John Terry is among the leading candidates to be named Footballer of the Year when voting closes on May 11th for his part in Chelsea’s title campaign.
Whatever his disciplinary issues in a chequered past, his conduct on the field this season has been exemplary.
The booking he collected when he fouled James McArthur just before half time in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace was only his second yellow card in the Premier League all season.
John Terry salutes the Chelsea fans after their win over Crystal Palace on Sunday secured the title
Terry has cleaned up his act this season, receiving just two yellow cards in the Premier League
Chelsea secured their first Premier League title in five years on Sunday afternoon
2. Darren Fletcher had a point to prove on his return to Old Trafford and the West Brom skipper led by example in the 1-0 win that made it mission accomplished for Tony Pulis plotting Premier League survival.
The 31-year-old, hardly used by Louis van Gaal before being let go in January, ran 7.6 miles as part of the Albion defensive blanket that smothered United’s creative players.
It was the most of any player on the pitch – and a full half-a-mile more than United’s hardest workers Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.
Darren Fletcher ran 7.6 miles during West Brom’s 1-0 win over his former club Manchester United
Fletcher takes on Marouane Fellaini during Saturday’s match at Old Trafford
3. Tim Sherwood targeted Gareth Barry as the way to disrupt Everton’s passing and provide the platform for Aston Villa’s vital 3-2 win.
Former Villa star Barry had won nine of his previous 11 games against his old club and was the star of the show when Everton won 3-0 back in October.
Sherwood’s diamond formation kept the 34-year-old under pressure. He gave the ball away 20 times, and his passing accuracy of just 70 per cent was his lowest of the season.
Gareth Barry (centre) was smothered by Aston Villa players during Everton’s 3-2 loss on Saturday
Tim Sherwood’s masterplan for beating Everton worked a treat as Villa moved away from relegation danger
Villa now have a two-point cushion between themselves and the relegation places in the Premier League
4. Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Spurs meant Sergio Aguero is now odds-on to collect the Golden Boot after scoring his 22nd League goal of the season, and so winning a private duel with main rival Harry Kane.
Aguero’s record is all the more remarkable given his injury problems this season. He has made 29 Premier League appearances, but in only 14 of those games has he been on the field for the full 90 minutes.
Sergio Aguero took his Premier League goal tally to 22 goals for the season at Tottenham
5. John O’Shea’s proud record as the only Premier League outfield player to have appeared in every minute of all competitions was ended when the Sunderland centre half had to go off with a rib injury after 31 minutes of the win over Southampton.
It leaves Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea as the only star among all 18 top flight clubs who hasn’t sat out a single second of any first team competitive game.
John O’Shea went off in Sunderland’s win over Southampton with a rib injury
O’Shea’s injury blow means Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is the only ever-present left
6. Jonjo Shelvey has turned over a new leaf after being branded ‘lazy’ by his own Swansea manager Garry Monk early in the season.
The midfielder’s energy took him into advanced positions to set up both goals in the 2-0 win over Stoke.
He’s also transformed his disciplinary record. Before Monk’s blast, and the four-match ban he got for catching Liverpool’s Emre Can with a stray arm, Shelvey had collected eight yellow cards in 15 starts (including two in one game at Everton). Since then he’s picked up just two yellow cards in 14 matches.
Jonjo Shelvey again showed his new-found energy as Swansea defeated Stoke City 2-0
7. Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley tried to protect John Carver by giving a public apology for leaving him with a ‘threadbare’ squad after not strengthening in the January window.
But the temporary Toon boss can’t really hide behind that excuse, or injuries, as the club’s desperate run now stretches to eight defeats in a row.
Of the ten outfield players who started the miserable 3-0 defeat at Leicester, seven were on duty when Newcastle beat Everton 3-0 in Alan Pardew’s last game in charge.
John Carver endured another miserable afternoon as Newcastle United lost 3-0 at Leicester on Saturday
Newcastle United fans made their displeasure at the club’s relegation slide plain at the King Power Stadium
8. Derby’s last day failure to find a goal against Reading to get themselves into the play-off places was all the more ironic when set against their season.
Steve McClaren’s side had racked up a total of 85 during the course of the Championship campaign, with 16 different players finding the back of the net in the previous 45 games.
Since the formation of the Premier League in 1992, no second tier side has ever scored so many goals yet failed to finish in the top six.
Derby County saw their Championship play-off aspirations dashed by a 3-0 home defeat by Reading
Steve McClaren reacts with dismay as Derby’s Premier League promotion dream slips away
The Rams missed out on the play-off places by a point despite racking up 85 goals in the Championship
9. Bristol City centre half Aden Flint is 6ft 6ins and wins headers in both boxes – as he proved with his hat-trick in the 8-2 win over Walsall that kept the League One winners in party mode.
Flint, who started his working life laying tarmac for a road works firm and has two caps for the England ‘C’ team from his non-League days, will be just as big a handful in the Championship next season.
The 25-year-old finished the campaign with a remarkable 14 League goals, the most scored by a defender in any of the top five divisions of English football. For good measure he was also on the scoresheet at Wembley when City won the Johnstone’s Paint trophy.
Aden Flint celebrates with the League One trophy after Bristol City’s 8-2 thrashing of Walsall on Sunday
Tall centre-half Flint scored a final day hat-trick as City finished their campaign in style
10. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink clearly has a big future in management after making Burton only the third club since the play-offs were created in 1987 to win the fourth tier title the year after suffering the disappointment of losing the promotion deciding final.
Wolves with Steve Bull in his pomp did it in 1988, but since then only Rushden and Diamonds in 2003 have achieved it until now.
The former Chelsea star can claim most of the credit, too. Burton had a decent return of 29 points from 16 games when Gary Rowett left in November, but since Hasselbaink took charge have collected 65 from 30, a return of 2.16 points per match
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink shows off the League Two trophy after Burton Albion secured the title
Source: RALPH ELLIS FOR MAILONLINE