21st March – Michu

Michu made such an impact in the Premier League that it is surprising that he is not still in England and it is unbelievable that Swansea City would loan him out.

He is now 29 and can do a number of jobs in the attacking areas of the pitch but for whatever reason it didn’t seem to click between him and Wilfried Bony whenever they did play together. His form during his first season at Swansea was exceptional and it earned him a call up to the Spanish team which at the time were the most dominant in international football.

The forward started his career at Oviedo and made his debut in the Tercera Division during the 2003-04 season and would go on to play 100 league games for the club, scoring 13 times and his form convinced Segunda Division side Celta Vigo to take a chance on him in 2007. He started out in the B team but after 10 goals in 28 games he was promoted to the first team. He would go on to spend four seasons at the club, once again not being a prolific scorer but putting in some good performances, as he ended his time there with 112 appearances.

Michu Oviedo

On the 27th July 2011 he signed for newly promoted La Liga side Rayo Vallecano and made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao. This would be a brilliant season for the player as he finished with 17 goals in all competitions, which was the same amount he scored in four seasons in Celta’s first team. He scored some notable braces against Real Sociedad, Racing Santander and Real Madrid. This meant that he was being linked with moves away from the club as he only had a year left on his contract.

Michu CV

For just £2 million Michu signed for Swansea City on the 20th July 2012 and on his debut he scored yet another brace in a 5-0 win over QPR and then continued his fantastic goalscoring form by finding the back of the net against West Ham and Sunderland. He would go on to be one of the best signings of the season and would score 22 goals in all competitions as he helped Swansea win the League Cup. At the end of the campaign he was named the team’s Player of the Year and the Supporters Player of the Year.

It looked as though the following season was going to follow a similar pattern as he scored the club’s first goal of the season in a Europa League game against Malmo but injuries restricted him to just 24 games over the course of the season, however he did still manage to score six goals, but only two of these were in the league.

Michu SC

It was still surprising though when he made the move to Napoli on a season long loan at the start of this season but it hasn’t been the greatest time for him as he has suffered with injuries and has barely been able to make an impact.

The final word can go to Rafael Benitez. “Michu is a player that can play in two positions. He is able to penetrate and score but also knows how to play with other strikers. I have told Michu that I expect a certain number of goals from him to just to motivate him.”

5th March – Matty Fryatt

Nottingham Forest are definitely outsiders to reach the playoffs this season and with Britt Assombalonga out injured they will be relying on Matty Fryatt to score the goals.

Fryatt is now 29 and has been a consistent goalscorer for a number of years and he has proven that when he’s given the chance he can find the back of the net. When he has started games in his career he has always been one of the most awake on the pitch and he has proven this by scoring Leicester City and Walsall’s quickest ever goals both after just nine seconds, surprisingly though in both games his side would go on to lose the games 2-1.

The striker started his career at Walsall and made his debut in the League Cup against Bolton Wanderers on the 24th September 2003. But he had to go out on loan to Carlisle United to get more experience in December and he played well during his 10 game spell. The following season he was a regular for Walsall and was awarded their Player of the Year after hitting 15 goals in 36 games. This led to speculation about his future but he stayed with Walsall until January when he signed for Leicester City after another good start to the season.

Fryatt Walsall

He made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat and a week later he scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat against Cardiff City. Despite manager Craig Levein being sacked, Fryatt believed he made the right move and scored six goals to help the club avoid relegation from the Championship. The following two seasons were a struggle as he suffered from injury problems and only managed six goals and with the club getting relegated his future was in doubt.

However, he made a positive start to the 2008-09 season, scoring five goals in the first four games and was named the League One Player of the Month. The goals kept coming and he became the first player for 42 years to score 20 goals before Christmas for the club. During this fantastic run he also became the first player in 83 years to score consecutive hatricks. He ended the season with 32 goals and was named the League One Player of the Year after helping Leicester gain promotion.

Fryatt LC

Once again he started the next season in fantastic form, finding the back of the net three times in the opening five matches. A broken jaw towards the end of the season stopped him having as much of an impact as he would have hoped but with 13 goals he was still the top goalscorer. He only spent a further six months at Leicester as he joined Hull City on the 1st January 2011 and got off to a great start, scoring on his debut against Portsmouth and then another against Barnsley. On the 5th February he would score a hatrick against Scunthorpe United and on his 25th birthday he scored his 100th career goal in a win over Nottingham Forest. He ended the season with nine goals at Hull.

