Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville revealed their end-of-season awards in the final Monday Night Football of the campaign.
The Sky Sports pundits each selected their player of the season, young player of the season, new player of the season, coaching performance of the season and goal of the season for the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
They also named their teams of the season, and while they both included Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, they differed on the remaining four. Read on to see their selections in full.
Carragher’s best player: Kevin De Bruyne
Carragher: “Salah was no doubt the best player in the first half of the season but De Bruyne was in the second half. You just think of the vital goals he got. Up against Atletico Madrid, United and Liverpool. For me, I think he is the best player in the league. I love Kevin De Bruyne. Take Liverpool out of the equation, if I want to watch someone, I watch Kevin De Bruyne. I think he is going to be one of the all-time greats in the Premier League.”
Neville’s best player: Heung-Min Son
Neville: “One goal off Mo Salah playing for a team that is completely different in style, that’s not as good. Everybody loves him. I think he could play for any team in the world. Any club in Europe would take him. Son does not get the recognition he deserves. For what he has done consistently, 21 goals, one off Salah in a team that is nowhere near as good, where he doesn’t get the service, I think he just deserves a mention really.”
Carragher and Neville’s best young player: Declan Rice
Neville: “The English player that all the top clubs want. Whether they can get him out of West Ham, whether they can afford him, is another matter. He may have to do another season at West Ham. He has just been a really good performer in a great West Ham season, reaching the semi-final of the Europa League. He is a massive performer for them.”
Carragher’s best new player: Cristian Romero
Carragher: “I really like him. Maybe with Romero being my position, I remember watching him at Man City earlier in the season and thinking there is something special about him. Every time I watch him play, he takes the ball, he is aggressive. He reminds me of Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea. He isn’t the biggest of defenders, but he is clever, he’s switched on, he is cool on the ball. I think Tottenham have a real player there.”
Neville’s best new player: Luis Diaz
Neville: “To hit the ground running like he did in January. Salah and Mane go to the AFCON in January and you are telling me that Liverpool are going to three finals and going to the last day of the Premier League? No chance. City have won the league by 10 points. They haven’t got that back up. He is absolutely sensational. To the point whereby if Mo Salah does leave in 12 months or whenever that may be, you are almost not as sad because you have a ready-made replacement. An unbelievable talent. What a player.”
Carragher and Neville’s best coaching performance: Jurgen Klopp
Carragher: “I think one of the biggest strengths of Jurgen Klopp – and obviously he is brilliant at everything – is his personality, his character. That ability to come back and fight. They only made one signing in the summer, Konate, a back-up centre-back. And they have played 60 games this season and lost three.”
Neville: “Three finals. Getting close to City. I think it is undisputed. What he has done this season is absolutely exceptional. He built that great team for three or four years and I thought they were just going over the edge a bit. Decline. Not a big amount. But he has just brought them back. It is absolutely brilliant what he has done.”
Carragher’s best goal: Mo Salah vs Man City
Carragher: “I went for Mo Salah against City. It was just below me in the box, where we were covering the game. It was classic Salah, it really was. It is also the opposition, it’s Manchester City, the occasion. There are different types of goals. That is the type of goal you just don’t see. It was a Lionel Messi type of goal.”
Neville’s best goal: Mateo Kovacic vs Liverpool
Neville: “Kovacic. I like picking a goal where I was at the game. It was a brilliant moment. It was a decent punch, height and distance. To take those two or three steps back, that was the thing. He skips as he hits it. I thought that was an amazing goal in a great game.”
Carragher’s team of the season
Carra’s XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rice, Silva, Salah, Kane, Son.
Carragher went for Joel Matip alongside Van Dijk.
“He has been fantastic. He has been as good as Virgil van Dijk this season, he has been outstanding, he really has. Last season, I may have said Ruben Dias was player of the year. This season, he has not been quite himself, he has had a few injury problems.
“Matip with his ability to bring the ball out from the back, his partnership with Van Dijk has been outstanding.”
In another difference from Neville’s team, Carragher picked Rice in midfield.
“I always talk about Fabinho or Rodri because they play for the top teams and are as good as anyone at breaking up play.
“I just think Declan Rice reminds me of an old-fashioned midfield player who plays in a two. He reminds me of Roy Keane. He is not just a holding midfield player, he drives forward with the ball. He is more than a sitting player.”
Neville’s team of the season
Nev’s XI: Alisson, Walker, Dias, Van Dijk, Robertson, De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva, Salah, Kane, Son.
Neville preferred Andy Robertson to Joao Cancelo, a player he coached at Valencia.
“Absolutely love Cancelo, I couldn’t love him more, but I cannot ignore Robertson. He is the best full-back in the league by a mile because he does both things incredibly well.
“This is eight or nine out of ten every week, the impetus he gives Liverpool in games where it is hurting, it is unbelievable. He does more than you ever notice.”
Neville also differed from Carragher in his choice of right-back, opting for Kyle Walker instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“I think he has had an unbelievable season and when he doesn’t play City miss him lots. City’s defensive record is as good as Liverpool’s.
“That right-hand side of City’s defence and left-hand side of Liverpool’s defence are absolutely brilliant and that’s why I have split the defence, basically. I think Kyle Walker and Dias are a better right-hand side.”
And Neville also went for Rodri instead of Rice.
“Rodri, by the way, best player for Man City this season. If you said to anyone at City this season, he has been absolutely monumental in that position.
“I didn’t fancy him when he first came over, I was comparing him to Fernandinho, thinking he wasn’t mobile and looked slow on the ball. He has come on to a different level this season.”