In lieu of any sort of excitement or achievement for the millionth season in a row, I thought I might as well get the closing ceremony started now, if only to break the silence.
The entire campaign has been tainted with a sense of anger for most of us, and an unsettling sense of guilt whenever we found ourselves enjoying how the team was playing. How can you truly immerse yourself in a season amidst the backdrop of a ten point deduction and the turmoil of having your club taken from its community?
Well, you can’t – not properly. But that’s not to say there haven’t been moments. Fleeting moments where you thought this team might just be able to achieve the impossible and make us happy this season.
Naturally they’ve fannied it up something rotten over the last couple of months, but pound for pound, some of them can be rightfully proud of their influence over our performances. It can’t have been easy, but at times, they made it look that way.
So here’s the shortlist for this year’s Player of the Season. Don’t have a paddy if your favourites not in there though, that’s completely unbecoming.
Carl’s always getting picked on, and at times you can see why people want to throttle that emphatic neck of his. But that would be no good, because with no Carl Baker in existence you forego ten goals a season from midfield, plenty more assists, and a never-say-die attitude that means he’s perfectly capable of finding a way through to goal from any position. Whether he’s wriggling through 3 defenders, squiggling a ball home past a keeper, or acrobating the flip out of a situation – he’s there time and time again, giving it a ruddy good go.
The man scored 18 goals in the 29 games he played for us this season in an outrageous display of conviction for a Coventry City player. He won’t win because of who he is and the way in which he left, but bastard or not, there’s a strong argument to suggest his presence/absence has had a greater impact on the performances of the team than anyone else.
It’s a shame for Flecky. For the first half of the campaign he really was something else. Composed, assured, inventive, consistent. He ran the show from that anchor position in midfield and became an integral pace-maker right through our shape. Like the team as a whole, his performances lost the same vigour as we moved into 2014 and there’s always that niggling doubt that maybe he was simply riding the crest of wave for those opening months. However you decide to judge his overall ability, you can’t deny the standard he set for himself during our original obliteration of the 10 point deficit. It was truly stunning stuff.
It’s all about the goals for Franck this season. He’s gone through his full repertoire, scoring absolute belters and scrambled efforts from 30cm alike. He even managed a goal through skin colour alone. Fortunately for the record books that’s been taken off him now the football league have finally realised how ridiculous it was giving it to him in the first place.
But I digress. As with most of our squad his consistency and application can split opinion with many fans, so I’ll say just one thing: what sort of madman scores 14 goals from midfield? A bloody good one, that’s who.
It’s going to be a crying shame to see him leave in the summer.
Joe Murphy has conceded something like 80 goals all season. If you base everything on stats you’d be mad to even consider him in this vote. Fact is, the stats simply don’t tell the story of the season he’s had.
OK so he’s made his share of errors. He’s legged it out of goal for no fathomable reason. He’s ballsed up crosses and been chipped from miles out. And yet even after all that, the overriding memory of his campaign is of phenomenal saves in big moments, all while he’s sat behind a back line that’s about as controlled as Barry Quinn’s left elbow.
Clearly he would have made this shortlist for his penalty saves alone.
Top scorer in the league is a massive achievement, especially following a couple of months out with a nasty shoulder injury, and then having to play with Chuba Akpom.
Make no mistake; this is Callum Wilson’s debut season. Last year didn’t count – a few token appearances here and there never really gave him the platform to shine. This year, Pressley recognised what many of our other managers failed to and entrusted him with a role in the starting line up. Who could have predicted the devastating results.
He’s strong, direct, confident and absolutely rapid, culminating in a brilliant player and a superb season.
Voting closes after the final game of the season.[poll id=”19″]