Lots of debate regarding this issue, so I thought I’d go through each player and give my thoughts, ahead of it being announed on Monday night.
Jamie Ashdown: ever present in the side and no doubt he is a good, reliable Championship keeper. Difficult perhaps to live with expectations having had David James previously, but done a steady job for the club.
Darryl Flahavan: also ever present..except on the bench. Not given an opportunity to show how good he is. Surely give him the last game of the season?
Greg Halford: good season for him, and chipped in with some important goals too. 5 is not bad for a defender. Useful as well from free-kicks, would be nice to see him stay on.
Carl Dickinson: enthusiasm, there in abundance. However, I’m not sure if he’s too high on the skill scale. Cotterill persisted with him, and I personally think there was no coincidence when we were conceding goals all over the place and the majority came from the left-back area. Distribution poor too.
Aaron Mokoena: hasn’t reached the heights we know he is capable of when he was part of last season’s FA Cup side. Can’t seem to hold down a place in defence or midfield. Rather erratic, maybe it’s time he had a new challenge?
Ritchie de Laet: good, solid right back, with pace and skill, something you would hope for from a Man Utd player! Would be useful if he stayed next season, I’d have thought it would suit both parties.
Hermann Hreidarsson: what a likeable character, bags of enthusiasm and a pretty decent defender too. Natural leader and a player the youngsters can learn from. Shame age is catching up on him, but I’d say he’s capable of one final season.
Joel Ward: seems to have played in just about every position apart from keeper this season! Never let the side down, and nice to see a couple of goals too. Definitely one for the future, if he can be kept hold off! Hands off Stoke!!
Ibrahima Sonko: Felt a bit sorry for him as he’s been out of the squad these past few months. Especially when he’s behind Dickinson. Very much a confidence player. Defends in every sense of the word, but adds little else to the team.
Ricardo Rocha: without his injuries and suspensions perhaps we’d be higher in the table? Certainly one of the best defenders at the club, if not the best. Shame he tends to lose his cool a little too often. Reliable when he’s been in the team and a good distributor.
Liam Lawrence: a little unlucky with injuries but overall a good season for him. 8 goals isn’t too bad either. Little doubt he is very skilful, although I feel he hasn’t shown it on a consistent basis this season.
Hayden Mullins: almost one of the first names on the teamsheet, such a turnaround since he wasn’t too popular last season. Reliable, gets on with the job despite largely being unnoticed. Would be nice if he could hit the back of the net more often, especially as he’s shown us what he is capable of!
Michael Brown: was good when he played for us… Met him at a signing session and seemed a perfectly nice guy who was enjoying life at Pompey..hows times can change.
Jonathan Hogg: tough tackling midfielder. Can’t see him staying though past this season.
David Cotterill: another one who tends to drift in and out of games. Like to see him being given a chance, given the lack of wingers we have at the club.
Richard Hughes: a real shame it’s turned out the way it has with him.
Danny Webber: good to see him back, hopefully we’ll give him a year contract and then that’ll be the right time to judge him.
David Nugent: vast improvement on previous seasons, so Championship is his level? Scored some good goals too, despite being put on the wing too much of the time for my liking. Top bloke and would like to see him stay but just can’t see it happening.
David Kitson: average season, with just 8 goals summing it up. Heard he has had problems off the pitch which may have affected his performance. Hard worker, sometimes too much. Probably needs a partner up front (like Doyle when they were at Reading) to work with for next season.
Nadir Ciftci: average player, don’t think he will be too much of a miss.
Kanu: far too underused in my opinion as he is evidently the most skilful player at the club. Hoping he gets more of a say next season but can’t really see it. Good to have around though.
Overall I think player of the season is very difficult as there are lots of ‘goods’ this season but no exceptional performances. Despite that record breaking run earlier this year not conceding goals, I am afraid I still wouldn’t give the award to a defender. 58 goals have been conceded in the league and that’s still pretty poor. So on that basis, I’m not left with much choice, so it has to be…Hayden Mullins!
What are other people’s thoughts? Do you agree/disagree with my analysis?