Man Utd's alternative end-of-season awards after cancelling their own

  • Man Utd cancelled plans for end-of-season awards ceremony
  • Club insist this is to not create distraction ahead of FA Cup final
  • 90min comes up with Red Devils' own awards at end of troubling season
It's been a testing year for Man Utd
It's been a testing year for Man Utd / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

The good news for Manchester United fans is that their awful 2023/24 season is nearly over. The bad news is it is not quite over just yet.

Wednesday sees the Red Devils host European rivals Newcastle, who have already won 3-0 at Old Trafford this term, before their Premier League campaign ends with a trip to Brighton.

It seems likely that United will record their lowest finish in the Premier League era, currently sitting eighth in the standings, and they have cancelled their annual awards ceremony at the end of this rather tumultuous campaign.

The club insist this is so not to distract from their FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City. But it's not a great look either way, really.

Not to fear, because we at 90min are on hand to dish out the awards on their behalf - just as we did with Chelsea last year.

Player of the season

Alejandro Garnacho
Garnacho has shone this year / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

At least not every United player has been utterly rancid this season.

Congratulations to 19-year-old Alejandro Garnacho, who has had to do a lot of maturing just to ensure that his side have been able to just be competitive at least.

Signing of the season

Andre Onana
What a redemption story, by the way / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Good lord, the pickings were slim here.

Much was made about United's summer transfer business as and when it was happening, that they were the signings needed for Erik ten Hag's side to help bridge the gap to the title challengers.

But Mason Mount has spent most of the year injured, the weight of expectation has inevitably brought down the rise of Rasmus Hojlund, and Sofyan Amrabat should maybe consider taking up competitive curling.

Despite an utterly horrendous and self-destructive start to life in Manchester, Andre Onana has started to turn a corner.

The 'spirit of 1999' comeback award

Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes - Soccer Player - Born 1994, André Onana, Christian Eriksen, Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Højlund, Harry Maguire
Ah, some real positivity from this season / Visionhaus/GettyImages

A league-wide increase in stoppage time has brought about some stunning late comebacks this season, and it's only fitting for a team like United to get in on the act themselves.

For 92 minutes of their home clash with Brentford, the Red Devils were clearly second-best. And then Scott McTominay popped up with a brace, scoring on minutes 93 and 97.

That's United heritage right there.

The bounce-back award

Harry Maguire
Captain, leader, legend - one truth and two lies / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Alright, so Harry Maguire may not be the quickest defender. Or the smartest. Or the strongest. Or the best in the air. Or the most inspiring. Or popular among fans. Or gracious of players.

But he has just enough of everything to be decent and has refound his confidence this season. To the Euros, he goes.

The glass-half-full optimism award

Erik ten Hag
Just smile and wave, boys / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

You have to give credit to Ten Hag for remaining positive in spite of the decline he has overseen.

"We are one of the most dynamic and entertaining teams in the league at this moment. We are creating loads of chances by playing good football."

Well, he's right if you consider that United games are usually entertaining to watch. It's just rarely his side that are creating the entertainment when in possession.

Quote of the season

Erik ten Hag
The goods just kept on coming / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

United have given up over 600 shots this season - a stat that ranks among the worst in Premier League history. These are numbers to rival the very worst team relegated from the top flight.

But Ten Hag isn't worried about that.

"We are maybe not so good in shots against, but in goals conceded [we are good], and it's all about that. They are the numbers [that] count."

They aren't particularly good in the goals conceded stat either, for what it's worth.

Funniest moment of the season

Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire, Mason Mount, Kristoffer Ajer
Jubilation to disbelief / Clive Rose/GettyImages

After somehow losing at Old Trafford earlier in the season, Brentford managed to exact their revenge on United back at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The Bees were dominant from start to finish, though thought they had lost out to a 96th-minute goal from Mount, only for Kristoffer Ajer to convert an equaliser before the final whistle.

Brentford registered 85 touches in the United box - the third-most on record in the Premier League era. But, you know, Ten Hag said it was fine.

Worst loss of the season

Michael Olise
Olise punished Man Utd / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

We could do a whole article on United's worst defeats of the season (and believe me, we probably will), but their 4-0 tonking at Crystal Palace takes the cake.

Worst individual performance of the season

Eberchi Eze, Casemiro
Time to go, Casemiro / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Jamie Carragher sent a rather stern message to Casemiro after his horrendous showing at Palace: "Leave the football before the football leaves you."


Worst bottling of the season

Cole Palmer, Alfie Gilchrist, Nicolas Jackson, Benoit Badiashile
Bedlam at Stamford Bridge / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

United led 3-2 at Chelsea with 99 minutes and 18 seconds on the clock.

They lost 4-3.

A boyhood United fan in Cole Palmer scored a match-winning hat-trick for the Blues.

The 'oh for goodness sake just let it go' award

Alejandro Garnacho
What could have been / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Since Garnacho's 89th-minute goal at Arsenal was ruled out for the most marginal of offsides back in September, Ten Hag has sought to point to it as a sliding-doors moment whenever possible.

No, Erik. The season would not have looked that different. That goal wouldn't have magically made you better at defending.

The 'I forgot he even played a game' award

Donny van de Beek
As shocked as the rest of us / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Donny van de Beek somehow clocked 21 minutes across two appearances for United this season before joining Eintracht Frankfurt on loan.

So much for a redemption arc under his former Ajax boss.

The 'grass is always greener, actually' award

Jadon Sancho
He's the famous Jadon Sancho and he's going to Wembley / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Jadon Sancho shouldn't have lashed out at Ten Hag on social media. Ten Hag shouldn't have dug him out in public the way he did.

Both parties are right and wrong, but only one of them will compete in a Champions League final next month.

Now it's time for him to regain some sweet, sweet transfer value.