The NNN 2014/15 season awards

It’s awards season in football and we basically left out, so without further ado, here are the NNN Awards for 2014/15.

The five categories we have up for grabs are as follows: Player of the season, Goal of the season, Game of the season, Moment of the season and Best hair.

We’ve asked NNN contributors to give us their nominations and please feel free to add yours in the comments. Let’s go!

James Bird

Player: Tom Heaton. He’s solidly backstopped the team this year and apart from Swansea at home it’s hard to think of a time he’s put a foot wrong. There’s a lot to be said for keeping 10 clean sheets in a relegation season and there’s a few games that could have been a lot worse without his efforts in goal – Arsenal at the Emirates to name one.

Goal: Scott Arfield against Chelsea in the opener. They’d been a lot of talk before the game of how we’d be unable to compete and how even the lessor sides would have a field day against us and how our players weren’t even top half of the Championship calibre, so to take the lead against Chelsea was a special moment that reinforced that belief that Burnley fans often have. While we went on to lose that game, against a side that even then looked like the champions in waiting, the goal was still a bright spot to look back on.

Game: Manchester City at home. They can only be one choice here and if things had worked out in subsequent games this would have been the one you looked back at and thought that’s where survival started. It was a magically game and to beat the reigning champions at that stage of the season was a massive lift to everyone and really gave hope that we’d be able to finish the job and stay up.

Moment: Danny Ings’ goal at Hull. For me they’d been a lot of unfair criticism directed to Danny for his effort and commitment to the cause, so to see the celebration and how much scoring that goal meant to him and the other players was special. Even though we would be relegated that day it showed that we weren’t going down with our heads down, we fought to the end and the players showed their passion in the moments following that goal.

Hair: George Boyd. Majestic. All the great wingers have long hair, David Ginola, Chris Eagles, Jean Louis Valois and George Boyd.

Jordan Eyre

Player: Tom Heaton would be my choice. The most consistent performer from a strong pool of candidates, the Clarets’ stopper has been superb in every game and is largely responsible for our 10 clean sheets this season. Accurate and intelligent distribution, agile with great reactions and always looks good for a penalty save makes him stand out. Accountable for a good wedge of our points total this season.

Goal: Danny Ings’ header against Manchester United at Old Trafford. A goal befitting of such a stage, this goal showcased our two finest talents doing what they do best. Kieran Trippier’s willingness to get forward culminated in a typically sumptuous cross, while Ings’ movement led Chris Smalling astray in the penalty area. After creating a couple of yards of space, Ings demonstrated good agility to meet the ball and guide it home past David De Gea.

Game: Personally, seeing our maiden away victory of the season at Stoke was brilliant. Burnley showed two sides to their game that day; a killer instinct in front of goal and creativity in buckets courtesy of Ings and Michael Kightly respectively, before a resilient defence held firm in the face of a constant Stoke onslaught. The image of Stephen Ward throwing everything at each cross will stay with me for a long time.

Moment: Dean Marney’s injury in the home game against West Brom. 2-0 and seemingly cruising towards a valuable win, the midfielder’s injury was met with the collective groans of all Clarets fans. We will never know if Marney’s injury had an affect on our relegation and whether he could have helped stave off the drop, but we always felt a slightly weaker side in his absence. A turning point if ever there was one.

Hair: In a team full of conservative cuts and short backs and sides, it’s refreshing to see George Boyd’s long locks flow behind him as he flies down the wing. Perhaps costing him in speed and not the most aerodynamic of cuts, I think breaking the mould endears both Boyd and his hairstyle to Burnley fans. Expect replica wigs to adorn the walls of the club shop should be help lead us back to the Premier League.

Thomas Turner

Player: Jason Shackell – A fantastic leader who rarely looked out of his depth in the top flight. Surprised that he hasn’t got much recognition from further afield, but if it stops the vultures from circling we should count our blessings!

Goal: George Boyd (City at home) – One of those goals where you find yourself sat right in the line of the ball and just watch it fly in. Technically just perfect – and a goal which reignited the (sadly unfounded) belief that we could well stay up.

Game: Newcastle away (3-3) – It’s not often that you fall behind three times in one game and still feel disappointed not to come away with all three points. After losing three players to injury in the first 36 minutes, it was a magnificent battling performance which really highlighted the difference in the two clubs.

Moment: Ross Wallace equaliser (Leicester away) – There’s something particularly satisfying about watching a goalkeeper goad an opposition player just before the ball flies into the back of his net. The atmosphere at times in that second half was enough to make hairs stand on end. Wonderful afternoon.

