Player of the Season
Craig Mackail-Smith: What is left to say about this man? This season there are few superlatives that haven’t been used to describe him. With 35 goals this season he is the top goalscorer in all of English football and he has been a class above any other player in the division. No matter how many times you see Mackail-Smith play his work-rate will never cease to amaze and this season he has added the ingredients needed to make him a brilliantly well-rounded striker. No longer a weak finisher, he has become clinical. He holds the ball up well, has developed his skill with the ball at his feet and is also very intelligent in his movement. Mackail-Smith is set to move away to the Premier League in the summer but nobody can begrudge him his move for he has been a tremendous player for the club and it has been a privilege to watch him.
Young Player of the Season
Ryan Bennett: It may appear a surprise to Peterborough United outsiders that a centre back in a defence that has been notoriously porous this season should win this award. Yet for Posh fans it is no surprise. Ryan Bennett oozes quality. Good with the ball at his feet but equally powerful in the air, he has formed an excellent partnership at the heart of the defence with Gabriel Zakuani – highlighted by both of their displays in the playoffs (no goals were conceded when the two were on the pitch). There is incredible attacking talent in this squad but it is no exaggeration to suggest that Ryan Bennett may well be the club’s most valuable asset and when he does leave it will be to go to the very top.
Player of the Playoffs
Grant McCann: If ever you need your captain to lead by example it is in the playoffs. Grant McCann did just this. 3 goals in 3 games and 3 commanding performances in the centre of midfield proved his worth to the team. McCann has a wonderfully gifted left-foot and his set-pieces were vital to Peterborough United’s success. The free-kick that was drilled over onto Tommy Rowe’s head in the Playoff final showed why he has led the League One assists charts for the majority of the season. The two free kicks he did score were special too – McCann himself admitted that the one he hit at Old Trafford was the best of his career. However, equally important was the penalty that he scored at Stadium:MK. He was the calmest man in the stadium when he stepped up and simply slotted the ball into the corner of the net, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Most Improved Player
Ryan Bennett: It is testament to Bennett’s development that he wins this award. In the Championship he had shown he had potential but still he had a proneness to errors. This season he has matured. He has very few lapses in concentration and shows an ability that belies his years. What Gary Johnson was thinking in trying to sell Bennett is beyond belief and under Ferguson he has really advanced as a football player.
Signing of the Season
Grant McCann: Brought in during the summer McCann was a big money transfer. He broke the tradition of signing “young and hungry players” and was a much more experienced head. It is hard to argue he hasn’t been worth it though. Under Darren Ferguson, who played him in a more deep lying midfield role, McCann has flourished and he has a rare ability to dictate the tempo of the match. A fantastic passer of the football, he is unbelievably gifted technically and he has been one of the star performers throughout the season.
Goal of the Season
Grant McCann vs Huddersfield: It has to be said that this goal may have won because of the importance of the strike. However, it was a brilliant free-kick. 20 yards out, McCann stood watching the Posh fans dancing in jubilation behind the goal. He had crossed from a similar position last time but this time he was unquestionably going for goal. He couldn’t have hit it better. Arching over the wall and beyond a despairing dive of Ian Bennett the ball flew into the top corner and confirmed Posh’s promotion.
The Posh King of Twitter
Gabriel Zakuani: It is worth noting for Posh fans that aren’t on Twitter that we have a substantial number of players on the social networking site. Many are regular “tweeters”, and seem to spend more time on there than on the training pitch. Gabriel Zakuani was the first of the squad on there though and earns this title for a range of different reasons. He is quick to post his feelings about matches but he also started up a campaign for Comin Relief on the site where he donated £1 for every ‘follower’ he gained. He ended up donating over £2500 to the charity and that alone makes him a worthy winner of this award.
Flop of the Season:
Nana: This boy had Champions League interest in him. Somehow. Nana displayed very little ability to play football in his time and London Road and it is majorly surprising that he played for Chelsea for such a large period of time. Now released by the club, he has opted to rejoin Gary Johnson at Northampton Town and also stated that he “was an MK fan for the night” before the Playoff semi final. Here is what Darragh MacAnthony had to say about Nana: “THIS KID IS C**K AND EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH FOOTBALL. PETE JOHNSON BROUGHT HIM IN AND TOUTED HIM AS A POENTIAL ‘£2 MILLION POUND PLAYER IN FUTURE’. TO WRITE THOSE THINGS ABOUT OUR CLUB AND FORMER TEAM MATES SHOWS HIS CHARACTER AND LACK OF CLASS. I HAD TO PAY THE LITTLE S**T £25K TO LEAVE OUR CLUB 2 WEEKS AGO. SO ENJOY YOURSELF IN LEAGUE 2 AND GOOD LUCK TO NORTHAMPTON GETTING THE £2 MILLION QUID ON HIM. HE OWES HIS FORMER TEAM MATES AN APOLOGY BUT DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH AS NO DOUBT IT’S OUR FAULT HE DIDN’T STAY OR PLAY IN TEAM. EXPENSIVE MISTAKE DURING SEASON AND NOT THE ONLY ONE.”
Game of the Season:
Peterborough United 3-0 Huddersfield Town: It could hardly have gone to any other game, could it? It wasn’t so much for the spectacle the game created for the neutral but what it meant for every Posh fan across the country. There is no better way to be promoted than through the playoffs and with 3 late goals, in 7 minutes, it is hard to dream up a more spectacular way of winning them. It is a game that will never be forgotten in these parts.
Thanks to everyone who voted in these awards. Without you it wouldn’t have worked. The results can be found here: http://posh.footballblog.co.uk/peterborough-united-blog-awards-vote-2.html
This will be the last blog post of this season. I’m not entirely sure how often it will be updated during the summer, if there is something to write about I will but I don’t really want to set it up as a rumour site or just as a place to confirm news that can be found elsewhere.
Thanks for all of you who have read the blog over this season. The viewing figures have been amazing. Thankyou to all of you who have: read, commented, “liked”, tweeted, re-tweeted, linked and told friends about the blog, it is seriously appreciated and I hope you all continue to read the blog in the future.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this season on the blog and I’ll be back for next campaign.
See you in the Championship.
Up The Posh.