With the title-winning 2011/12 season now over, what better time than now to analyse the performances of each inidividual throughout the campaign. The reviews and ratings for the defenders, midfielders and attackers will be posted in the coming days.
Joe Hart: 50 games, 20 clean sheets - One of the players of the season for his consistently impressive displays, saving us valuable points and proving just why he is England’s number one. For large periods of matches, he often was a spectator as City dominated play but then highlighted his immense levels of concentration with late stops. Injury-time saves to deny Darren Bent and Connor Sammon against Aston Villa and Wigan respectively when we were 1-0 up on both occasions stand out and he was rightly voted as the best ‘keeper in the league.
If he has a weakness, it is his tendency to parry shots straight back into the danger area rather than away to the side but he has cut out the occasional error from early on in the season and will only improve. He’s 25 years old and has cemented his place as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. We are lucky to have him. Season Rating: 8
Costel Pantilimon: 4 games, 2 clean sheets – Signed from FC Timisoara in the summer, the Romanian impressed enough in training to be bought permanently in January for around £3million. He has only started four matches, and all of those in cup competitions, but he has shown what a first class shot-stopper he is, notably with a pair of outstanding saves against Arsenal at the Emirates in the Carling Cup.
Considering his height, 6′ 8″ (which makes him the tallest player in the Premier League), he ought to be more commanding of his penalty area but that will no doubt improve as he becomes more assured. By all accounts, he is hugely impressive in training though will start next season as number two behind Hart. Season Rating: N/A
Stuart Taylor: 0 games – Made no appearances for the second consecutive season, contenting himself with making up the numbers in training. A lively and entertaining presence, Taylor seems a jovial character but has demonstrated a lack of ambition throughout his career in remaining a back-up and never testing himself as first choice in a lower league. He’s out of contract in the summer and whether the training pitches at Carrington see him next year remains to be seen. Season Rating: N/A