Hair: Michael Duff – One of those lucky blokes who must sleep easy at night knowing they look better with grey hair anyway. Effortlessly cool. Our very own silver fox.

Paul Weller

Player: For me this is a one horse race, Tom Heaton has been the most consistent player and has improved so much as the season has gone on. He has produced some really important saves and with the quality performances he started to produce, it gave the back four as a group some real confidence. Burnley’s best player and most prized asset that we need to keep hold of.

Goal: There were a few contenders for this, but George Boyd’s goal against City stands out. After a tough run of games, the pressure was on the lads to put in a performance and boy did they do that. After half time they picked up the pace, started to pick up second balls and Boyd was one who took advantage of that. It was one of the sweetest strikes you’ll see and one that deserves to be a matchwinner.

Game: My first adventure into the away end with my little lad was at the Etihad. Up against it in the first half and my little one fearing the worst, half time came with the fear of what will this end up. But Sean’s half time team talk must of been very inspiring as the boys were fantastic in the second half and produced one of the best comebacks of the season against one of the best teams. Big performance and a great end to 2014.

Moment: Monday 2nd February at 23.00 was the moment I felt deflated, let down and genuinely thought that the rest of the season was now going to be a massive struggle. After a frustrating time on the pitch throughout January and a tough run of fixtures coming up, it was imperative that we added quality to the squad. This for me was the moment that turned our season.

Best hair: George Boyd will not be winning this title. How the lads in the dressing room have never done anything to his barnet i’ll never know, because that hair is just asking for trouble.

Robbie Coppack

Player: Tom Heaton, 10 clean sheets for a team who have been relegated is fantastic, plus an England call up. Who’d have thought that when we signed him?

Goal: Danny Ings v Man Utd for me. Showed the quality of our most prized assets. Trademark Trippier cross and a wonderful diving header from Ings.

Game: Stoke City away proved we weren’t going to be pushovers in this league. And a magnificent defensive display.

Moment: George Boyd v Man City at home. That game and that goal will be in all Claret memories for years to come.

Hair: ummm, not sure what to put this? Boyd’s, because I love the way it blows in the wind…

Adam Haworth

Player: Heaton – he’s been consistent throughout the season, and it says a lot that he was awarded the Player’s Player of the Year at the Club’s awards ceremony earlier this week.

Goal: Arfield v Chelsea – before the first game of the season, I was worried that we’d embarrass ourselves. Scott’s moment of magic was glorious, and ensured that although we suffered defeat in the match that we made a credible entrance to the Premier League.

Game: Manchester City (A) – an obvious choice here, and it doesn’t need too much explaining. Isn’t it great when the underdog comes back against the big boys?

Moment: Hull (H) – although the game itself wasn’t too memorable, the event of achieving our first Premier League win of the season is reason enough to choose this as notable moment of the season. Before this point, some fans (maybe including myself) were asking where the first win was going to come from. At least this win shut them/me up.

Hair: Maybe this is controversial, but I’m not a fan of George Boyd’s flowing locks. The hairdo looks a bit greasy and just isn’t functional. I’m going to go for Jason Shackell, who has seemingly rarely had a hair out of place all season. Just like his defensive skills, his hair looks solid as a rock. I must say that I’ve not really been paying particular attention to the uniformity of hair, however.

Michael Bailey

Player: George Boyd – There was a time as a Burnley fan when a player who could run and run and run was something we lauded. We enjoyed the endeavour and the hard working nature. It was very Burnley-like. Then it became synonymous with Ian Moore and the trait fell out of fashion as his aimless running became an annoyance. Then George Boyd happened. He brought running back into fashion, with his flowing locks and creative play he looked like a Premier League player and ran like one as well. While I’d have liked to see more goals in his game his determination to always do his best was a shining light in an all too often dull season.

Goal: Ashley Barnes v Spurs (20 December) – When selecting this it reminded me just how much of an odd team we are. We looked like we couldn’t score for toffee for most of the season but every now and then pulled a goal of the season contender out of the top drawer and Barnesey’s effort against Spurs was one of those moments. His touch from George Boyd’s pass saw him saunter pass two pedestrian Tottenham defenders before wrapping his foot round the ball to send it curling into the top bag. It’s a goal that wouldn’t be out of place in a World Cup final. What a finish.

