When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Stephen Cummings: Skipper Shackell has led by example
Outstanding, scarcely believable, astonishing, brilliant. Trying to describe what has been witnessed at Turf Moor over the course of the last nine months or so will only lead to adjective fatigue.
Suffice to say that selling your key player the week before the season kicks off, then going on to win promotion using less than 20 players with a net spend of £450,000, (and smashing record after record along the way), is just about as close as you will get to witnessing a bona fide footballing miracle.
With that in mind, let’s celebrate this stellar season with a few gongs.
First up is Player of the Season.
An immensely difficult choice: Danny Ings and Sam Vokes were unquestionably the best striking partnership in the Championship.
Kieran Trippier’s right wing raids and lethal delivery put him at the top of the assists charts.
Tom Heaton was a major factor in making Burnley’s the meanest defence in the league.
And David Jones was metronomically excellent in central midfield.
Yet for this columnist’s money, the winner is Jason Shackell. Playing every minute of every game in any division is an achievement.
To do so in the hurly-burly of the Championship and defend with such consistent brilliance as the captain did is truly remarkable in this day and age.
Equally difficult is goal of the season. Danny Ings scored many memorable strikes; his 25-yard drive at Yeovil, the solo effort at Derby and THAT goal at Ewood.
Ashley Barnes’ first goal at Turf Moor against Wigan was a perfect team goal. David Jones’ exquisite strike against Derby was a peach.
But none of them can quite eclipse Junior Stanislas’ crisply struck, arrowed drive into the bottom corner against Blackburn.
Most Improved Player of the Season – no contest here.
By several country miles, Sam Vokes.
The Welshman was unrecognisable from the previous season.
From 20-minute cameos from the subs’ bench to one of the most feared and revered marksmen in the Championship.
As for Moment of the Season.
This is another category where Clarets supporters are spoiled for choice.
But really, it’s pointless to look anywhere other than the 79th minute at Ewood Park, when Danny Ings banished the 35-year hoodoo to send the travelling hordes into transports of ecstasy.
And finally, Word of the Year. Relentless.
Used in every pre-match and post-match press conference by the man who masterminded our promotion, his use of the word was, well, relentless.
Enjoy the summer. And prepare for next season in the Premier League.
Comments are closed on this article.