MUTV Group Chat debate Player of the Year

Friday 28 August 2020 16:00

Voting for the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award is now open, with fans being asked to choose between 27 nominated Manchester United players.

It promises to be a hotly contested prize, after a promising campaign in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finished third in the Premier League and made it to three cup semi-finals.

With new signings impressing, three forwards topping the 15-goal mark and a whole host of defenders and midfielders contributing, supporters may need to take some time to mull over their choices.

Our MUTV Group Chat panel was certainly split on the matter when they discussed it on Friday morning, with Rod Thornley – brother of Ben and former therapist at United – kicking things off by offering a succinct round-up of the players he believed worthy of consideration.

MUTV Group Chat: Awards edition Video

MUTV Group Chat: Awards edition

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“It’s a difficult question this year because it’s been such a mish-mash of a season,” said Rod. “I still speak to a lot of the players now and you get the inside of everything of what’s going on and we didn’t start well.

“The season, if we’d have started better, we’d have been in a better place towards the end, you know? But we finished brilliantly and you can’t deny that.

“Ole Gunnar got Anthony Martial running. That was a big thing for us, I think. Once he was running and pressing and scoring his goals as well, you can see how good of a footballer he actually is.

“To pick a player out though – obviously Bruno [Fernandes]’s come in and done phenomenal but you can’t give him Player of the Year after only being there three months. I can’t do that.”

Martial and Fernandes are two of the frontrunners for the award, with their sizeable contributions in 2020 likely to take centre-stage in supporters’ minds.

However, Rod was keen to point out a number of other high performers for their work across the season, starting with a player who missed the back-end of the campaign due to injury.

“I actually thought Luke Shaw was outstanding, from the time he came back into the team until he got injured. 

“I think Victor [Lindelof] and Harry [Maguire] both had a good season. If you look at the stats, conceding from open play we’re probably first or second in the league. Everyone’s calling our defence, but I think we do alright back there.

Opinion: Competition for award a good sign


United fan Sam Carney explains why the absence of a clear frontrunner for Player of the Year is a positive.

“[Marcus] Rashford shows moments of brilliance and he’d be up there for me as one of the contenders. Fred as well.

“Fred, Rashford, Martial or Luke Shaw would be my four nominations – and I’ve left out Mason Greenwood as well, who’s had a phenomenal first season.”

Ben was in agreement, commending Rashford for his talismanic influence in the first half of 2019/20 but settling on Shaw as his main man.

“If it would have been up to the injury, for me it would have been Marcus,” said the elder Thornley. “But in the second half of the season I agree with my brother, with the trouble that he’s had and the competition, it would be Luke Shaw.”

Former Reds, and lifelong supporters, Wes Brown and Danny Webber were united over who they’d be voting for, with Martial their clear favourite despite Fernandes’s instant impact since signing in January.

“It’s going to be tough but I’m probably just going to go Anthony Martial,” said Wes. “I thought he stepped up this season and I love it when he smiles because that means he’s scoring! We need to see more of that.

“If Bruno had maybe got here a little bit earlier, it would 100 per cent have been him. I’ll stick with my guns and say Anthony Martial.”

“Martial main player and I’ll stick with what Wes said there,” added Danny. “If Bruno had come in earlier I’m sure he would have been in.”

Vote for your Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year now.

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