Well it’s been a season of ifs and buts. Sadly too many defeats and 0-0 draws have cost us dear in our chase for a playoff place. It would have been interesting had we beat Millwall to go to Reading and possibly win and go level points with them. It was a long shot of course to reach the playoffs relying on other results. It would have been good to take it to the last game.
Over the season we have relied heavily on Mustapha Carayol and Albert Adomah goals. It’s key we get goals from elsewhere in the team. Over recent games I’ve been impressed with Jacob Butterfield and was disappointed to see him subbed on Saturday v Millwall as he was starting to make things tick. He’s a forward thinking creative player with quick feet and I like to think he be part things next season. With Danny Graham expected go back to Sunderland, we could be in need of 2 or 3 forwards. I don’t feel Curtis Main is good enough for this level and It depends on what happens with Emnes and Jukiewicz and if they have a future at the club.
Player Of The Year
Since Mustapha Carayol got injured we have also relied heavily on George Friend to get up and down flanks to put crosses in. Since boxing day game George Friend has been in great form, with consistent solid performances and for me he’s my player of the year. I think it would been out of George, Varga and Leadbitter, with George in front for me. If Carayol hadn’t got that horrific injury he would have been up there too. He was in great form from the New Year onwards. The same can be said for Adomah, he has not been same player since coming back from his injury.
Young player of year is an easy choice Ben Gibson with 23 starts before the Reading game. He has had a great season in the first team and is one of the positives from the campaign.
Burnley at home on Boxing Day stands out for me it was the best we had played for some time. Wigan away was another great entertaining game played in a good atmosphere and had everything. Doncaster at home was a great performance after Mogga's departure which was hard to celebrate fully. Birmingham at home was great especially towards end of a game battling with 9 men the crowd really did spur the team on. It was fantastic to kill the game off with Tomlin made it 3-1. I don’t think I've celebrated a goal like that in a while.
Favourite goals of the season
Albert Adomah v Doncaster - his chipped goal
Jacob Butterfield v Birmingham - Back to goal turned and hit a great strike
Mustaphol Carayol v Blackpool - nice curved finish into the net
George Friend v - Forest Great Thunderbolt shot
Looking to the summer I can see it being a busy one with lots of ins and outs. What has pleased me is the way we went to Burnley with a depleted squad and put our bodies on the line showing a real will to win. Against Birmingham with 9 men there was a real togetherness. We will need a lot of that next season if are to push on and challenge at top of the league. What disappoints me this season is that no team in this league has really stood out a being far better than us. It’s all about being consistent. Let’s hope we can end this campaign with a few wins to give us hope for next season.
(FMTTM Column Barnsley 26-04-14