NUFC Blog’s 2019/20 awards – Player of the season, unsung hero, most improved, best goal & more

Well, that’s it folks. The 2019/20 season is finally over.

It’s not been easy on the eye and it’s ended just as flatly as it began in that home defeat to Arsenal way back in August last year, however there’s been the odd high along the way and a few standout performers who’ve our latest survival season that bit more bearable!

Here’s a few end of season awards, from player of the year, to unsung hero, most improved, best goal and more:

Player of the season:

  1. Martin Dubravka
  2. Allan Saint-Maximin

The Slovakian has been absolutely outstanding, keeping us in several games, making more saves than any other Premier League and being a constant calming influence at the back. He may have made the odd mistake, but so many of our narrow early season wins (or draws!) were only made possible from him keeping us in the game. I think it’s safe to say we’d be in the bottom three without him.

An honourable mention must also go to Allan Saint-Maximin, who would be just as worthy of the award. A breath of fresh air on and off the pitch, a player we’ve barely ever won without and an explosive attacker who’s regularly been by far our biggest threat. Like Dubravka, I dread to think where we’d be without him!

Young player of the season:

  1. Allan Saint-Maximin
  2. Matty Longstaff
  3. Tom Allan

It has to be ASM. His numbers in terms of goals and assists are far from spectacular, but his influence on the team has been huge, with us winning more, losing less, scoring more and conceding less when he starts.

Matty Longstaff comes in a close second after a brilliant breakthrough year, although that may mean little if he leaves for a few thousand, while Tom Allan also deserves a mention after bagging an assist on his senior debut vs Rochdale following an impressive campaign at U-23 level saw him get into double figures.

Unsung hero:

  1. Isaac Hayden
  2. Ciaran Clark / Federico Fernandez
  3. Jonjo Shelvey

Hayden may not always get the plaudits he deserves, but perhaps the best tribute we can pay to him is that we don’t half miss him when he’s not there. Fully committed, consistent and someone whose….

Clark started the season our SIXTH choice centre-back, yet he’s quickly become arguably Steve Bruce’s most reliable option this season when he was fit, putting his body on the line at one end and scoring a few key goals at the other end. He missed the last few months of the season, but he never let us down when he played! Like him, fellow centre-back Fernandez is another who isn’t flashy but barely puts a foot wrong.

Jonjo Shelvey also deserves praise for adding a few goals to his game and enjoying the slight bit more freedom he’s been given under Bruce, with his six strikes seeing him end our top scorer in the league.

Most improved player:

  1. Miguel Almiron
  2. Javier Manquillo
  3. Matty Longstaff

Matty may be the obvious player given he’s gone from U-23 prospect to securing a place in Bruce’s Premier League squad, but I feel it has to go to Miguel Almiron, with the Paraguayan ending the season as our top scorer in all competitions (8) after adding goals to his game following a difficult start to the season.

As for Javier Manquillo, the Spaniard is arguably our best right-back as things stand and turned things around brilliantly to earn himself a new contract at the club. Matty Longstaff also deserves praise for going from U-23 talent to a member of Bruce’s senior squad and rarely looking out of his depth when he’s been handed a chance.

Disappointment of the season:

  1. Joelinton
  2. Andy Carroll
  3. Sean Longstaff

It has to be Joelinton. He was never prolific in Germany and signed as a young prospect, not a proven scorer, but we all expected much more from our £40m man. Two goals and several unconvincing displays have left so many of us scratching our head – even if he hasn’t always been used right.

Elsewhere, Andy Carroll has not only struggled to stay fit but hasn’t made enough of an impact when he’s featured, failing to score all season on his second stint at SJP.

Then to Sean Longstaff. He’s had to odd good game when played in a more advanced role in 2020, however he has generally struggled to get anywhere near that form that saw him linked with a big money move to Man Utd this time last year!

Moment of the season:

  1. Matty Longstaff’s debut goal vs Man Utd
  2. Miguel Almiron breaking his duck at the Gallowgate
  3. Saint-Maximin’s winner at Oxford

The ovation Carroll received on his ‘second debut’ was also a spine tingling moment, but these are the three top moments for me. Three goals that sparked incredible scenes and a rare moment of unrivalled joy in a season that generally lacked emotion and entertainment value.

