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KDS Player of the Year 06/07
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|MOTM|| | 06/07 | 07/08 | 08/09 ||
|Tables|| | 07/08 | 08/09 | |
|Player of the Year||| 06/07 | 07/08 ||
|Euro Player of the Year|| | 06/07 | 07/08 | 08/09 ||
|Player of the Month|| | 06/07 | 07/08 | 08/09 ||
At last, the results are in! Thanks to everyone who voted on the polls, who took their time out to pick their Top 10. All the votes have been put together (thanks to Auldbhoy ) and the results are below. Season 2006/2007 was ultimately a successful one, from the worries of last summer…the season began in a flourish with a routine whipping of Kilmarnock, but then defeat at Hearts and the departure of midfielder Stan Petrov resurrected concerns which continuously remained close to the surface all season long. A couple of major signings later and it seemed we were back on the road, dominant in domestic competition, competitive in the Champions league. Along the way we lost last seasons Player of the Year Shaun Maloney, but still went on to qualify for the Last 16 of the European Cup (going out in extra time to the eventual winners) and winning the League and Cup double in Scotland. Two trophies, a benchmark set in the Champions League, and a few fantastic moments along the way…not bad? The accolades though hide a strong unrest among fans that the standard of football played, highlighted by a real slump in form and problems in finding the net regularly, is below par and must improve. There have been instances of the fans being frustrated with the manager, as well as the team, and even a few instances of players having confrontations on the field. The Celtic fans will look forward to next season with great anticipation yet armed with a lot of questions which require answers. As part of the Big Vote, we asked everyone who voted to give the Celtic manager Gordon Strachan a percentage rating to highlight how well or poorly he navigated the season just gone. Considering an abundance of criticism we didn’t know what to expect at all, the final average was a surprising 72%. I say surprising but its hardly spectacular, and echoes that feeling among the fans that although we compliment the success of everyone at the Club this season, a “however” is not far away. On the pitch this season, heres how the players fared in the eyes of those who voted on the Kerrydale Street Player of the Year for season 2006/2007:
10th Place: Paul Telfer (Points: 489)
Considering the damning criticism, the fact that Gordon Strachan had to stick up for him against the verbals of many fans, his age and his evident limitations as a footballer, not to mention playing in a jersey which has as proud a reputation as any in world football – Paul Telfer hadn’t a hope of impressing Celtic fans from the word go, and of course; didn’t.
As time went on though, we found that The Telf’s name tended to crop up on the MOTM threads with remarkable consistency. As matches went on he started to actually show that he was a steady player, who despite his mediocre talents never hid, always showed for the ball and at times – bust a gut for his fellow players. The detractors began to be shouted down, and this detractor as well as many others started to see that Paul Telfer was a simple, unassuming but extremely professional footballer. From beginning the season as poster-bhoy for the disgruntled, Telfers inclusion in this Top 10 is a testament to his not crying off when the going got tough.
9th Place: Darren O'Dea (Points: 519)
About 11 months ago we were getting humped by DC United in a pre-season game – panic was rife on this board and among the main body of the Celtic faithful, it was obvious that if we went into the Champions League with only the defenders who were currently on the books – we would get pumped, it would be an embarrassment. People who did watch the reserve games tried to help allay the fears somewhat by imploring the other posters to give some attention to two youngsters coming through, Scott Cuthbert and Darren O’Dea. Unfortunately for Cuthbert, injury put paid to his pole position when the chance for first team action arose, and O’Dea was fast-tracked into the team. At left-back he looked steady and competent in the CIS Cup, but when moved into the centre Darren took his chance by the scruff of the neck. His composed performances, obvious football ability and old-head-on-young-shoulder-ness began to impress everyone right from the start and he also exhibited the happy ability to get involved at the sharp end of the pitch. When resources were lacking in our most high-profile game of the season, Darren O’Dea stepped into the very top level of football and helped Celtic keep the now European Champions AC Milan at bay for 180 minutes. I for one, look forward to seeing many years of O’Dea in the Hoops and can’t wait to see a bit of Scott Cuthbert in the first team too if this is the standard!
