Thursday, 12 April 2012

And The Winner Is...

Surprisingly, I've not seen much written about this year's Player of The Year award. New Charlton blogger Albury Addick has touched upon it here but I thought I'd add my own thoughts. There can't be many seasons past with such a level of credible contenders vying for the accolade. The clipboards were out at The Valley last Monday and the Addickted ensured pens scribbled busily ahead of the game. I wouldn't have been alone in taking a cheeky glance over the shoulders of those collating the figures, but the spread of votes made it difficult to get a real feel for a potential winner. 

It really has been an exceptional season and the commitment, focus and determination of the players has gone some way to heal the immense disappointment of recent years. Of course, we are yet to cross the finishing line, but I remain confident rather than complacent that this will happen shortly.

It looks likely that the front-runners for the award may well be defenders, with Solly (above), Wiggins and Morrison all enjoying fantastic seasons. I feel a little for Taylor at this point, as asides from loosing his place at the 11th hour to an in-form Cort recently, he has slipped under the radar to some degree with excellent but selfless performances throughout the season. Hamer can be very pleased with his contribution, too. His confident reaction when things haven't gone to plan on the odd occasion has impressed me. It's easy to forget he's still a young goalie and his best years are ahead.

In the midfield we have two stand-out contenders, in my opinion. Skipper Johnnie Jackson has once again lead by example with quality performances and chipped in with an impressive tally of goals to boot. It says a lot about Jackson's overall contribution to the team that we clearly miss him so much when he's been out of the side through injury. Hollands is an outside bet, I would guess, but has gained huge credit for performing so consistently throughout the season and offering some stability to an area sadly lacking in recent years. A word for Stephens at this point, of whom I'm a big fan. He's had a mixed season with touches of classy brilliance mixed with some games where things just never quite worked out. He could well be some player in the future, and it's very easy to forget he's only 22. And who'll forget that wonder strike v's Bury that may still prove so crucial at the end of this season?

Up top BWP has scored a credible amount of goals...but...overall contribution and spells where things haven't gone so well mean he's out the running for me. And then there's King Kermorgant (pictured above)! What more can I say than 'merveilleux'! He appears indestructible: a real battering ram of a Frenchman that would run through brick walls for Charlton but can play football as well. I love him to bits. He looks the sort of bloke you'd want as your big brother!

But despite my jingoistic plaudits for our Breton Battler, my vote went to former youth product Chris Solly, who, for me, epitomises the Charlton spirit as I want to recognise it. In this respect, Big Yann and Solly can't be separated, but I went for our ever-dependable right back purely as he's come from an uncertain position at the start of the season when few would have assumed he'd be first choice, to being hyped up as a potential full England international! Too small? Not a chance. Quick feet, quick mind and no small amount of skill, this terrier of a player does not know how to give up.

Well done to all the squad collectively. Even those on the fringes have played their part in pushing those with the shirt, showing great patience and performing well when called upon (Sullivan and Cort spring to mind). This group of players have carried my hopes and dreams forward brilliantly, under the guidance of Powell and his management team.

Onwards and upwards!


  1. I voted for Yann, but I can see why Solly would (and I think will) win it.

    What strikes me about Solly, as you touched on, is that players can develop significantly when they are given a decent run in the team - something that clubs often fear doing with youth payers when there is so much pressure on results.

  2. Cheers for the comment KHA. Yann could not be a more worthy 2nd for me.

    Isn't it nice we have options this season?