Fryatt HC

The 2011-12 season was the last time he was first choice at Hull as he played every league game and scored 16 times but in his first appearance in the 2012-13 season he picked up a serious achilles injury. So on the 27th September 2013 he joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan and made a good impact. He scored against Brighton, Barnsley and twice against Reading before returning to Hull and scored his first Premier League goal in a 6-0 win over Fulham and would later play an important role in getting the club to the FA Cup final by scoring in the semi final against Sheffield United. On the 9th June 2014 Fryatt signed for Nottingham Forest and so far has six goals for the club.

The final word can go to Nigel Pearson. “Matty’s goalscoring record is pretty good. He is a predator and he also has the ability to score goals out of nothing. He works phenomenally hard for the team and he makes himself chances because of his work rate as much as anything.”

9th November – James Hanson

With it being the FA Cup first round weekend it is a chance for non league players to show their quality against those that get paid to do it full time and it is always good to see players coming from below the Football League to being very good professional players like James Hanson.

Although he didn’t make his mark in the FA Cup he did come from obscurity to become one of the most difficult to mark in League One and has done a fantastic job for Bradford City since he signed for the club. The striker has added a lot to the team and he will be thankful that he has been given the chance to play professionally which a lot of those in the top flight do not.

The 27 year old played youth football for both Huddersfield Town and Bradford but was never given the chance in the first team and had to drop to semi professional level, turning out for Eccleshill United and Guiseley. But to support his dreams of playing football he also had to work in a supermarket on a part time basis. During his two seasons at Guiseley he scored 46 goals and this attracted the interest of Football League clubs.
Hanson BC
In July 2009 Hanson signed his first professional contract with Bradford and would go on to make his debut on the opening day of the 2009-10 season in a disappointing 5-0 defeat against Notts County. He would go on to score his first goal in a 5-4 win over Cheltenham Town on the 22nd August and had a very good first season which led to him being given a new contract by the club and being named the Player of the Year.

The following season was much tougher for the striker as he only scored six league goals but he was improving other areas of his game. But came back with his highest goalscoring league season in the 2011-12 season with 13 goals. The next campaign will be remembered for a long time by Bradford fans as they reached the League Cup final and also gained promotion from League Two, with Hanson and Nakhi Wells linking up well and scoring a lot of goals between them. Although Wells got most of the attention, Hanson chipped in with important goals in the big games, including one in the second leg of the League Cup semi final against Aston Villa, one in the semi final of the playoffs against Burton Albion and then another in the final against Northampton Town.
Hanson LC
Hanson was again rewarded with a new contract for his contributions and with his partnership being broken with Wells, some may have thought that he would struggle but he hit a good run of form after the turn of the year and scored six goals in nine games, meaning he finished his first season in League One with 12 goals in 35 games.
Hanson Wells
This season has been up and down for the striker as he started fantastically by scoring five goals early on and entering the club’s top ten all time top scorer list, however injuries have frustrated him since and he has not been able to recapture that form yet but he will be hoping as the season goes on he can continue his good goalscoring record.

The final word can go to teammate Andrew Davies. “Hans is getting better and better and maturing as a person as well. He needs to be our main goal threat. Strikers are judged on goals and he’s scored a few this season. If we’re going to go up this year, and that’s what we all want, then he needs to be scoring the goals.”

23rd October – Keiren Westwood

Keiren Westwood has arguably been the best signing of the season in the Championship as he has performed brilliantly for Sheffield Wednesday and has won them some valuable points in an encouraging start to the season.

The signing of Westwood was an interesting one as Wednesday already had Chris Kirkland, who in his own right is one of the best keepers in the Championship but it seems that Stuart Gray made a fantastic decision signing the goalkeeper. Now that he is once again first choice player he will be hoping that his form can convince the Republic of Ireland management that he deserves to be his country’s number one.

The 30 year old started his career at Manchester City but never played a first team game as he was understudy to David James and Nicky Weaver. In his final season at City he joined Oldham Athletic on loan, however he also didn’t play a game for them as he broke his hand and at the end of the season he was released by his parent club. In 2004 he had trials at Bradford City and Accrington Stanley but after being unsuccessful he contemplated retiring from the game and becoming a police officer.

But in 2004 he was given another chance at Conference club Carlisle United and was largely an understudy to Matt Glennon, finally making his debut in March 2005 after an injury to Glennon. In total he played four games in his first season. The following campaign Glennon left and the club brought in Anthony Williams who was expected to be the first choice. However, Westwood finally got his chance to be the club’s number one and proved his ability. He played 35 League Two games, helping the club win the title and continued to be an important member of the team.
Westwood CU
Over the next two seasons he remained first choice and at the end of the 2007-08 season he was named in the League One PFA Team of the Year and also won the club’s Player of the Year, this form led to interest from other clubs. On the 18th June 2008 Westwood joined Coventry City for an undisclosed fee and proved straightway that he could make the step up to the Championship as he was named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year. In the 2009-10 season he then went on to win the club’s Player of the Year.
Westwood CC]
After 138 appearances he left the club on a free transfer and joined Sunderland on the 1st July 2011. His time at the club was less successful as he was never given a real run in the side as Simon Mignolet was usually in good form. But after the Belgian’s departure to Liverpool, it seemed as though Westwood would become first choice and at the start of the 2013-14 season he was given the opportunity to show his quality in the Premier League, however he would only play 10 Premier League games and because of the club’s poor results he was dropped for Vito Mannone.

