The new soccer season has just commenced, and that means a lot of iPhone apps are coming out to cater to the needs of football fans out. Just a few days ago, we covered EPL Live for those of you looking to get real-time notifications for goals and other match events from the Premier League, but there are many who aren’t satisfied by merely staying up to speed with the game. There’s nothing like watching a match with spectators, or at least a group of people who are passionate about the game. Your smartphone can help you with that, thanks to apps like Football Fans. Chatting during a fast-paced match, though, can be a bit too distracting, and that’s why Player of the Match might be the perfect app for you. Rather than diverting your attention, the app helps you get fully immersed in the game, letting you show appreciation for the skills of an individual player by giving him a good rating, or venting out your frustration at him by giving him a bad one. At the end of the match, ratings from all users are combined to show everyone the match stats, along with the name of the most popular player from each team.
All the major football leagues from around the globe are supported by Player of the Match. To get stated, users have to search for their favorite teams and leagues, so that the app can send them notifications whenever an interesting game is about to start. This is all the configuration you need to perform and even if it is skipped initially, the options can be accessed later from the app’s main menu.
The list of upcoming and finished matches is shown by Player of the Match in the main feed. You can filter this feed to show results only from particular leagues, for certain teams, or live matches from around the world. For matches that have ended, you get to see match stats on the main screen, while upcoming fixtures are accompanied by their time and date.
During a match, Player of the Match shows a graphical representation of both teams that are on the field. The player are all shown in their starting positions, with the current match time showing up in the top bar. If a player does something praiseworthy, hit his icon and choose the +1 option. If the feat is truly amazing, go for +3. Similarly, the options available for negative ratings are –1 and –3. There is no limit on the number of times you can rate a player, and the app relies on the honesty of users to come up with accurate results. Before a rating is registered though, you have to choose a corresponding badge, which tells the app the reason you are awarding or deducting points from the player. The total ratings received by a team are shown in the top bar, while individual scores are available under the profile section.
During halftime and after fulltime, users are asked to pick the top three players from each side. The app then announces the results of the end voting, as well as the ratings received throughout the game. Player of the Match displays the names of the fastest player on the pitch, the best striker, the most effective defender, and many others.
Player of the Match is a free app, and can really get addictive once you get used to the concept of all the badges on offer. It would have been even better though, had the developer made it optional for users to pick a badge every time they wanted to leave a rating. Despite that, the app is worth having for football fans, as it is great at augmenting the experience of watching games. Player of the Match is display-optimized for iPhone/iPod touch, and can be found at the link below.