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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Review of the season 2010-11

Twitter-style summary (max.140 chars):
Dreadful start,Coppell quit,bottom in Oct. Millen&signings,esp. Caulker,Stead&Pitman got us to boring mid-table respectability, thank God!

Player of the Season:
I’m just giving this to Albert Adomah over the Young Player. Albert is the one good thing to come out of Coppell’s short, disastrous reign. Signed from Barnet for a small fee, he has terrorised Championship left-backs all season with his speed of feet, great dribbling skills and an ability to get the ball in the right areas. If he scored more goals then the Premier League would already be beckoning – as it is we might get to keep him for another year and hope he & Maynard can take us into the promised land.

Young Player of the Season:
Stephen Caulker joined in the dark early days but quickly improved the entire back four with his assured displays, confidence and unbelievably mature positional sense. The teenager has played a massive part in saving the club from relegation & possible serious financial hardship.

Goal of the Season:
David Clarkson’s 90th minute lob from more than 40 yards, just inside the right touchline at home to Leicester was the type you don’t see very often. Fleeting glimpse of the talent the guy obviously has but sadly not shown it consistently enough.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/9192242.stm

Highlight:
Is it churlish to say the Gas being relegated? The first time EVER that two divisions have separated Bristol’s top dogs from their North-of-the-river amateur rivals.

Lowlight:
Seeing as Coppell and being bottom of the league is covered elsewhere, I’ll go for yet another first-hurdle elimination from the F.A. Cup. Drawn at home to Sheffield Wednesday, it looked easy against a side who were in the middle of a dismal run of results that at one time threatened relegation to the bottom division. We embarrassingly capitulated to a 3-0 defeat with barely a whimper. It’s now almost twenty years since our last decent run in either of the top two cups.

Best Performance:
Maybe I’m biased, living as I do in a ‘CF’ post-code, but taking apart Cardiff on New Year’s Day was my highlight. 3-0 and it could have been more, the promotion contenders were swept away more quickly than the empty party-poppers outside Big Ben. Honourable mentions to Swansea away, Coventry away (as always!) and Preston (2nd half) away, and also Reading at home, if only for the incredible cup-tie determination and atmosphere that accompanied our first home win.

Best Opposition:
Swansea barely let us have the ball in our home defeat, were clinical in attack and showed all the class of a Premier League team in waiting.
Also, Norwich were excellent at Carrow Road and will be a credit to the top flight, whilst a young Watford team showed masses of zest, enthusiasm, vibrancy and creativity in their win at Ashton Gate. Watch them next season if they can keep Malky in charge & Danny Graham banging in the goals.

Waste of Space award I:
Steve Coppell.

Waste of Space award II:
Nicky Hunt. Nearly 150 Premier League appearances and 10 England under-21 caps but Hunt never looked like he was fit enough, good enough or cared enough. So bad that with three other potential right-backs injured, midfielders were moved out of position to play there ahead of him. So, SO bad that questions were asked at the club’s AGM about how we get rid of him – and they were answered!

Chant of the Season:
“We’re winning at home, we’re winning at home, how #### must you be?, we’re winning at home” – when we took the lead against Reading on October 19th – the first time we’d been in front at home all season!

Priorities this summer:
Getting Nicky Maynard to sign a new contract is top of the list, resigning Caulker on loan follows closely behind, and then at least two more defenders and a central midfielder who can control games and create chances for our top-notch forward line.

2 comments:

  1. Rob from Two Unfortunates here Paul - still struggling to log into Blogger under my usual profile. Great summary. Really interesting to see if Caulker goes out on loan again - I suspect he will and here's hoping it will be for Bristol City - although the vultures will be circulating.

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  2. Cheers Rob - yes looking less likely now on Caulker, but will keep holding out hope until he signs for someone else!

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