Behind Enemy Lines
BEHIND ENEMY LINES - PART 19- PLAYER OF THE SEASON SPECIAL
Quite a memorable season this one, and hopefully in a few years will be remembered as the start of something special. In a slight change this week to my usual format, I've decided to go through each of our key players individually and give them a mark out of ten for the season. See how many you agree with...
CRAIG GORDON- A difficult first season for the Scot under Roy Keane as he tried to justify his £9M price tag. Last season, he struggled with injury and was replaced by an excellent Marton Fulop. This season though, despite injury keeping him out for a few months, Craig has shined, especially in 2010. The £9M price tag looks realistic these days with some breathtaking stops in key games. I've also noticed an improvement to his kicking which has been weak previously. 9/10
MICHAEL TURNER- A Steve Bruce signing from Hull and he has had a decent season. Alongside John Mensah he has looked confident but without Mensah has looked rather shaky at times. Michael will definitely go on to improve and should become a first team regular here. 7/10
JOHN MENSAH- Mensah has been a gem of a loan signing for Bruce. His experience and organisation relaxes the whole back line and if we could just keep him free of injury he would be invaluable, sadly part of the reason Lyon let him leave was because of his chronic injury problems. One of my top three players this term. 8/10
KIERAN RICHARDSON- Hasn't had the greatest of seasons but then he hasn't really played much. In midfield he is a bit of an enigma, drifting in and out of games. At left back he shows a lot more promise in an attacking sense, playing as wing back but is still yet to convince defensively. An improvement on last year but possibly surplus to requirements next. 6/10
PAOLO DA SILVA- Started the season in good form, but as we hit our bad patch over the winter, Da Silva had to make do with a place on the bench to protect him from the rigors of English football. A decent first season in the Premier League though, even if it has been limited to back up defender. 7/10
ALAN HUTTON- Another superb loan by the gaffer. Already one of the best right backs at SAFC I've seen since the 90's. Solid defensively but also loves to maraud down the right wing supporting the front men. Must be priority to sign permanently. 8/10
LORIK CANA- Another player who has been hit & miss this season. In some of the bigger games this season he has been immense, even at times playing the role of two men, in midfield and defence. Even during this period though, his tendency to launch in to tackles and be booked has cost us due to suspensions at key times. In the second half of the season he has been more disciplined, which has also taken something away from his game. Jury out on our captain at the moment. 7/10
LEE CATTERMOLE- Lee has struggled badly with injury and hasn't been able to get in to his stride since serious injury ruined his season against Liverpool. In the games he played before injury, he was superb for us and will become a real fans favourite next season I'm sure. 7/10
STEED MALBRANQUE- One of the highlights of the season for me although it took until after Christmas to see his best form. It's a pleasure to watch him play, especially in home games when he sees a lot of the ball. Some of his passing and through balls have been sublime. Chance to become a club legend. 9/10
JORDAN HENDERSON- Young player of the year. Very competitive player for his slim build and an excellent attacking midfielder who has held his own against the very best. Jordan will attract interest from throughout the Premier League so let's get his contract signed and sealed Niall! 8/10
DAVID MEYLER- Another youngster who has surprised a few people. Meyler returned from his crazy sending off to gain rave reviews as a replacement for Lee Cattermole in the centre of midfield. One to look out for next season. 7/10
FRAIZER CAMPBELL- I have to admit I really wasn't sure he could make it in the Premier League from his early season form, but then he was playing on the right wing. Since Bruce gave him his chance up front he has been a revelation, scoring some crucial goals for the club. Most improved player in the last 3 months. 8/10
KENWYNE JONES- Too many distractions I think for Jones this season. Bruce refusing to rule out a sale didn't help his confidence, but once the transfer window had come and gone in January, Jones was approaching his best form at times. Key man when we have our backs to the wall as he can also defend well from set pieces, but he has been sidelined by the form of Campbell. I feel Bruce will sell this summer. 7/10
DARREN BENT- Easily player of the season and what a character to have representing the club. 23 league goals tells the story and his probable absence from the World Cup squad is a scandal. A nice relaxing summer for Benty is probably good for us though! 9/10
Other notable players: McCartney 4/10, Reid 6/10, Zenden 7/10 (+1 for THAT goal!), Bardsley 6/10, Ferdinand 7/10
Hull City 1 SAFC 1
BET OF THE WEEKEND
Take Wolves to finally seal their survival & beat Blackburn. Pair them up with a Blackpool win at Peterborough.
That's all for now,
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