Premier League awards: best team, best signing, biggest flop and more
The 2017-18 Premier League season is over and even though Man City took the title, Mark Ogden has some other awards to give away.
Team of the season
There can be only one winner in this category and that is Pep Guardiola's runaway Premier League champions, Manchester City. They blew the competition away with their performances and shattered countless records along the way. They have been outstanding and could easily have won all four trophies this season.
Player of the season
The season ultimately boiled down to a head-to-head between Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne for the individual awards and although Manchester City midfielder De Bruyne was awesome in the first half of the campaign, Liverpool forward Salah's consistency and goals went up a notch at the crucial stage of the season. With 44 goals in all competitions, the Egypt international is the reason why Jurgen Klopp's men are heading to the Champions League final.
Manager of the season
Make no mistake, Pep Guardiola has been an example to many managers this season by guiding Manchester City to the title in such style, but the Spaniard has merely done what was expected of him. Sean Dyche, however, has hugely exceeded expectations at Burnley by guiding the club to seventh and a place in Europe. Burnley have the smallest budget in the Premier League, so Dyche has worked a miracle.
Goal of the season
Way back in October, Sofiane Boufal climbed off the bench as Southampton were drawing 0-0 with West Brom at St Mary's with little expectation of a match-winning contribution, but the Moroccan winger claimed victory with an incredible solo goal that saw him pick up the ball in his own half, race past the West Brom defence and then slot past keeper Ben Foster for an unforgettable 85th-minute winner.
Save of the season
Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl produced a stunning save from Andreas Christensen in the closing stages of the 0-0 draw at Chelsea to ultimately earn his team the point that confirmed their Premier League survival. Lossl somehow clawed the ball onto the post to keep out Christensen's goal-bound header.
Signing of the season
Liverpool paid just £36.9 million to sign Mohamed Salah from AS Roma, which seemed a lot for a player who sank without trace at Chelsea.
But Salah has been sensational and became Liverpool's talisman, more than justifying the outlay with his 32 Premier League goals. If Liverpool were to sell him now, they would be looking at a starting price of £200m.
Game of the season
Rochdale vs. Tottenham was a game that epitomised the classic FA Cup tie: a Premier League aristocrat away to a League One struggler in which the hosts took an early lead and forced Spurs into a change that saw Dele Alli and Harry Kane thrown on in a rescue act. The plan worked, with Kane scoring an 88th-minute goal to seemingly win the tie, but a goal from substitute Steven Davies in stoppage time earned Rochdale a draw to cap a pulsating game.
A £12m signing from Swansea, Fernando Llorente was signed to ease the goal-scoring pressure on Harry Kane, but the Spaniard contributed just one league goal all season -- predictably, it came against his former club. Llorente was a huge flop but Jese at Stoke and Renato Sanches at Swansea also deserve a mention.
Best piece of business
Liverpool looked to have waved the white flag by selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m in January, but Jurgen Klopp's team have not been affected one jot by the Brazil international's departure. They spent £75m of the proceeds on Virgil van Dijk and have more to spend this summer, but without Coutinho, Mo Salah has emerged as Anfield's new star and is guiding Liverpool to the Champions League final.
Most embarrassing moment of the season
Harry Kane may live to regret his decision to fight so hard to be given the goal he "scored" for Tottenham against Stoke City in April. Whether he touched Christian Eriksen's free-kick is debatable but was it really necessary to make such a fuss about it? Football is a team game but Kane made it all about himself; it really isn't a good look.
Blooper of the season
This is a collective award for the Brighton defender Lewis Dunk, who has earned the dubious distinction of equaling the record of former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel for most own goals in a season. Dunk has put the ball into his own net a remarkable four times this term, with bloopers against Swansea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Most attractive football
Manchester City have rewritten the record books this season and any team that scores more than 100 Premier League goals is clearly an exciting, attacking outfit. But while Liverpool and Spurs have also played some breathtaking football this season, City have been out of this world at times.
It can't be easy managing Manchester United in a season when Manchester City win the league playing champagne football and Liverpool make it to the Champions League final, but Jose Mourinho has added to the gloom by complaining about his players, United's "heritage," their recent Champions League failings and even the club's fans. Mourinho's moaning has become like a broken record.
Hands up those of you who expected Burnley to qualify for Europe this season. OK, that's nobody, then. It has been real fairy tale stuff for the Turf Moor outfit to finish seventh but also a reward for sound management, smart recruitment and an unbreakable spirit within the dressing room.
Most emotional farewell
There have been a few goodbyes this season, with Per Mertesacker, Michael Carrick and Yaya Toure all signing off from the Premier League, but although the Emirates was initially lukewarm to Arsene Wenger in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of his impending departure as manager, his final home game saw a real show of respect and admiration for the Frenchman, and rightly so.
Quote of the season
Antonio Conte, responding to Jose Mourinho during the pair's verbal feud: "I think that someone forgets what they said in the past or his behaviour. Sometimes I think there is, I don't know the name, demenza senile, when you are a bit, when you forget what you do in the past."
The Mesut Ozil award for going missing
The Arsenal midfielder continues to divide opinion between the hard-core tranche of fans who believe him to be a genius and the many more who have grown tired of the German's failure to justify his huge pay rise earlier this season. Mesut Ozil not only goes missing during games, he has also become prone to injury and illness during the final weeks of the campaign, forcing him to sit on the sideline ahead of the World Cup.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_