Newcastle United’s Player Of The Year
There is no avoiding it, this season has been awful.
Unfortunately there are still 3 games left with the ever increasing possibility of relegation. After the great season last year, this is a long way from what we were expecting as we kicked off against Tottenham on the 18th of August, but this is Newcastle United, and when do we ever do things the simple way?
This time last season, we were preparing for a memorable game against Chelsea; where Papiss Cisse went on to score the winner with the goal of the season. If you were asked to name your choice for Newcastle’s player of the season, it would not have been easy. With so many standout performances all season, it was the source of debate between all fans.
Names like Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Tim Krul, Fab Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and more were all contenders, and rightly so, as thanks to their performances we achieved fifth place and qualified for the Europa League.
This season however, has been the polar opposite. Without delving into the causes of it, this season has been dreadful. But who has been our best player?
This question, just like last year, is the source of many debates between toon fans, but for the opposite reasons. No player has been consistently good enough, or played long enough, and arguably one of the leading contenders for the title is now plying his trade at Chelsea.
So who deserves consideration?
Players such as Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul have not played enough this season to be in with a shout, and frankly when they have played, they have not been good enough. The same can be said for the January signings, they haven’t played enough, and with maybe the exception of Gouffran, they have not been consistent.
One name that is often mentioned is Sylvain Marveaux. Whilst he has found some excellent form when he has played this season, has he played enough to be considered?
As you go through the squad list, the names are quickly chalked off, until there are only a handful of players left. A shortlist of the ‘best of the worst’, if you will.
For me that shortlist looks a little bit like this: Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon, James Perch, Steven Taylor and Sylvain Marveaux.
Arguably, Marveaux hasn’t played enough games this season – although he certainly deserved to play more. Steven Taylor has also missed a few games, and has had several moments of poor form, although he has put in some excellent shifts in what has been an ever-changing defensive line-up, and of course received a call up for England.
Davide Santon was by far our standout player at the start of the season, but ever since Christmas, his form has rapidly declined, culminating in some terrible defensive errors leading up to his unfortunate injury.
Demba Ba. Can we really award the player of the season title to a player that left us halfway through it? The fact that it is even being considered shows just how bad this season has been. However, he has scored some very important goals for us this season, and he can’t be ignored.
Papiss Cisse. Seemingly he has found his form recently and scored some extremely important goals for us this season. Without last minute winners against the likes of Stoke and Fulham, I don’t even want to consider the situation we would be in now. And we can’t forget that if you include the wrongly disallowed goals, he has a respectable goal tally of 17.
My choice for player of the season will certainly split opinion though. It is not based on talent, or goals scored, or game winning moments. It is based on his consistency, determination and effort: James Perch.
He is not the most talented player we have, by a long shot. He will never be a world beater, or get an international call up. What he gives though, is 100% commitment whenever he is asked to play, in whatever position. He is a model professional, and his rise from unknown, disliked squad player, to verging on first team regular is nothing short of inspirational; and has elevated him to almost cult hero status amongst some fans.
So my vote for Newcastle United’s Player of the Season for 2012/13 goes to the ever-reliable Brazilian from Mansfield, James ‘Perchinio’ Perch.
Who is your player of the season?
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