Thursday, April 06, 2006

Player of the Year

It's Player of the Year time again and surely there can only be one winner aka Darren Bent. Of course there have been games where he's been somewhat anonymous but he's surely proved he's a world class finisher when given the opportunity, and his general demeanour, work-rate and attitude suggest a maturity beyond his years.

However, it's fair to assume that young Darren won't garner every vote cast, so New York Addick will attempt to assess his competition. In my view, runner-up should go to Thomas Myhre whose superb performances albeit only since Xmas, can be proved in purely statistical terms: during our first 16 games (during which Thomas played no part), we conceded 26 goals; during the subsequent 16 games (in which Thomas played a full part), we conceded just 16 goals.

Other likely vote-winners will include Hermann Hreidarsson and Chris Perry. The Herminator had a dodgy period around Xmas but he's generally been a solid and combative defender - indeed, the only disappointment has been his lack of goals given he is clearly the main target at set-pieces. Perry meanwhile has played fewer games but he usually sums up the qualities I always seek in a defender: you never notice him!

Luke Young has had another consistent season and fully justified his run in the England side. Meanwhile Radostin Kishishev will attract votes from those who value his undoubted effort despite his lack of quality. Chris Powell has proved his early-season detractors wrong with a series of performances that defy his age, and surely a coaching role beckons for this most loyal servant.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this season will be the wanton lack of votes cast for surely our three most talented first-teamers, namely Darren Ambrose, Jerome Thomas and Dennis Rommedahl. Each has been hampered by injuries, whilst Curbs' conservative team selection inevitably sees them omitted on a regular basis. However, surely the future of the club lies at the feet of them and their ilk, and one has to hope the entertainment factor might return next season.

Many players have played part-time roles, often in an efficient way (eg. Jonathan Spector, Shaun Bartlett, Matt Holland, Bryan Hughes, Jay Bothroyd, Stefan Andersen, Jonathan Fortune), but none have been able to make a big enough impact to trouble the vote-counters. Of course we lost two key and often inspired players in Danny Murphy and Alexei Smertin, and they both would certainly have attracted considerable voting interest had they not concluded their futures lay elsewhere. Whilst the departure of Smertin was somewhat understandable, one has to hope Murphy might be having second thoughts as he runs his wife's newspaper column through the spell-checker.

So there you have it. "The votes from the New York jury are: 1st. Darren Bent, 2nd Thomas Myhre, 3rd Hermann Hreidarsson"


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote goes for Luke Young for his absolute consistency, effort and 100% enthusiasm. I would love to be able to give my vote to Darren Bent but I am afraid he is far from the finished article and has been subject to a lot of over hype.He is let down by having no left foot (OK so is Owen) and has missed quite a few chances because of it. I think he will continue to find life hard (as he has in a num,ber of recent matches) now he has been 'fouund out' by the opposition. Really hope I am wroing, but his recent performances have not been a major ocntribution to the side. I think he may well go to the WEorld Cup, but probably because Owen's injury will rule him out.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger New York Addick said...

I think it's a little unfair to say Bent has no left foot - his clinical finishes at Man City and home to Sunderland would suggest otherwise. He's not the finished article but then again he only cost £2.5m.

My main reasons for backing Bent are simply:

1. 16 goals at any level is outstanding, but especially in the Premier League where defences are mean;
2. his goals-to-chances ratio is so high;
3. the creativity behind him has been poor for most of the season;
4. he scores 'different types of goals.'

In short I argue if Luke Young (or anyone else for that matter) had been injured all season it'd have been a blow but we'd have muddled by, probably signing a right-back in the Jan window. If Bent had been out all season I really think we'd be in the relegation mire.


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