Monday, 7 May 2012

Stand up Chris Solly

The Player of the Year bash was held at the Valley last night where Chris Solly was confirmed as The Man. For those of us who voted, the clipboards gave the result very clearly with a streak of ticks against Chris' name.

Like everyone else, I guess, I am delighted for Little Chris. He is one of ours after all and his blossoming this season has come after there were a good number who had previously decided he wasn't good enough. I never bought the "too small" argument and it's interesting to note that we lost the only match he didn't feature in, at Stevenage, when Chris Powell opted for more height by playing three centre-halves. As Kevin Nolan said, it was a lesson that was quickly learnt.

Yann Kermorgant was a deserved runner-up and this must represent something close to salvation for a man who was ultimately ridiculed at Leicester and shown the door. I will take him for the first goal when we play the Foxes next year. Captain Jacko took the third spot.

The only surprise for me was that Rhoys Wiggins didn't make the podium. He got my vote for his performances throughout the season. He was first to show consistent quality for me early on and his marauding runs down the left flank often saw him leaving our winger in his wake as well as a trail of floundering defenders. Rhoys made my personal goal-of-the-season when he spun around the Preston right-back, tore down the flank and picked out the advancing Hollands with a ball that was so perfect it only needed a directional nod to rocket in for our fifth of the match. 

Michael Morrison can also consider himself unfortunate not to place after a fantastic season in which he showed Sheffield Wednesday what they were missing. Our defence was immense this season and Morrison was the rock. Next season will be built on the strength of our back four, assuming we don't lose any of them to bigger clubs. As much as I am keen to see us strengthen for next season, the measure of our financial security (is there really big money behind us) will to some extent, be measured by our ability to hold players we maybe couldn't afford to buy. 

The strengths of our current Board and Management is clearly the ability to spot a player, and when you can do that so successfully, you don't need to spend money for the sake of it. We should average over 20,000 this coming season and if we can bring in 3 or 4 players - a goalkeeper, two midfielders and a striker, I reckon we can have a tilt at the play-offs. 

It's going to be a long Summer as we wait impatiently for the fixtures and then for the kick-off. Let's hope the sun shines long and bright.

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