Date:Thursday May 7 2009
'Sean Davis was April's player of the month', not my vote, yours - although these findings from pompeyrug's poll are thoughts that I do not necessarily agree with to be honest...
Sean Davis - 41%
A knee injury saw Davis miss April's opening two games, away at Hull and home to West Brom and in all fairness to him I think the fact that he was missed so much in these games, coupled with his performances in the other 3 games he played, swayed it in his favour, so on second thoughts he probably was deserving of this win...
I think its fair to say that Davis added that extra energy in midfield when he returned to help us beat Bolton, and easily added the extra quality - which probably does not say much about those that had, and in the main continued to play during his absence and return.
Davis was his usual tenacious self in the away games with Manyoo and Newcastle, and in both of these looked one of our most dangerous players going forward - again, something that probably does not say much about those playing alongside him in the middle of the park.
Yep, in hindsight I think Davis did deserve this, like I say how much we missed him in the games he did not play as much as the ones he did tipped this in his favour, not that I think it should have 'quite' been as much in his favour as it was...
Glen Johnson - 19%
When used in a right midfield role again against Hull to start the month he did not have his best of games - Hull identified him as a danger and eventually got him sent off! Of course he did not help himself by not keeping his head, but I also do not think Paul Hart helped him by not identifying this sooner and taking him off before he eventually got sent off!
He of course missed West Brom through suspension, and we missed him, but returned to put in another decent display against Bolton - again from the midfield role - and was a real threat against Manyoo and Newcastle when marauding forward from his more favoured, and best position, of right back.
In my thinking Johnson should have been closer to Davis, but still on reflection was rightly behind him.
Younes Kaboul - 11%
For me Kaboul was the one that I think 'should' have challenged Davis most closely, and had he not missed the final 2 games of April through injury - and injury that is still keeping him out - I think that he may well have piped Davis to this?
Not only was Kaboul excellent in the games that he played against Hull, West Brom and Bolton, he was excellent from an unaccustomed right back position - a position that he looked an absolute seasoned pro in, looking like he had played for many a year. He got forward well, defended fantastically well and also got in some decent deliveries, after usually skinning his marker with ease due to his pace and power.
It is hard to say if Kaboul's absence made a difference in our games with Manyoo and Newcastle or not though? I prefer Johnson as a right back, so the Frenchman's enforced absence enabled him to return to that position, but Johnson probably would have offered us more offensively than those that did play would have with this combination probably giving us a strong defensive base to have built on as well, and maybe that would have nullified the Manyoo attacking threat more?
I know that I am certainly looking forward to seeing Kaboul on a more regular basis next season, and in what is likely to be a much different side, I think I would go out on a limb and say if he stayed injury free next season he could well be our player of the season...
Best of the rest
David James 7%, Niko Kranjcar 6% and The Herminator 4% did what they do, and rightly featured highly in the vote but for me Sylvain Distin deserved more than his 3%, and most certainly Sol Campbell more than his 1%!
Distin and Campbell looked back to their best for most, if not all of April, and offered a platform that we were able to build a solid defensive base from so deserved a much higher combined percentage than 4% methinks...
One again though, as with March's poll, the fact that every player that started a game throughout picked up some sort of vote - and the 'other', for others that featured also did - it shows that it really was a 'team effort' again, even if the tactics in some instances were far from ideal, at other times spot on though...
Date:Thursday May 7 2009
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