We would have liked to hold a glittering award ceremony with 5 courses from Marco Pierre White, free booze and a trophy as big as your house, and as much as we know that the players would like to have attended, we didn’t think it fair to make them cancel their little jaunt to Barbados, just for little old us. So maybe next year for that, for this year we’ll just make do with letting you know the results.
Not having the time to arrange something proper, meant that the first Not a Patch On player of the season award was sorted out via text message on the Saturday afternoon before the Reading game. A massive 11 votes were cast and the tension was high as the officials checked and then checked again, just to make sure they’d got it right. In the end Only 3 players received votes so here they are, as tradition dictates, in reverse order.
If one player typifies Jewell’s time at Latics, it has to be the one in third place. Signed as a striker by John Benson he is one of the few reminders of what now seems like a different age. His strength, work rate and commitment to the cause have seen him play an essential part this season in the left wing role that despite being right footed he has made his own. Goals from midfield are an important part of any successful team, and many of the 14 this guy has got have been important early goals that have settled the nerves and led to us winning games. Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause please for Lee Mculloch.
It was a close run thing between Lee and this next player. Energetic and enthusiastic; his personality almost as bubbly as his mop of ‘nearly ginger’ hair. A joy for cliché writers, expect plenty of bargain buy and product of the West Ham Academy next season. Also expect him to show up on Soccer AM as often as Jewell lets him. A man who’s kept a smile on his face even at the toughest of times this season, I give you, Jimmy Bullard.
Now if you’ve seen any of the other player of the season awards so far this season, you can probably guess how this goes. Our player of the season is a player who came to the club at the second time of asking, that came with more warnings than plaudits, a player who if West Brom were to be believed has a bad attitude and so many shortcomings that it’s hard to believe that his goals almost single handedly got then promoted a few seasons back.
His performances at the back end of last season went a long way to proving all that wrong, this season he has gone from strength to strength and not only his goals but his general play have made him an essential cog in the Latics machine. He may have lost out to his mate in the race for top goalscorer but he would argued that he made most of the Duke’s goals anyway. Only time will tell if the story of his broken leg against Reading becomes as legendary as Harry Lyon’s ankle, The Not a Patch on player of the year is, Jason Roberts.
It wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the players to leave it there without a nod to all their efforts this season. The number of times that we’ve been told the bubble has burst, only for the lads to turn the corner and pull it back again, is testament to their strength and spirit. Enjoy the summer boys the really big job begins in August.
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