Goal of the season:

  1. Saint-Maximin’s FA Cup winner at Oxford
  2. Jetro Willems’ thunderbolt at Anfield
  3. Matty Longstaff’s debut goal vs Man Utd

Matty’s goal was magical and Willems’ strike an absolute stunner to give us a shock leat at Liverpool, but ASM’s corker in the cup had everything. An individual bit of brilliance that came just when we needed it in a cup tie that was threatening to get away from us. The scenes that followed in the away end were pretty special too!

Best team performances of the season:

  1. Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle
  2. Newcastle 2-2 Man City
  3. West Ham 2-3 / West Brom 2-3 / Bournemouth 1-4

My winner may surprise a few, but I thought we were outstanding in every area of the pitch that day, executing Bruce’s clear game plan to perfection.

The 2-2 draw against Man City was another superb display, while 3-2 wins at West Ham and West Brom (FA Cup) along with our recent 4-1 victory at Bournemouth were the only three occasions we’ve played with swagger and genuinely outplayed the opposition (the scoreline flatters the hosts massively in both!).

Worst team performances of the season:

  1. Norwich 3-1 Newcastle
  2. Leicester 5-0 Newcastle
  3. Newcastle 0-0 Oxford

Our first away game of the season against newly promoted Norwich was a low point. We got absolutely battered without putting up a fight, looking all at sea defensively, anonymous in midfield and like a team of strangers in attack, with Almiron and Joelinton worryingly isolated.

The collapse at Leicester was worrying, as was the recent surrender at Man City, while the 0-0 draw at home to Oxford was tough to watch considering the level of opposition and occasion.

Signing of the season:

  1. Allan Saint-Maximin
  2. Jetro Willems
  3. ???

ASM is a clear winner here, with his £16m arrival from Nice proving to be one of the signings of the summer across all Premier League clubs.

A big shoutout must also go to Jetro Willems, who had been impressive at both ends of the pitch before injury cut his loan deal short, scoring some stunning goals and defending better than most expected too.

Worst signing of the season:

  1. Joelinton
  2. Krafth
  3. Bentaleb

At £40m, Joelinton’s return of 3 goals and 4 assists in all competitions hasn’t been nearly enough, while Krafth has proved to be a bizarre signing given he’s spent most of the season being our third choice option in a area where we lack real quality in the first place.

Bentaleb would also make the ‘top three’, having shown next to nothing since arriving – despite many having high hopes for the former Spurs talent.

I can’t say Danny Rose has impressed me either, looking unfit at times and a shadow of the player who was starring for Spurs not so long ago, but at least he’s done a job since Willems’ injury.

Feel free to give us your answers to all the above in the comments section below!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

231 thoughts on “NUFC Blog’s 2019/20 awards – Player of the season, unsung hero, most improved, best goal & more

  1. No problems for me Olly.

    Sessegnon for LWB
    Barrios for midfield
    and a seriously good striker. Eduoard still my favourite.


  2. georgio:
    No problems for me Olly.

    Sessegnon for LWB
    Barrios for midfield
    and a seriously good striker. Eduoard still myfavourite.

    i would go for that mate,or a even better M/F if we had the money


  3. georgio:
    No problems for me Olly.

    Sessegnon for LWB
    Barrios for midfield
    and a seriously good striker. Eduoard still myfavourite.

    that would do for me mate,would like a better M/F if we had the money


  4. I was thinking back to last season and I did have 1 good memory. The Bournemouth game. There were some great goals in that game.

    Best NUFC game for goals. 5-0 against Man U. Remember that Kimtoon Ginola’s 1st and the icing on the cake of THAT chip?

    Best game I ever saw was WC Germany-France in 1982. I was working in a Youth Hostel in Munich and watched on a giant screen getting sloshed with 1 mark beers and smoking about 2 packs of tabs.


  5. Ice – is love to see him get another term. Not because I think he’s a great president but just to see the look on the liberals faces… 😂

    But I’m sorry to say Joe Biden is atrocious. The US really is in a bad place. If the best they can come up with out of 300m people is Trump and Biden what a horror!


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