Game: Man City 2 -2 Burnley – Being two nil down against the (then) champions of England is pretty standard fare. At least we weren’t getting humped like last time. Then we showed all the attributes that Sean Dyche likes to bang on about and little old Burnley come back thanks to some suspect refereeing and an Ashley Barnes thronker that nearly broke the net. In terms of gain it wasn’t much but it gave me the belief we could stay up and deserved our place in the Premier League and it’s moment like that that make it all worth it.

Moment: Burnley 2-3 Crystal Palace – This game is where I think it all fell down for us. Up against a rejuvenated Palace side we raced into a two nil lead and looked set to dominate the game. A win would have seen us move up to 15th and from there we could quite possibly have put together a run to stay up but a dramatic collapse and inability to match a change in tactics from Alan Pardew set the tone for the remainder of the season. I struggle to believe that this game didn’t have a serious impact on the psyche of our lads ahead of two huge games against Sunderland and West Brom.

Hair: Jason Shackell – A classy no nonsense look from our centre-back sets him apart as a leader of men. You’ll find no alice bands here.

Kevin Robinson

Player: It says much about the story of our season that I’m stuck between the two players at the heart of our defence. In the end I couldn’t choose between Tom Heaton or Jason Shackle so I asked my husband, who knows nothing about football, which one should get my vote, and he went for Tom Heaton because… get ready for this cutting-edge insight, the name ‘Shackell’ doesn’t sound as nice. In reality, both have been outstanding and probably the only two who have been consistently excellent. Boyd has had a number of quiet spells, and Ins had two periods of flats form (he was good for much of the season, no witch-hunt here). Both have stepped up their game from excellent campaigns in the promotion season – Shacks won the NNN player of the year vote – and if we can keep hold of both then we’ve got really strong foundations for another go starting in August.

Goal: Well, there are *so* to choose from I don’t know quite where to start. There have actually been some crackers in there, though. Barnes’ strike against Spurs was glorious, but my favourite is Boyd’s winner against City at the Turf. It really was a thing of true beauty. It was one of those that makes you really thankful that Vine exists; I think I watched it about 40 times without interruption. He won’t strike a ball as clean as that in his entire career.

Game: The win at Stoke was excellent not just because it was an actual win with two actual goals, but because it gave us all some much-needed encouragement optimism. It was a sign that yes, we can compete at this level. I recall back with fondness the amazement, excitement and disbelief bunching around Twitter when those two early goals flew in. There are certainly more spectacular games – both against City spring to mind – but for me this was the game that got me most excited.

Moment: My moment of the season comes from a 4-1 defeat, obviously. Scott Arfield’s screamer against Chelsea on the opening day was genuinely euphoric, and brought about similar feelings to those when Robbie Blake smashed in that winner against United in 2010. It won’t stick in the memory quite so long because of what happened afterwards, but when the ball hit the net to give us an early lead against the champions-to-be I know Huddersfield reject Scotty Art gave me a magical moment that wouldn’t be topped all year.

Hair: Without a doubt it’s Kevin Lon… only kidding.- what a travesty that thing is! I quite like Boyd’s locks, but there’s something weirdly alluring about Ben Mee’s bright blonde hair. I don’t really know what more there is to say other than that. I just flicked through the programme to check out the other contenders and realised how boring our squad is on the top of their heads. They’ve all got the same standard cut. That said, at least none of them have taken inspiration from Wade Elliott.

Jamie Smith

Player: Shacks is my player of the year. In terms of consistency I think only Heaton can touch him and 10 clean sheets for a relegated side is an incredible achievement. Whether he was playing with Duff or Keane he never looked anything less than assured. Keeping him will be key for next season.

Goal: We didn’t score many goals but there were still a few contenders and I’m going for Barnes v Spurs. Barnes has proved many people wrong – including myself – and his goal at the Lane was another example that he is full of surprises. Hit with power and precision, it was the sort of strike I did not think he was capable of.

Game: City at home was one of those games we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. It might have looked a bit smash and grab but essentially we held City at arm’s length apart from Pablo Zabaleta’s late penalty shout when Ben Mee really should have conceded a spot kick. Boyd’s winner was absolutely glorious and I really believed we’d stay up after that match. Shame it didn’t end up being the turning point I thought it would be.

