Well, for every hidden gem there is an overpriced piece of jewelry from a department store. That overpriced piece of jewelry is exactly what today’s award is all about, the most overrated player of the season. This individual has the hype, but can really never perform like we want them to.
Elijah Newsome - Mikel Merino
We all remember the first Newcastle vs. Swansea game, it was the debut of a woeful season for Renato Sanches that resulted in him missing out on the World Cup, but also the coming out party for Mikel Merino. Merino played one of his best games of the season, a game in which he absolutely dominated the midfield in every regard. Merino played so well that people began to question whether he would start over Shelvey. After that game however, Merino dropped off tremendously. He became a bench player, who was constantly rumored to be unhappy with his status with the club. Even after returning from a back injury, Merino became a midfielder put into secure the lead, or as a last ditch effort to win a match. This was far from the Merino that was slated to be the Iniesta for this club according to some fans. The harsh reality is that at this stage in his career Merino is likely not going to be the star of any team, and fans sure thought he was going to be.
Cameron Johnson - Islam Slimani
This award goes to Islam Slimani. He didn’t have much of a chance to fulfill his high expectations, but he still takes home the MOP award. Being one of our few winter signings, he was an anticipated arrival who we hoped would bring his shooting boots with him. This was not the case, even though it wasn’t solely poor form which kept him off the score sheet.
David Hatch - Jonjo Shelvey
Shelvey has had an incredible close to the campaign, so it can be easy to forget how the first half of the year went for him. Here’s a refresher: two red cards in his first nine starts, no goals or assists in the league until March, and poor showings in winnable matches against Watford and West Bromwich Albion. There’s no questioning Shelvey’s talent, and he has certainly turned things around, with no league yellow cards since December. Shelvey should be on England’s plane to Russia, but he also should have done more to help the club for the first half of the return to the Premier League.
Mirza Usman Baig - Matt Ritchie
This pick is going to come across as a bit far-fetched to most, since Matt Ritchie is rightfully adored by the majority of fans for his contributions in the Championship last season. However, it seems that some fans have a good long-term memory when it comes to Ritchie, because they only remember him as the MVP player from the Championship season. To begin, nobody questions his work rate, but he doesn’t necessarily apply himself wisely. During the first half of the season, you could often find Matt Ritchie needlessly pressing lost causes leaving his full-back exposed. Now chasing the ball blindly might earn him an applause from the crowd, but these types of poor judgment calls would often put the full-back behind him in difficult circumstances. In regards to attack, he did accumulate some vital goals and assists throughout the season so some credit is due. However, when his goal drought became apparent, he would often make the wrong decision and selfishly shoot at goal instead of picking the correct, often simple pass. Lastly, his lack of pace and confidence on the ball would often restrict Newcastle’s attack down the right wing as he didn’t have the guts to attack opposition full-backs, opting to pass backwards instead. Don’t get me wrong, Ritchie has just about performed adequately this season, but we shouldn’t pretend that he’s done anything more than that.
Those are our picks, let us know yours in the comments!!!
Who was the most overrated player this season?
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Someone else (comment below)