Now at Wednesday he will be hoping that he can help the club challenge for the playoffs, although this may be out of reach this season, they have made a decent start and this has been down to some impressive performances from the goalkeeper, with the club only conceding 11 goals in the first 11 league games.
Westwood SW
The final word can go to Wednesday midfielder Chris Maguire. “He’s kept us in five or six games, making valuable saves at the right time. He’s up there with the best I’ve worked with, but Chris Kirkland is a great keeper as well, so it’s great for competition and it’s a hard one for the manager.”

19th October – Clint Hill

QPR were very unlucky in their 3-2 defeat against Liverpool but one thing that was evident was that they need to improve defensively and Clint Hill may become a key player once again.

The 36 year old will have to battle with experienced players like Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne as well as Steven Caulker for a place in the starting lineup. But with the club experimenting with three centre backs there may be more opportunities to get in the side. If QPR continue to struggle then Hill is certainly a player that you want in your team as he will never shy away from a challenge.

Hill started his career at Tranmere Rovers where he made his debut against Nottingham Forest in a 2-2 draw during the 1997-98 season and quickly became a regular in the side in the next season. Hill played a key part in helping the club reach the final of the League in 2000, however he was sent off and his side lost 2-1 against Leicester City. He spent five years at the club and played 171 times for the club, scoring 20 times.
Hill TR
In 2002 he joined Oldham Athletic for £250,000 but he suffered a broken leg in December 2002 in a League Cup tie against Crystal Palace and would not play another game for the club. He only scored one goal for the club, coming against his former club Tranmere before he moved onto Stoke City.

His first season at the club was disrupted by injuries and he only made 12 appearances but he recovered from this slow start and impressed during his second season and won the club’s Player of the Year award at the end of the 2004-05 campaign. Towards the end of the season, unfortunately he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and could not play again until late in the 2005-06 season. When he returned he rediscovered his form and formed a strong partnership with Michael Duberry.

More injuries followed in the next campaign and when he was fit he found it hard to get into the side and over the next season and a half he was seen as the second choice left back. Hill then joined Crystal Palace on loan in October 2007 and after impressing he moved to the club permanently in January. In his first half season he helped the club reach the playoffs but unfortunately they missed out on promotion and then the next two years were tough for the club as their finances worsened and despite a 10 point deduction, Hill helped the club avoid relegation during the 2009-10 season.
Hill CP
On the 1st July 2010 Hill was reunited with former Palace boss Neil Warnock at QPR and made his debut in a 4-0 win over Barnsley. Hill played in 44 Championship games that season and helped them win the title meaning that he would be playing Premier League football for the first time. However, he got off to a terrible start being sent off on the opening day in a 4-0 loss against Bolton Wanderers and it seemed like his time at the club was over when he joined Nottingham Forest on loan on the 20th September 2011. But after just five games he was recalled and after Mark Hughes became manager, he became a regular in the team and played a key role in keeping them in the Premier League, securing the fans and players Player of the Year awards.
Hill QPR
After signing a new one year contract he was in and out of the side at the start of the next season but after Harry Redknapp took over he once again returned to the team. They would not avoid relegation this time around and last season Hill captained the team back to the Premier League after winning the playoff final 1-0 against Derby County.

The final word can go to Harry Redknapp. “Clint is a great character, a good lad and a fantastic professional. He leads by example and you know what you’re going to get from Clint. He puts his body on the line and that’s what we need.”

18th October – Robbie Savage

Robbie Savage has definitely spilt opinion throughout his career, some love his antics whereas others hate him but one thing that nobody can deny is that he put in a lot of effort while out on the pitch and didn’t let down the fans.

Now a pundit, the 40 year old likes to be controversial and say things that will upset people and he is not shy in giving his opinions. Recently he has put across the point that footballers don’t care how much fans pay to support their team but at least he came out and gave his honest opinion rather than one he doesn’t believe.

