The Championship Player of the Year award is always a very prickly issue. The title is so subjective, as the winning player obviously should have the proper ability, but also should be awarded for giving as much as he can during the season, relative to their ability.
With that in mind, many names echoes to one’s mind, with Anthony Knockaert of Brighton being the first man on the list. Definitely talented and with a playing style easy on the eye, he would be an obvious choice for many. However, his style of play also shows he is bound to lose possession and appear greedy at times. This is probably not the nature and the requirement of being crowned the ‘Best Player in the Championship’.
Pontus Jansson and Chris Wood are two more players who have had excellent seasons playing for Leeds United. Most of the weeks, they win their personal battles and are in the upper ranking of Championship players. However, Newcastle United are the league’s true league giants and when they visit Elland Road, things turned out not in the way Leeds fans expected. Reading the match report from that day will not find us much mention of Wood’s name. And despite big talk from home fans before the game, Jansson and Bartley struggled to contain Newcastle’s forwards with Gayle scoring twice.
You probably be thinking, what of Dwight Gayle then? 21 goals hitman in 23 Championship starts for Newcastle. Gayle movement and finishing have been impressive and there’s no doubt, he’s too good for the Championship. With being said, Gayle’s playing in a top team and it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s the best player in the division.
Also, Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield have had excellent seasons too. The duo deserve a mention, but once again, they have just enough limitations to keep them from the very top place.
The ideal candidate and indeed the best candidate for this, JONJO SHELVEY. Yes, we all know he had a poor game against Fulham having carried the Magpies’ midfield for weeks in the absence of Isaac Hayden. Also, we remembered he was banned from playing for weeks as a result of him making racist comments; though it must be noted that this sport can punish people without genuine proof of wrongdoing.
Despite all of this, the England international has taken the step down to the Championship exactly the right manger. Jonjo Shelvey range of passing is quite superb and the question raised this campaign of whether he is the best player to have ever played at this level is a valid one and a question which should at least be debated.
Shelvey hard working nature, forward thinking, and with the inclination to always back his undoubted ability to be better than the opposition has led to him dictating so many games he’s featured in. There’s no other player on the shortlist that will be entitled to claim this title and Shelvey is the deserving winner here.