8th Place: Evander Sno (Points: 530)
Speaking of that AC Milan tie…lining up against Pirlo, Ambrosini, Gattuso and Kaka would be a daunting task for any midfielder in world football, the list of 19 year olds who wouldn’t flinch must be a short one, and even shorter would be the list of players who turn the situation into a man of the match performance. In all honesty, few of us expected we’d see much of Evander Sno in his first season after his unheralded arrival from Feyenoord for the relative pittance of only £80,000. No one is in any doubt that if Evander is a diamond – he’s a rough one, but his ability and even more shockingly, inclination; to pass the ball forward from central midfield is something that helped his case, he also seems to like the odd trick and turn in midfield which brings a little element of surprise to his game. In many ways we don’t know which way Evander Sno’s career will go yet, however the manager likes him, he has played in big games and done well and its impossible to finish this off without the inevitable reiteration of his age. At 19 years old, Evander has made us wonder if we have made an absolutely inspired signing – rumours of £2m bids from Italy suggest we aren’t the only people who think he could go to the top.
7th Place: Neil Lennon (Points: 835)
Its over. Neil Lennon is no longer a Celtic player. At 35 years old the man that no-one can keep down has signed a 2-year deal with Nottingham Forest and bid farewell to 7 of the most amazing years at Celtic. Most agree that the time was right for him to move on. He left with his head up and a couple of trophies aloft, he left as the Captain of the Champions and that brings a happy ending to what can only be described as a tempestuous career (and sometimes, life) in Scotland. He’ll forever be remembered and celebrated at Celtic for more reasons than I have time or room to write. In the second half of this season Lennon became the scapegoat for our somewhat one-paced march to the double, but 7th place in this roll of honour highlights that many did not forget his contribution up until Christmas, a period which established our unassailable lead at the top of the league, and saw us into the last 16 of the Champions League – ultimately the successes that marked our season. A winner from his first day at Celtic to his last.
6th Place: Aiden McGeady (Points: 1501)
Ahhh, the enigma that is Aiden McGeady. Or more accurately the enigma that is the relationship between Celtic fans and Aiden McGeady. The young man began the season playing some glittering football. As a twinkle-toed starlet who came through the ranks of the clubs youth system, McGeady might have thought that he would have a passionate relationship with a set of supporters who tend to love a bit of wing wizardry. At times early in the season, Aiden looked like the only player in our squad who could offer that “something special”, one splendid performance away to Falkirk on the back of a run of good games had media sources talking of a £10m move to Spurs or Man Utd. He shot to the top of our Player of the Year tables and made all the early running, and it should also be mentioned that he was extremely safe in 2nd place in the final tables posted on the voting thread – so what happened? Invisibility in the big European nights certainly didn’t help, a more mediocre second half of the season perhaps? The rumours of big-time Charlie-ness, or the talk that he fancies himself as the best thing since sliced-bread maybe goes against him in some minds, for me and many others though, Aiden is a fantastic talent – even beyond the tricks. Finishing in 6th place is however a sign that effort is still required on his part to mature into the professional footballer we all know he can be.
5th Place: Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Points: 1590)
Its amazing what a first impression can do. There we were all scratching our heads as to where the hell our goal was going to come from and then Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink stepped off the bench. Hibs had gone ahead in the game and we had managed to pull one back before McGeady strikes the post and big Jan smacked home the rebound announcing himself in just the right way to the Celtic Park crowd. Jan finished the season as our Top Scorer by a country mile, although didn’t quite reach the 20 goal mark. Reasons range from niggling injuries to being a lone striker, but Jan didn’t moan, he just gave his all and carried on finding the net when the chances presented themselves. One magnificent thing about our Dutch international striker is his obvious love for Celtic Football Club and this has been the foundation of a great rapport with the fans. Now installed as our main striker to all intents and purposes, we have a lot of faith in Jan to go forward and top the domestic goalscoring charts next season, I get the feeling that the big man would love nothing more than to repay that faith.
4th Place: Stephen McManus (Points: 1726)
Our Captain in waiting is living the dream. There is a picture out there somewhere of a young McManus leaning over the armchair of neighbour and Celtic legend – the late, yet always remembered Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone. “Mick” is Celtic to the core. This season he has established himself as a young stalwart to boot. Pride in the jersey isn’t always evident in Celtic players, but it is Micks hallmark – he has the look of a man who would die (or kill!) for the Hoops, for his team. It is still very early in Micks first team career but the faith Gordon Strachan put in him by making him vice-Captain looks to have been inspired. Mick is maturing every year and what he lacks (in some peoples eyes) in pure natural footballing ability, he makes up for in blood, sweat and tears devotion to the the defence of the Celtic goal. I for one hope that he grows into the role of Captain, and that it becomes the making of him.
3rd Place: Lee Naylor (Points: 1812)
Naylor arrived and our eyes rolled to the heavens. We had needed a left-back for what seemed like an eternity and eventually we bought one from Wolves. Typical.
