Often Partisan

Clubman of the Season

One thing that did disappoint me about the Big City Event on Monday night that I didn’t mention previously was that there wasn’t an award for “Clubman of the Year”. It’s not that prestigious an award, but I like the idea of giving an award to someone who has done well for the club and maybe not received the plaudits, who’s been under-rated but has done the team well. With this in mind, I’ve put together my own nominations.

Stephen Carr

It’s true that our club captain was nominated for the Player’s Player of the Season, and for Fan’s Player of the Season, which suggests that he isn’t that under-rated. However, I’ve nominated Stephen Carr as a contender purely because I thought he deserved to win something this season. Despite his advancing years, Carr has been one of the few players this year to have a consistent level of performance. But it’s not only this – Carr is one of the players at the club who I think actually “gets” Birmingham City. I think he understands what makes Blues fans tick, and because of this he’s become a talismanic figure for us. It’ll be a sad day when Carr leaves us, and I think he’ll go down in our history as one of our better captains.

Jean Beausejour

Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of our Chilean winger. After a rocky start to his Blues career – he was pretty abysmal in our defeat away to Stoke – he’s settled into life at St Andrews and he’s starting to turn in performances that are increasingly good. I think many people expected a flying winger when we signed Beausejour, but he’s not like that. However, what he is is a disciplined midfielder, who can get forwards, defend, cross and be useful in and around the penalty box. Beausejour has been asked to play in a variety of positions – from just off the front man, to left midfield, to left back – and in the last few turgid performances he’s been one of the few players who I think emerges with any credit. In the horror-fest that was the Fulham home game, Beausejour came on and tried to make stuff happen – chasing balls, trying to do what he could to drag us back into the game. I hope he stays with us next season – in either division he could be a big asset to us.

Nikola Zigic

We’ve missed the big Serb over the last month or so; he’d just got into a groove where he was scoring and providing goals, and without him we’re sorely lacking a presence up the park. I’ve not just nominated Zigic for his goals though; he’s another player who I think runs his heart out for the team when asked to. I think it’s a shame that we might lose him at the end of the season, because I’m of the belief that Nikola could be a legend for us. He’s not graceful, but he’s whole-hearted, committed and he typifies Blues really – an ugly duckling who sometimes produces sublime displays that make people stop and say “woah”.

The player I’m going to name as “Clubman of the Season” however is Liam Ridgewell. Ridgewell has had quite the long road with us; vilified as “Agent Ridgewell” by some in his first season after his transfer from our claret and blue brethren; shunted out to left back to cover a hole and then has proceeded to make the position his with some displays that have been nothing short of excellent. He’s not a natural left back still, and he still has some shaky moments but he’s always committed, always trying and always trying to get the team going. Moving him to full back has allowed him to get forwards more and to show that he’s actually quite a potent finisher. He’s never moaned about the fans getting on his back, he’s always worked hard for us and I think should we go down he’ll be one of the few players that will definitely be retained for our assault on the Championship.

So there you go. If you don’t agree with me, think I’ve missed something obvious or would just like to have your say, please comment below.

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