With the conclusion of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign almost upon us, it’s time for Fulham fans to vote for the Club’s Player of the Season.
The five contenders for the accolade are Brede Hangeland, Dimitar Berbatov, Giorgos Karagounis, Mark Schwarzer and Sascha Riether. We’ve reviewed their respective campaigns below so you can refresh your memory before casting your vote at the bottom of the page for the candidate you believe is most deserving.
Voting closed at 4pm on Thursday 9th May.
One of the great surprises of Hangeland’s Fulham career is that he has never won the Player of the Season award, despite proving himself to be a pillar of consistency for five-and-a-half years now. Following the departure of Danny Murphy in the summer, Martin Jol rewarded the big centre-back for his loyalty and performances by handing him the Club Captaincy, and he hasn’t disappointed. Hangeland has been an ever present this season - barring suspension – and remains a rock at the heart of our defence. No-one in the Fulham side has won more aerial duels during 2012/13 (3.8 per match, on average), while he has also contributed going forwards, creating four chances for his teammates and scoring an extra-time winner against Blackpool in the FA Cup with Budweiser.
A club’s top scorer is always an obvious candidate for Player of the Season, but Berbatov brings so much more to Fulham than just goals. His strikes have proved crucial throughout the campaign, but even when he’s not finding the back of the net, he still manages to dazzle the crowd. He possesses a delectable first touch which any footballer in the world would be proud of, while he can also boast a work ethic that didn’t earn the recognition it deserved earlier in his career. In addition to his 13 strikes this season, the Bulgarian has also assisted three goals and created 41 chances. His signing on the 31st of August was seen as a huge coup for the Club and he certainly hasn’t let anyone down since.
Brought in by Jol to bolster his midfield with some added depth and experience, Karagounis has become far more than a bit-part player for the Whites – starting 20 matches and coming on as a substitute on five occasions. He’s already become a cult favourite down by the banks of the Thames courtesy of his unrivalled passion and eagerness on the pitch, and his work rate never wavers despite turning 36 recently. Boasting the best pass accuracy of anyone in the Fulham squad (90.9 per cent), he’s also chipped in with a couple of valuable goals – both incredible strikes from distance in consecutive matches in January against Blackpool and Wigan Athletic.
Schwarzer continues to prove that age is no barrier as he’s delivered assured displays between the sticks throughout the season – most notably when facing penalties. Mikel Arteta, Jonathan Walters and Loic Remy have all failed to beat the imposing Australian from 12 yards as he played a huge role in helping Fulham collect points from those respective clashes with Arsenal, Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers. The second oldest player currently plying his trade in the top flight, he recently became only the ninth individual to ever make 500 Premier League appearances. He’s made 133 saves in the current campaign, while 98 per cent of his attempted catches have been successful, which have helped the Whites to seven clean sheets.
The industrious right-back was relatively unknown in the UK when he was brought to Fulham on loan in the summer of 2012, but he’s since gone on to establish himself as one of the most respected defenders in the country. Smart in the tackle but also in possession of exciting attacking urges, Riether has become a vital cog in Jol’s team and is always one of the first names on the team sheet when fit. Likenesses have been made to previous Player of the Season Steve Finnan for his workmanlike attitude and dangerous crossing ability. Second only behind Schwarzer in the appearance table for the season, Riether has also been responsible for three assists and four goal-line clearances.
Voting is now closed.