On the whole, our cumulative reaction to the wEaSeL signing was shoved right back down our throats. Naylor has effectively made the ‘problem’ left back slot his own through dedicated, hardworking performances. He’s not worried about the rough and tumble, seems to like putting himself in where it hurts and on occasion has shown that he has the ability to swing in a mean cross from advanced positions. Whoever he’s been up against at whatever level, he’s shown himself to be confident and comfortable on the ball. Like many other members of the team his form tailed off towards the end of the season, but lets hope that Lee Naylor can consolidate and improve on the earlier performances that gave us sweet relief from our apparent inability to bring a reliable, talented left sided fullback into the Celtic team. As debut seasons go, he’s had a good ‘un.
2nd Place: Artur Boruc (Points: 2384)
If left-back has been a problem position for the last few years, finding a top-class goalkeeper at Celtic seemed to have become something of a lost cause. However, in 2nd place I feel we have reached a true superstar of season 2006/2007. Artur Boruc is a goalkeeping talent, a world class goalkeeping talent, and he plays for Celtic. How good does that feel to type! This season, Artur was simply sensational. He won the KDS European Player of the Year back in March for his Champions League performances including two breathtaking performances against eventual Champions AC Milan. What we’ll remember more than that though is the last minute of the match against Manchester Utd at Celtic Park where big Artur handed us a Paradise fairytale by stopping a penalty to send us straight into the last 16 when the eyes of the world were on us. Artur Boruc is a goalkeeping talent, a world class goalkeeping talent, and he plays for Celtic. Brilliant!
1st Place: Shunsuke Nakamura (Points: 2536)
So here it is, the fanfare and the festival – 268 KDS members have voted, but we all knew who it was going to be, didn’t we? The wee man from Japan has picked up just about every individual accolade there is going this season, but now he can sweep his arm across his mantelpiece because they don’t come any bigger than this. The Kerrydale Street Celtic Player of the Year 2006/2007 is Shunsuke Nakamura.
If moments of magic are what rock your boat, Nakamura’s your man. Yes, he’s a fine link up player, yes he’s got a great eye for a pass, yes a fantastic touch the odd trick and turn is great to see – but Nakamura showed this season that he is a player who specialises in the spectacular – with expert timing. No one can cause dropped jaws, bulging eyes and ecstatic scenes quite like Shunsuke.
His hat-trick against Dundee Utd showed that he can be clinical, his exquisite dink at Celtic Park against the same opposition showed that he can be sublime, the free kicks that embarrass keepers and make him a candidate for the very best in the business, show that he has technique and precision which few are blessed with. Therefore it is no surprise that his free-kicks are what gave us two of our best moments this season. When Nakamura stepped up in the dying seconds at Rugby Park, planted the ball in the bottom corner of the net, he ensured that the league title was coming home to rest in Paradise again, and he sent the Celtic fans at the match, in the pubs and in their homes all around the world into party mode. However we need to go back to pre-Christmas for the moment that defined Nakamura’s ability from dead-ball situations in front of the whole world.
Surely our moment of the season was provided by the man who Gordon Strachan has repeatedly called “a genius”. That free-kick against Manchester Utd in the Champions League will be shown for many years to come, and he had already proved it was no fluke by scoring in the same situation at Old Trafford. The freekick was perfect, the opposition were perfect, the fact that it got us through to the last 16 was perfect, the entire world saw it, and wasn’t Fergies face a picture! It was a magic moment for Celtic fans everywhere and it felt like the good times in Europe had returned, if even for a night.
Thanks Shunsuke and congratulations from everyone at Kerrydale Street.
KDS Player of the Year 2006/2007: Shunsuke Nakamura.
Heres the scores of those who didn’t make the Top 10. Got to try harder lads…..
11th Riordan 218
12th Miller 201
13th Caldwell 144
14th Gravesen 138
15th Jarosik 32
16th Wilson 19
17th Doumbe 15
18th Kennedy 12
19th Pressley 11
20th Zurawski 9
21st Hartley 8
22nd Bjarnason 4
23rd= Balde 3
23rd= Beattie 3
25th Maloney 1
26th= Brown 0
26th= Camara 0
26th= Marshall 0
26th= Pearson 0
26th= Petrov 0
26th= Sheridan 0
26th= Wallace 0
How the votes were spread from 268 voters
|1590||JV of Hesselink||0||6||36||64||77||47||17||7||6||2||262|
(chart by Arsene Parcelie)
(figures collated by Auldbhoy and player write-ups by Huddler)
Latest page update: made by auldbhoy
, Jul 22 2009, 2:12 PM EDT
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