Moment: Jose Mourinho on Goals on Sunday is my moment of the season. In many ways it encapsulated everything that is bad about the Premier League. Mourinho has had the press wrapped around his little finger since his first “Special One” press conference at Chelsea and the media are completely in thrall to his nonsense. Labelling Barnes’ challenge on Nemanja Matic as “criminal” was extremely naughty and the whole affair was extremely distasteful in my eyes. Mourinho’s appearance on Goals on Sunday might well be filed alongside Rafa Benitez’s “FACTS” and Kevin Keegan’s “I would love it if we beat them” in the annals of memorable managerial meltdowns.

Hair: I’ve got to go for solidarity with a fellow skinhead, so I’m going for Sean Dyche’s no-nonsense bonce.

Jordan Neary

Player: Ashley Barnes – Chewed up numerous defenders and spat them out. His picture is next to work rate in the dictionary, couple that with moments of brilliance he’s been a joy to watch. We are gonna miss him.

Goal: Ashley Barnes v City – he looked all the more sexual in that black kit as the ball hit the top corner. Came days after someone infamously commented on my article that he ‘wasn’t even a Championship player’.

Game: Newcastle away – I’ve had a slightly different view of events this season covering games from the press box – so many amazing arenas – but coming from behind three times at the magnificent St James Park, those are the games and away days you get promoted for.

Moment: MATICGATE – being inside the stadium and subsequent press conference to watch Jose Mourinho self implode was pure gold. Goals on Sunday only saw the half of it.

Hair: Michael Kightly – Apart from his assist at Stoke he’s not had much to write home about. I’m impressed with the speed at which it grows, from skinhead to crew cut in no time at all.

NNN prizes therefore go to…

Player: There were a number of good candidates for the award this year. Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier can count themselves unlucky not to get a mention, while George Boyd was similarly unloved despite taking numerous honours at the supporters’ clubs night. However, our panel has overwhelming gone for goalkeeper Tom Heaton, with Jason Shackell – who won the NNN Player of the Year award last season – in second spot.

Goal: Considering we didn’t score enough goals this season, a number of strikes could have taken this prize. Nobody even mentioned Scott Arfield’s superb individual goal against QPR at Turf Moor. But there was only ever likely to be one winner here – George Boyd wins the NNN Goal of the season prize for his matchwinning half-volley against the defending champions.

Game: Although we played in our fair share of 0-0s, there was plenty of entertainment too. The games against City stood out for obvious reasons and the comeback at the Etihad, which featured an outstanding individual performance from Ashley Barnes, narrowly beat the 1-0 home win. Manchester City 2-2 Burnley is our Game of the season.

Moment: A wide spread of nominations with only one moment being mentioned by more than one of our contributors. The NNN prize for Moment of the season therefore goes to Chelsea away and the subsequent hoo-ha over the collision between Ashley Barnes and Nemanja Matic. It was certainly one of the more memorable moments this season, perhaps due to the media’s ridiculous over-reaction to what was merely a follow-through from Barnes when he was stretching to make a pass. That’s the Premier League for you.

Hair: A joke category to round off the awards for this season, there was only ever likely to be one winner and despite a couple of nominations for the pristine skipper, George Boyd wins again. Presumably because he has a lot of hair.

That’s it! The NNN 2014/15 awards are over.

Did we get it right? Comment below with your choices. 

17 thoughts on “The NNN 2014/15 season awards”

  1. After a year of wondering if the NNN contributors were (a) a collective of pre teen bed wetters (b) bar steward infiltrators (c) both but with depression – I have to agree with the conclusion. Whatever next? Sordell is a striker shock? Mee sort of OK on the left? Jones has two feet outrage? Next up – exclusive – NNN gets behind the lads

    1. When have we not got behind the team Paul? Strange comment.

      By the way – you’re more than welcome to contribute if you feel your views aren’t being represented.

      1. For me the Barnes article was a disgrace. Fair play maybe everyone at NNN thinks differently and I’m out if order here? But in retrospect wasn’t some of the 2014:15 content not just a little bit shit? Creaming over everyone but our own. We were 2 wins off. Thank god you boys weren’t required to defend the realm! The match analysis was often excellent but the opinion pieces were just surrender monkey stuff. Hands up NNN. You gave up.

        1. Okay so you don’t get value out of what we do. Fair enough. But instead of attacking us for trying our hardest to produce good content for nothing in return, why don’t you take your feeble views about this website – views that lack understanding of just how much work it is to run this website – elsewhere and leave people who actually enjoy what we do to enjoy it. edit: Either that, or appreciate what we do and help us out by writing, as James says below.

