring EPL Team

While Liverpool was voted the most exciting team of the 08-09 season, the award for the most boring team went to Newcastle United who underwhelmed spectators and TV viewers all season long. Even the appointment of Alan Shearer as manager failed to add a spark to the Tyneside club who were eventually relegated alongside the category runner-up, Middlesbrough.

Winner: Newcastle United
Runner-Up: Middlesbrough
Editor’s Choice: Newcastle United

Best EPL Goalkeeper

Stoke City supporters not only banded together inside the Britannia Stadium to support their club this past season, but they also generated a powerful punch online to vote Thomas Sorensen as the best EPL goalkeeper. Runner-up and editor’s choice winner was Edwin Van der Sar who had a stellar season for Manchester United.

Winner: Thomas Sorensen
Runner-Up: Edwin Van der Sar
Editor’s Choice: Edwin Van der Sar

Best EPL Defender

Senegalese centre back Abdoulaye Faye takes top honours in the category of Best EPL Defender. The Stoke City defender beat Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United. The Serbian defender also picked up the editor’s choice award.

Winner: Abdoulaye Faye (Stoke City)
Runner-Up: Nemanja Vidic (Man United)
Editor’s Choice: Nemanja Vidic (Man United)

Best EPL Midfielder

In one of the hardest categories to pick a winner — due to readers being spoilt for choice with some of the best midfielders in the world to choose from — Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard won the voter’s award with Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo coming in second place. EPL Talk decided to hand the editor’s choice award to Chelsea’s Frank Lampard after an incredible season.

Winner: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Runner-Up: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United)
Editor’s Choice: Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

Best EPL Striker

Not surprisingly, Spanish striker Fernando Torres was the winner in the Best EPL Striker category for the 2008-09 Premiership season. The striker has scored 57 goals since joining Liverpool in 2007. The runner-up in the category was Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.

Winner: Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
Runner-Up: Wayne Rooney (Man United)
Editor’s Choice: Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Best EPL Manager

Tony Pulis won the votes for both the Best EPL Manager and Most Improved EPL Manager of 2008-2009. The Welshman took everyone’s favorite relegation pick to great heights by building a cohesive team that were difficult to break down, full of spirit and packed with their secret weapon, Rory Delap. Sir Alex Ferguson picks up the runner-up and editor’s choice awards.

Winner: Tony Pulis (Stoke City)
Runner-Up: Alex Ferguson (Man United)
Editor’s Choice: Alex Ferguson (Man United)

Most Improved EPL Manager

While the readers voted Tony Pulis as the most improved manager of 08-09, Roy Hodgson won the editor’s choice and runner-up awards for taking a Fulham side that narrowly escaped relegation last season and turned them into an attractive football side that qualified for Europe. Craven Cottage is no longer an easy three points for opposition teams.

Winner: Tony Pulis (Stoke City)
Runner-Up: Roy Hodgson (Fulham)
Editor’s Choice: Roy Hodgson (Fulham)

Worst EPL Manager

It’s unanimous. Hull City’s Phil Brown picked up the Worst EPL Manager award despite narrowly escaping relegation. Perhaps it was that infamous half-time team talk on the pitch against Manchester City or the freefall in the second half of the season. In second place and the recipient of the editor’s choice award was Juande Ramos who only achieved two points for Tottenham Hotspur by the time Harry Redknapp replaced him as manager.

Winner: Phil Brown (Hull City)
Runner-Up: Juande Ramos (Tottenham Hotspur)
Editor’s Choice: Juande Ramos (Tottenham Hotspur)

EPL Player of The Year

The English PFA awarded Ryan Giggs with the top honours, but the readers of EPL Talk disagreed in large numbers with Steven Gerrard winning the top prize (and editor’s choice award) for a fantastic season that culminated in Liverpool almost winning the title and playing an exciting brand of football that generated a better goal difference that any team in the league. Plus his link-up play with Fernando Torres was exquisite to watch. Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic won the runner-up award.

