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Alex McCarthy Wins Daily Echo Player Of The Year
Friday, 11th May 2018 11:01

Alex McCarthy has been announced as the winner of the Daily Echo Saints player of the year ahead of Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.

The Daily Echo player of the year in many respects can be considered the premier trophy to win for Saints players, initially inaugurated in 1973 when Mick Channon won it, the trophy was in conjunction with the club itself until Nicola Cortese decided that he would ban the paper from reporting on the club officially and found he needed the club to have their own separate award as he would not recognise the Echo's.

The latest winner is Alex MCarthy who polled a massive 58.6% of the vote with only runner up Pierre Emile Hojbjerg on 13% getting clear of the pack, third placed Dusan Tadic lead the rest of the field with 9 % and after that no one had more than about 4%.

The placing was as folows

1st Alex McCarthy
2nd Pierre Emile Hojbjerg
3rd Dusan Tadic
4th Ryan Bertrand
5th James Ward Prowse
6th Maya Yoshida
7th Charlie Austin

The irony is that of that top 7 only Tadic and Bertrand have played anything nearing a full season.

McCarthy didn't play his first Premier League game till 30th December keeping a clean sheet against Manchester United at Old Trafford and has been ever present ever since, Hojbjerg was ignored by Pellegrino until 29th October when he appeared in the away fixture at Brighton, Yoshida has started only 22 League games and Austin 9 although both had periods of injury.

Overall though McCarthy is a worthy winner of the award although it is a reflection of how not one outfield player truly shone this season with any consistency, but McCarthy came in and did a great job, ironically his stats record was not that much better than Fraser Forster, from similar amounts of games they both kept the same number of clean sheets 4, although Forster saved more shots, his 68 in 20 games being a lot more than the 41 McCarthy has in 17.

But this perhaps highlights why McCarthy has won the award, as at Swansea on Tuesday it was not about the number of saves, but doing the basics that goalkeepers have to do, coming for crosses and not being prone to error.

From this perspective McCarthy made 19 high claims ie coming and catching crosses, in this respect he was 13th in the Premier League although it should be noted that he played only half the number of game most of the 12 in front of him made, he also made 11 punches ( A fair chunk of those at Swansea ) again 14th highest in the division.

These stats highlight why McCarthy deserves the award, he came in and did the basics and although in terms of goals per game conceded his record was again virtually identical to Forster, it was what he did in his all round performance that mattered and in the last four games when it came down to the wire McCarthy was everything you needed your goalkeeper to be, strong confident and error free.

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saintsnutcase added 11:27 - May 11
I think McCarthy’s half season is up there with the best performances ever by a Saints keeper - the best since 1960 have been Shilton, Niemi and Forster under Koeman. Now McCarthy joins them.

Sanguin added 11:43 - May 11
I think McCarthy's been great, but on balance I voted for Hojbjerg. It's difficult to remember every game this season, but Hojbjerg's passion and leadership since he's come in have been a real asset to the team.

ChristchurchSaint added 12:02 - May 11
Really pleased that AM won, though also pleased that PEH was second. As others seem to be saying PEH shows signs of developing, and think he needs a good experienced old head along side him. I think we sometimes forget he is only 22, so still has a lot to learn.

schatfield added 13:00 - May 11
My top 2 were the same top 2 as above. Both have been great players for us this year.

KriSaint added 13:19 - May 11
Delighted for both McCarthy (28 years old) winning and for Hojbjerg (22 years old) being no. 2.
If You look at the career of McCarthy, he has been through a lot. When breaking through in his younger years he picked up agonizing injuries, one of which demanded an operation (sjoulder I think). His talent and abilities considered he has not played far too few Premier League games.
Indeed a very good signing (thanks Claude Puel).

He seems very calm. He has the stature of a great keeper. Maybe he can improve his work with his feet, technically.
I love his ability to both punch and collect from crosses.

JGH added 13:24 - May 11
Worthy winner. Little surprised to not see Cedric somewhere in the running, been one of if not our best outfield player throughout the season and has actually played consistently...

KriSaint added 13:27 - May 11
His talent and abilities considered he has played far too few Premier League games *

pintsizedsaint added 14:10 - May 11
Made up for McCarthy - he's done so well. Yet Hojbjerg is a big stand out for me. He's clearly talented, passionate, and a team player. He looks like another Schniderlin and will only improve and give a lot for SFC - if SFC supports him back. Would like to think he will use this seasons 'experience' to great individual benefit - but also impose a good sense of discipline in the changing room - no more prima donna's!

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