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
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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