Savage started his career at Manchester United and was part of the 1992 FA Youth Cup winning team which has become known as the ‘Class of 92’ however unlike David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville he never made it at Old Trafford and failed to play a game for the club and joined Crewe Alexandra in 1994. The midfielder was an instant success at his new club and in his first two seasons he helped them reach the Division Two playoffs and then they finally made it third time lucky and were promoted via the playoffs in 1997. Shortly after promotion Savage handed in a transfer request and he ended his time at the club with 10 goals in 87 games.

In July 1997 he joined Leicester City for a fee of £400,000 and became known as a reliable and fiery midfielder and became a fans favourite but was largely hated by the opposition. In his five years at the club he reached two League Cup finals and in the first he was involved in an incident with Tottenham Hotspur player Justin Edinburgh that got the Spurs man sent off. Savage had to wait a year to pick up a winners medal as they saw off Tranmere Rovers in the 2000 final. After Leicester were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2001-02 season Savage joined Birmingham City for £1.25 million.
Savage Leicester
Savage was once again a key player for the club and he played a vital role in keeping the club in the Premier League for two seasons but he handed in a transfer request and on the 19th January he joined Blackburn Rovers. In his first half a season at Blackburn he also played a key part in keeping them in the top flight and in the 2005-06 season he was a very consistent performer and helped the club reach the UEFA Cup and in the following campaign he scored in the competition against Salzburg and Wisla Krakow. However, a broken leg in January meant that he would miss the rest of the season. During the 2007-08 season he suffered a few more injury problems and struggled to break into the starting eleven meaning that on the 9th January 2008 he left for Derby County.
Savage BC
He could not stop relegation from the Premier League and even though it was not his fault, his performances were poor. After an equally poor start to the following season he was dropped by manager Paul Jewell and was sent out on loan to Brighton in October 2008, where he played six times. After Jewell was sacked, Nigel Clough put him back in the team and would also become captain of the club in the following season.
Although it was another disappointing one for the club, on a personal not Savage must have been happy as he played 51 times and was named the club’s Player of the Year. He did not miss many games while Clough was in charge and went on to play 137 times for the club before retiring in 2011.
Savage Derby
The final word can go to Alex McLeish. “I Like Robbie. I think he brings colour to the game. He has had a good career, he is a good player, a guy who rallies his team. He annoys the life out of the opposition and he can instigate a fight in an empty barn.”

11th October – Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman has been one of the best full backs in the Premier League over the last few seasons but unfortunately like a lot of Everton players this year he has suffered from injuries and is one of many in their treatment room.

The 26 year old has always been good going forward but he has improved a lot defensively and although he adds a lot in attack, it is no surprise that when he is in the starting eleven Everton concede less goals and look more solid. David Moyes give him a chance but it has been Roberto Martinez that has developed his talent and now he is being linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

After initially starting out as a Gaelic Footballer, he made the move to professional football and signed for Sligo Rovers. He made his debut against Derry City in October 2006 after coming on as a substitute. He did not have an easy start as manager Rob McDonald did not rate him and thought he should move down a division but when he was sacked and replaced with Paul Cook, the new manager gave Coleman a lot of praise and the defender began to flourish.
Coleman SR
In total he made 60 appearances for the club, scoring once against Bray Wanderers in May 2008 before moving on to Everton in January 2009 for the very small fee of £60,000. Even though he had not kicked a ball for the club, his career could have been over but surgery saved it and he eventually made his debut in the Europa League against Benfica, unfortunately they went on to lose the game 5-0.

His Premier League debut was a much better experience, after coming on as a substitute he helped set up both goals in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and was awarded the man of the match at the end of the game. Despite this he still struggled to get first team opportunities and went out on loan to Blackpool to help them in their promotion push in March 2010. In his 12 game spell, including the playoff final win over Cardiff City 3-2, he scored once in a 4-2 away win against Scunthorpe United. During his time out on loan he also signed a new four year deal with his parent club.
Coleman Blackpool
The following season he broke into the Everton side and was originally used as a right winger and scored his first Premier League goal against former club Blackpool. He finished the season with our goals but also received the first red card of his career in the final day in a 1-0 win over Chelsea. His performances meant that he was nominated for the 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year.
Coleman Everton
Coleman was a very solid player for a number of seasons but finally received all the attention that he deserves during the 2013-14 season. He scored six league goals, was named as Everton’s Player of the Year, their Players’ Player of the Year and also in the PFA Team of the Year. During the course of the season he set up 45 chances and helped them to a club record 72 Premier League points.

The final word can go to Roberto Martinez. “He just grows month by month. He is a good example of a footballer with an incredible attitude and appetite for the game. I haven’t done anything to coax that out of him. He knows his potential. He plays in a demanding position which needs you to be so good in many areas. He’s one of the best full-backs in world football.”