        2. Paul – personally I haven’t written a piece since September 22nd where I was pretty gushing in my praise of George Boyd and I certainly never gave up on our season as my weekly appearance on our podcast would show. But really we’re in a lose/lose situation.

          Last March I wrote this ( saying we were up long before it was mathematically confirmed, you can’t be more positive than that and I got called a see you next Tuesday on Twitter! (Also well worth pointing out that a) I was right and b) everyone in the comments said Charlton were already down and I was right about them not getting relegated too.)

          Ultimately if you think our content is shit there is nothing we can do without others getting involved. To say we’ve been in the biggest league in the world with more exposure than ever, I think it’s safe to say we’ve struggled more than ever to get contributors. We all work, we can’t do it alone. Hell, over the course of this season I have lived in three different towns all 3 hours minimum from Turf Moor. The last thing I want to do after I’ve trekked from the Isle of Wight to see us is write for the site, the last thing I want to do after seeing us throw away a 2-0 lead at home four hours after I’ve landed back from the US is write about it. Don’t like what’s here? Help us, get your opinion in to us and we’ll post it. I can only remember us rejecting one article since I’ve been involved in 2011 and that’s only because it was a hatchet job.

        3. You’re undoubtedly out of order – you said yourself you agree with our choices but still feel the need to have a pop. If you don’t like the site, don’t read it. It’s really that simple. We’re never going to please everyone.

    2. Ooops, someone needs to take life a little less seriously, methinks!
      I’ve certainly not agreed with everything these guys say – in fact some of it can be bollocks – but this site is a breath of fresh air when you look at much of the other nonsense. I think someone is a teensy bit jealous of the great work done on here!
      Onwards and upwards guys and, it’s OPINION!! Some people will always live their lives on the dark side. Indeed, the fact that you have triggered as bizarre a set of thoughts in someone’s little mind is a positive.
      Keep it up!

      1. Exactly Mike – nobody ever agrees with anyone 100% and that’s what NNN is all about, putting your opinion across, which everyone has the chance to do, whether they write something themselves or post in the comments. I argued strongly in favour of keeping the comments when others wanted to get rid of them and I’m afraid people like paul make me regret that decision.

    3. My husband suffers badly with depression. I don’t appreciate you making light of it here, or using it as an insult.

  2. Of course you got it right. In what way could you get it wrong? The players as a unit gave the campaign everything, sadly it wasn’t enough. However enough of the sackcloth and ashes. Next season beckons and tomorrow is another day. Oh yes, one more thing, I always believed the Turf Moor pitch was full regulation size, is this why we didn’t get more points away from home; because the players had more stamina sapping ground to cover than in home games?

    1. The laws of the game allow pitches to vary quite a lot, UEFA and the Premier League tighten it up for uniformity. Stoke used to have to widen their pitch for European games.

      But to answer your question, I doubt it. Turf Moor is only 1m shorter and 2m narrower than the UEFA requirement. It’s also bigger than Goodison Park, about the same as Anfield and considerably bigger than the aforementioned Britannia.

  3. A good read – but for me Shackell was player of the season and never lost his composure even when the defence was under severe pressure. The back 5 (6 if you include Keane) deserve to be playing Premier League football next season. A fraction more creativity in midfield and up front, we would have stayed up for sure. A brave effort by Burnley but I’d rather be a Sunderland, Villa, Leicester, Newcastle, Palace or West Brom fan looking forward to PL football next season. With a couple of astute signings (McArthur and a decent striker) we could have finished ABOVE all the mentioned teams.

    Someone mentioned that we could have been 15th if we’d beaten Palace – we were actually 12th in the table at 4pm on January 17th when we led Palace 2-1 at the break, still had Marney fit and had another 16 days left in the transfer window to strengthen the squad. Instead we lost to Palace, we completely messed up the transfer window and Marney got crocked. What an opportunity wasted, sadly.

    1. we were two nill up ,,,,, thats the prem for you ,,it didn’t help pardew joining Palace did it ,,,,,,,at the time ,,,, it was a defining game the Palace game ,,,,,, We should have stuck to our guns and bought Deeney and we would of had a decent striker if we of come down ,,,,,, but ok we have to be carefull with the cash ,,,,,i total understand it ,,,,,,,, but would of given us a fighting chance ,,, ONE striker worth having ,,,, than 1.5 on no goals we all so didn’t need all the players who didn’t play ,,,, they have a problem now as there s ,,,going to get fleeced for any player they in for but they should go for some one worth having ,,Dwight Gayle would be a good player sean if you can talk him in to coming

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