Winner: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Runner-Up: Nemanja Vidic (Man United)
Editor’s Choice: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

EPL Young Player of The Year

While Ashley Young won the PFA Young Player of The Year competition, the Aston Villa speedster didn’t win the EPL Talk equivalent honour. Instead the vote went to Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City who was a revelation in the back four for the team and deservedly won the top honours. Runner-up was Stephen Ireland who was the backbone of a Manchester City team even when they were in freefall. The editor’s choice award goes to Maroune Felliani who was a revelation up front for Everton during an incredibly successful season for the Toffees.

Winner: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
Runner-Up: Stephen Ireland (Man City)
Editor’s Choice: Maroune Felliani (Everton)

Best EPL TV, Radio and Podcast Coverage

Television, radio and podcasts are such an important part of the lives for followers of the Premier League. Without them, the vast majority of us would be cut off from enjoying the Premiership action as well as learning about the tactics and hearing the banter and discussion about the world’s most popular sports league.

Best EPL TV Commentator

No surprises here. Martin Tyler continues to be at the top of his game with his unmistakeable voice, encyclopedia of knowledge and just the right tempo during those all important Premier League matches. He makes a boring game interesting, and an interesting game dynamic. Congratulations to Jon Champion, runner-up in this category, also.

Winner: Martin Tyler
Runner-Up: Jon Champion
Editor’s Choice: Martin Tyler

Best EPL TV Co-Commentator

If you played a word association game with commentators, when you think Martin Tyler, you may also think Andy Gray. The Scot is opinionated, precise and calls it as he sees it. Unfortunately many of us around the world aren’t blessed with hearing his co-commentating skills, but nevertheless he got enough votes to win the category. The very talented Robbie Earle picked up the runner-up and editor’s choice award.

Winner: Andy Gray
Runner-Up: Robbie Earle
Editor’s Choice: Robbie Earle

Best EPL TV Presenter

In a category with a lot of tough competition, Fox Soccer Channel’s Nick Webster won the award for Best EPL TV Presenter beating runner-up Paul Dempsey from Setanta and editor’s choice winner James Richardson (also of Setanta). Webster gained international notoriety for covering the Beckham move to LA Galaxy which was broadcasted around the world on Sky Sports. Closer to home, Webster does an admirable job of hosting many TV programs on Fox Soccer Channel each week.

Winner: Nick Webster (Fox Soccer Channel)
Runner-Up: Paul Dempsey (Setanta)
Editor’s Choice: James Richardson (Setanta)

Best EPL TV Pundit

While the TV presenter gets much of the limelight, it’s his fellow pundit – some may argue – that has the more difficult position with the pressure of analyzing a game and speaking off the cuff to provide insight to the TV viewer. First place in this category is Pat Dolan of Setanta who has done an impressive job alongside presenter Paul Dempsey. Fox Soccer Report’s Bobby McMahon won the runner-up and editor’s choice awards.

Winner: Pat Dolan (Setanta)
Runner-Up: Bobby McMahon (Fox Soccer Channel)
Editor’s Choice: Bobby McMahon (Fox Soccer Channel)

Best EPL TV News Show

Football news shows are such an important element of how we get the latest information, scores and transfer gossip. Leading the pack is the nightly Fox Soccer Report show that sums up the day’s action from around the world, providing insight, highlights and news from the top leagues. Setanta Sports News won the runner-up award, while Sky Sports Through The Night picked up the editor’s choice nod.

Winner: Fox Soccer Report (Fox Soccer Channel)
Runner-Up: Setanta Sports News (Setanta)
Editor’s Choice: Through The Night (Sky Sports)

Best EPL Feature TV Show

Special1 TV was the hands-down winner in the Best EPL Feature TV Show category bringing us tons of giggles, laughs and smiles during a season full of scandals that would even make a soap opera blush. The show which has been a viral video hit also won the editor’s choice award, while Fox Football Fone-In picked up the runner-up award.

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