Tuesday 17 December 2019 4:41 pm

Raheem Sterling and Jurgen Klopp top my 2019 football roll of honour

This year has seen some superb football on show and it will be of little surprise that Liverpool and Manchester City are at the fore of my 2019 honour’s list. 

Player of the year

Virgil van Dijk has been absolutely magnificent for Liverpool this year and was voted in 2nd place for the Ballon D’or, but for me, Raheem Sterling has been the outstanding candidate. 

His development for both City and England over 2019 has been incredible, even if he has cooled off in the last two or three weeks. 

Read more: Champions League draw reaction: English clubs face daunting ties in the last 16

The 25-year-old was integral to City retaining the Premier League last season as Liverpool chased them down; when the pressure mounted, he was a giant for them. 

Vincent’s Kompany’s screamer against Leicester grabbed the headlines, but it was Sterling who week-in week-out came up with the goods. 

The Englishman has developed a greater understanding of his role, improved his positional awareness and is a lot calmer in front of goal. 

At the moment he has to be the first name on England’s teamsheet.

Breakthrough player

Despite spending the first half of this year at Derby County, Mason Mount has quickly become a regular at Chelsea this season.

Both spells have been under Frank Lampard and the 20-year-old has such incredible self-belief, as well as the ability to back it up. 

Playing in a role that is offensive and requires goals and creativity, there is a lot of pressure on him. And yet he has taken to it like a duck to water. 

There are high expectations at Chelsea and the way he has managed those is admirable. He also looks a natural fit in the England set-up already. 

He’s made significant steps this season and looks destined to have a big, big future. 

Best manager

As much as it grieves me to praise Liverpool, it has to be Jurgen Klopp.

The man is a genius and took Liverpool as close to winning the Premier League as anyone has and won the Champions League; they have only lost one league game so far this year.

The German has re-established Liverpool as one of the leading names in the sport and also has a likeability factor that Pep Guardiola does not possess. 

He conducts himself so well with the media and his players, who, to a man, would pretty well die for him. 

The collective spirit he has created is second to none and the connection he and the club have is incredible – and he’s just signed a new long-term deal. 

Best moment

I’ve already mentioned the stunning effort from Kompany which essentially sealed the Premier League for City, but for me there was an even better moment than that.

Liverpool’s semi-final comeback against Barcelona was the game of the year. 

Klopp’s side came back from losing the first leg 3-0 against Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the brigade of quality players Barcelona have. It was a truly unique game and who would have believed they could pull it off. 

The game was summed up by a moment of genius for Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose quick corner saw Liverpool score the fourth and crucial goal.

The opportunism and audacity from a young right-back to do that against an experienced Barcelona was incredible and the execution of it was the perfect set-up. 

Read more: How Liverpool are juggling EFL Cup and Club World Cup ties this week

Prediction for 2020

Liverpool look set to win the Premier League already and it’s possible they could do it unbeaten, however my prediction for 2020 is that Tottenham will finally win a trophy. 

There are already out of the EFL Cup but they have a great opportunity to win the FA Cup now with Jose Mourinho in charge. 

He has already changed the mood and momentum within the team and they have shored up defensively. He’s a serial winner and I think 2020 could be Spurs’ year.