Sunday, 29 May 2011

End Of Season Awards

It’s been a week since we were relegated, so I thought I’d do what many fans are dong at the moment and look back over the season: the best and worst of Birmingham City in my ‘awards of the season’…

Game of the season
It has to be: The Carling Cup Final. The whole day will live long in the memory of everyone associated with Birmingham City, and is the highlight of not only our season but of the club's history too. Imagine if we'd have lost this match and got relegated. It doesn't bare thinking about. The boys put on a magnificent performance and we turned London blue for the day. Incredible and something I will never forget.

Performance of the season
Another cup game, and although the Carling Cup Final was brilliant, I thought the comeback against West Ham showed a hell of a lot of fight, passion and spirit. To come from two goals down to turn it all around was absolutely amazing. The best night St. Andrews has ever seen bar none; eclipsing the Villa game in the same season and the one on our Premier League debut in 2002 (and we all know what happened then). Brilliant fight back: amazing night.

Player of the season
There have been many players this season that put on great performances, but one that kept his level consistent until the end of the season: Ben Foster. Like Joe Hart last season, he saved us a hell of a lot of points and although he made a few mistakes (West Ham in the Carling Cup – which we can talk about because we won) overall he was excellent, and to top it off he says he loves it at Blues – I just hope to God we fight off the masses to keep hold of him.

Goal of the season
Craig Gardner against Spurs. What a shot and what a moment. All I saw was the ball fall to him after Barry Ferguson’s deflected shot and then I saw the back of the net rippling and went crazy. It would have been a brilliant goal to keep us up but alas, stuff like that isn’t meant to happen at Blues.

Worst game of the season
I’m going to say Wigan away. Because as soon as the full time whistle went I knew we were in very big trouble indeed, and although we had games to save ourselves it did seem very doom and gloom from here (well, I was right wasn't I?) Also, it’s an awful feeling losing in the last few minutes of any game.

Worst performance of the season
Fulham at home. Oh boys, what on earth were you thinking? Why the hell did you play like that? In one of the most important games of the seasons… and you go and do that. I never want to see that again. Ever. I forced myself to watch the highlights but it just made things worse. Never again.

Flop of the season
It’s going to have to be Hleb isn’t it? Promised so much, delivered so little and got injured so many times I’m beginning to think it may have been on purpose because our style of football "didn't suit" him. Oh and to top it all off for the majority of the season he was trying to get a move back to Arsenal. Let it go Alex, let it go.

Save of the season
Ben Foster pulled off some absolute blinders this season, picking up the man of the match award at Wembley, but my save of the season has to be against West Ham at home in November where he managed to tip Carlton Cole’s shot onto the post which subsequently rolled over the line. Brilliant!

The ‘only at Blues’ moment of the season
This came in the same game. It was in the first five minutes and Blues were on the attack and it was all looking good… until the sprinklers came on to halt proceedings. As the saying goes: only at Blues…

Quote of the season
“There's more quality at Arsenal, but there's not more heart.” – Stephen Carr

Also honourable mentions to the commentary: “I’m not sure the new Wembley has heard a noise like this” and “What a finish, what a final, what a celebration, what a shock!”

Chant/song of the season
Blues fans do come up with some great ones. We had the Wenger last season which was simple but genius, but this season I thought this topped the lot…

Oohhhhhhh Stephen Carr’s a bluenose, he hates the Villa fans, he called the North Stand wankers, he got a one match ban. Cheryl Cole is stunning, she needs a proper man, and when she’s playing with herself she thinks of Scotty Dann! Genius.

Miss of the season
Keith Fahey at Old Trafford. The goal was gaping; all he had to do was stick a foot out. All we wanted was one goal to celebrate. He can't miss, he can't. At least we can go away with some integrity still intact and a better goal difference when he scores and... he missed? MISSED? FROM THERE?! Oh Keith.

Tantrum of the season sponsored by Mario Balotelli
Roger Johnson for committing GHB on the dugout after being substituted against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup. We were 3-0 up at home, a week before the Carling Cup final and he had just been booked. So, McLeish does the right thing and substitutes him before he gets injured and/or another yellow card and misses the final. But obviously, Roger disagrees and instead decides to throw a fit and punch the dugout. God love that man.

Comeback of the season
Plenty to choose from last season but these season comebacks have been few and far between, or less spectacular than we were used to. The Carling Cup Semi-Final, though, has to win this award. We needed two goals and had 45 minutes to get them in order to take the tie to extra time. We got them; hit the post a couple of times then went onto score in the early stages of extra time to go to Wembley. Do I really need to explain this one much more?

Proudest moment
It was about 15 minutes before kick-off and the Blues end at Wembley was really filing up, and I just looked around the stadium. It was brilliant. It brought a tear to my eye and I looked at my dad and his eyes were filling with tears too. It was when I knew we really were part of something special and when I knew that if passion mattered at all in football, we would win. And we did. And the rest, as they say, is history. Brilliant, unforgettable history.

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