Who is your Toon player of the season?

By Lee Ryder on Apr 24, 07 09:07 AM

Time to tell us who is the top man of United's up and down season.

Newcastle United's season has been far from a classic but when it comes to individual performances some players deserve plenty of credit.

There have only been a few sparkling moments in the campaign to date worthy of note.

There was the 1-0 away win in Palermo against the Serie A high fliers, while for many the 3-2 win at Spurs may just be the best away game of the season and what about James Milner's wonder strike against Manchester United at St James' Park.

But when it comes to Newcastle's top man this season - who would you pick?

Nicky ButtCertainly at the top of the list for many of us will be Nicky Butt.

The Toon midfielder has been magnificent this season in a year that many of us thought we'd never see.

Farmed out to Birmingham last year, Butty looked odds on to leave in June when he returned to the club but with no takers, Glenn Roeder convinced him that it doesn't get much better than St James' Park and any potential move would be a step down.

The manager has gave Butt the skipper's armband on more than one occasion and the former England man has looked like the player we saw at Man United during a trophy laden era.

Ex-World Cup star Butt bagged two headers in the friendly against Villareal and to be fair he hasn't look back - if more of his team-mates had played with as much work-rate as him the truth is United could be further up the table.

James MilnerIronically another candidate that looked like he was on his way out of St James' Park is James Milner.

But his response after returning back from Aston Villa (twice as it turned out, after deadline day talks fell through at Villa Park in August) has been nothing short of sensational.

Milner had every right to feel he wasn't wanted at Newcastle, but instead got his head down and put in a string of sparkling displays.

The fans clearly love Milner and made their feelings known during the 1-0 defeat against Man City when the Toon Army chanted for the player to come on from the bench.

Milner, at 21, has also came out to face the music after defeats and spoke to the media to provide explanations to fans when more senior players have often headed for the back door.

The 2006-07 season is one that Milner should look back with a lot of pride.

Hopefully it will make Milner an even stronger player and with the best part of his career still very much in front of him Newcastle can benefit greatly from his presence.

Steven TaylorAnother player, and one who will be with Milner at the Under-21 Euro Champs in Holland this summer, is Steven Taylor.

Again as a young player, he's made mistakes.

But he's also one that is never afraid to own up to them.

Taylor has put in some gigantic performances this year and tamed Didier Drogba in his last game against Chelsea, which is no easy task.

And after finding his goal-den touch this season too, with strikes against Celta Vigo (some celebration!), Birmingham, Blackburn and a vital winner at Sheff United, surely he has underlined his position as the top defender at the club.

He might not be ready now, but before long John Terry and Rio Ferdinand could be looking over their shoulders.

Another member of the back four has also caught the eye at Newcastle this term.

Nobby SolanoBut you wouldn't have expected it to be Nobby Solano.

The Peruvian nearly lost his life in Lima when his car flipped over in the streets of his native city but somehow he walked away with hardly a scratch.

This year he started in midfield but injuries to the squad meant that he ended up dropping back to right-back.

And what a job he's done.

Not only has Solano been a great guide for the club's youngsters such as Paul Huntington, Taylor and David Edgar at times, he's also been the crafty player of the squad.

He's always there.

And his double goal-line clearance against Arsenal perhaps typifies his contribution to the team this season.

As ever a real fans favourite.

Obafemi MartinsBut then you have Oba Martins.

Many have questioned his positioning and many have actually wondered if he is the man to wear the number 9 shirt.

Yet several factors make it a great season for Martins.

Football really boils down to goals and in his first season he has 17 of them,

He's came in to replace Alan Shearer which is a near impossible task but he has still been on target.

And with the player still young he has made the switch from a different League in Serie A to the Premiership with some admiration.

True, his African nation style of play is nothing like Shearer's contributions.

But nobody complained about unorthodox plays when Tino Asprilla was around and when you have players hitting the post from the corner quadrant like he did at Sheff United, one of his best games in a Toon top, there is never likely to be a dull moment.

If Martins can work on his game and develop something with Michael Owen next term, it might be the start of something beautiful!

These five players aside, there have also been notable contributions from Shay Given, as ever, despite his injuries while Steve Harper has also been an able deputy.

Surprise success of the season has probably been Antoine Sibierski and obviously there have been plenty of disappointments and frustrations.

But the question remains - who is your Toon player of the year?

Please leave your nomination in the box below and post.


