Friday, 3 May 2013

Why Morgan Schneiderlin Should Win The Player of the Season Award

As the 2012/2013 Premier League season enters its final month, it gives the fans of some clubs to reflect on the pros and cons of their respective club’s performances. Their opinions will definitely be heard as the clubs’ annual award ceremonies are just around the corner. This isn’t any different for Southampton Football Club, where they have endured campaign with plenty of emotions and transformations. Their Premier League status is still yet to be secured for another season after Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to West Brom. The fans now face the difficult task of voting for their Player of the Season where there have been some outstanding performers in the Saints squad. For me, with plenty of thought and consideration, there was only one person who got my vote and that is:

Morgan Schneiderlin.

The 23-year-old has taken the Premier League by storm from the first kick at Manchester City on the opening day, receiving many plaudits from the media and fans alike. Despite his age, Schneiderlin is one of the longest-serving players at Southampton after arriving from Strasbourg in 2008 for £1.2 million when Jan Poortvliet was manager at the club. After a turbulent season which resulted in the club to go into administration (even though it was the holdings company) and relegation to League One, Schneiderlin faced the difficult decision of whether to leave the club. However, the takeover from Markus Liebherr and the wise words from Nicola Cortese convinced the Frenchman to stay on. From then on, nobody could’ve predicted what would happen in the future. Astonishingly, the dream of Premier League football was to come true for Schneiderlin last April, which he says is his favourite memory at the club to date.

It was a tough start to the Premier League for Schneiderlin and his team-mates after the club were rock-bottom after losing eight of their first ten games. Despite this statistic, it didn’t take long for the youngster long to score his first goal in England’s top division as he scored Southampton’s second in 3-2 home defeat to newly-crowned champions, Manchester United. Schneiderlin had to cope without his defensive-midfield partner Jack Cork during those opening fixtures due to an ankle injury. However, the pair were reunited and started to show the world what they’re really capable of.

and Jack Cork

Schneiderlin, who has represented France at every level bar the seniors, is in a league of his own as he continues to be the most consistent player in the entire squad. His work-rate is second to none, he loves to get into the challenges where his timing is perfection and provides the engine in the team along with Cork. It’s a far cry from when Schneiderlin couldn’t finish the whole 90 minutes of a single game to begin with five years ago, as he began to become accustomed to the English game. Nevertheless, the players have improved as a whole during the course of the season, showing the determination and desire that got them back-to-back promotions.

The statistics for Schneiderlin is incredible to say the least! In his first Premier League season at 23, he has recorded more interceptions (131), tackles (143) and distance covered than any other player. He also has a pass-success percentage of almost 85% where he is ahead of the likes of Pablo Zabaleta and Theo Walcott. The 2012/2013 season has also been Schneiderlin’s best season in front of goal at Southampton where he currently has five to his name.

Morgan Schneiderlin statistics in 2012/2013 Premier League (dated up to May 3rd):

34 (0)
Tackles made
Interceptions made
Pass success (%)
Total open play passes
Accurate open play passes
1211 (84.7%)
Aerial duels won
Yellow cards
Red cards

Sources: Index

There is no wonder why he has become such an important part of the Southampton team this season, especially as a promoted club. The good news for all Saints is that Schneiderlin says that the best is yet to come from the Zellwiller-born man. “I’m happy because I’ve improved in every way”, he says. “But I know that I still have steps to progress, and that will come with matches.” Schneiderlin’s performances this season has received plenty of praise from the media and fans. However, he should feel hard done by in terms of not being nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. It is clear that the main priority for the Frenchman is to keep improving and help Southampton achieve even more than they already have.

At the end of February, Schneiderlin signed a new long-term deal, where it would keep him at St. Mary’s until 2017, although Arsenal have made their interests known on the midfielder. It’s certainly an exciting future ahead for the youngster and Southampton. Even though that Premier League safety is yet to be secured, all Saints fans will agree that he will continue his incredible form and possibly receive his first ever senior call-up from France coach Didier Deschamps. Schneiderlin is definitely on course to win the Player of the Season award and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was by a big margin.


  1. Really interesting take on Schneiderlin, good piece.

    Hi Sean, could you let me know your email address? I have a proposition for you and would like to see if you are interested.

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for the feedback. My e-mail address is on my Google+ page but you have to follow me on there first.

      Many thanks,