Andy Rivers said:

James Milner for me, despite it always being him who has been moved or dropped to accomodate 'big name' players returning from injury he has never hid or stopped trying, unlike a number of his senior colleagues. He'll probably win the North East young player of the year award and then spend next season being kept out of the team by a past his best Chelsea reject

stephen said:

i think steven taylor is our player of the year the progress he has made this year is frightening he will no doubt get his call up to the england squad for the brazil game he has been shifted this season to full back but has never moaned about it , just got on with my opinion i would make him captain of nufc.james milner a close second mind

oxboy said:

Dear me I'm not disagreeing with Lee. Fair summary, except for the shortest strike pair in the world!
From the suggestions so far I'd say Taylor has made far too many mistakes and Milner has yet to really and regularly influence games. Both though try hard and don't hide when the going gets tough, qualities which the maligned Titus also shares.
My vote though must go to Nicky Butt. Consistent, calm, my motm on many ocassions he makes a difference whenever he plays. His games this season even more outstanding because of those horrendous performances of previous seasons when many of us would gladly of sent him to the vet to be put down to put us out of our misery.
Congratulations also to the young lads, Hunts and Edgar who I think are our future in the middle not Taylor, they play as one unit thats special.Don't separate them Glen.
Well done Nicky, I hope you get the plaudits you deserve at the end of a season which I am already trying to erase from my diminishing memory banks.

jackie w said:

Player of the year is a tough one this time around and not because there is one or two to choose from but the fact that this has been a poor season all round and yes there has been some good individual performances but to pick player of the season is tough.I agree with the fact nicky butt has been a revelation but is he really that good? He is giving 100% and looks solid in the middle but if Scotty and Emre were on form you would have to question Butt starting a game.Oba looks the part when he fires a goal or two but in a lot of games he has been ineffective and yes he needs service but still looks like he needs another season.Milner is a quality little player but same again if Dyer and Duff play to there potential then he would be a squad player along with the out of form Zoggs.Big Sib has been a snip and is a committed part of the squad but never first choice ,Given is Given and never lets you down but has done no more this season than any other.So it comes down to two players for me and the first of which is Steven Taylor the boy is superb and i am 100% confident he will play posssibly even captain England but like Zoggs,Chopra,Jenas and any one of 20 kids before him at the moment he is a mixture of talent and potential so he takes the young player of the season.Which leads up to the senior player ,,,this bloke has showed that he can play any where and has a zest for the game which is breathtaking, he can defend , push forward , track back and his passing range is superb.This season he has been placed in an unnatural position and made it immpossible for him to be replaced even when injured players returned.So step forward our trumpet playing peruvian,,Nobby for me has been the best of a bad bunch and shades the player of the year from anyone of 6 .But going back to the beginning this has been a poor season and all my opptmism has been sucked from me.I now need the summer to re-charge and hopefully with some good signings we can challenge for some honours...Jackie W

Ray said:

without a doubt its been Milner!

i've been at the away games and seen the boy have such determination for the cause (most recently at Charlton where he chased the ball into their corner when everyone else thought it was a lost cause). additionally, you watch him when we're defending corners and you see him ordering/organsing his teammates, it really says something about the boy.

yes, hes had a few poor games (that can be said of every player this yr) and yes he does sometimes over complicate/delay his crosses but given the way FS/GR were about to offload him only to be pulled back last minute says so much about the character of the boy.

lets hope nxt yr he continues to improve like he has in the last 2 yrs

sawdox said:

If Milner is high on the list of fans' player of the year, isn't that a damning indictment on Roeder who treated him disgracefully in August, and several times since (alkmaar, for example)?



M.G said:

James Milner is certainly the best Newcastle player this year. Scoring thunderous goals and with his tailored asists, I think James Milner is one of the biggest assests Newcastle has today.
I hope Newcastle use their fortunate luck of when James's failure to move to Aston Villa as a lesson.
In conclusion James Milner was the man of the year and he is only 21!

robert hunter said:

James Milner...

We play great week in and out with him on the pitch, and we play terrible with him off.

Malcolm McMaster said:

Nicky Butt is my player of the season - just edging out Shay Given. He gets the nod because of the odds he overcame after returning from his loan to Birmingham.

Genghiz said:

James Milner has made some good plays, but he isn't that complicated. All he does is run and pass to the middle and shoot. He isn't the field general like Emre. Solano has done great at right back and should be there next year. Taylor is a tough dude. Butt is pretty good too. Parker was the captain, what more can you say. Martins has pace. Dyer is a top player. The two best players I think are Emre and Dyer. Best performance of the year is a toss up between Martins, Taylor, and Milner. I'll let you guys decide. But since the question asks who is your Toon player of the season, I'll say Emre because of the obstacles he had to endure to make it through.

Jordy Jedi said:

There is only one Jimmy Milner, after the kick in the teeth the club gave him to start the season with, this young lad has come out through with respect, dignity & most importantly, whole hearted effort. I wouldn’t even say closely followed by Butt, Nobby & Taylor. Forget the rest.

michael said:

i have to say lads it would for me be a 3 way toss up between Nobby,Milner and Steven Taylor...but if I had to choose i'd vouch for Taylor i thought he was immense in all the games against Chelsea,and being so young but showing so much maturity...great to see,id like to see him handed the armband for next season.

Joe Beck said:

Plain and simple, James Milner. He's been our best, most reliable, and most consistant player all season. I think it's a damning indictment of the current state of the club when this is a lad we all but shipped out at the begining of the season.

Rich said:

Players of the year – clutching at straws here

Milner? He’s been pretty good but player of the year? He’s a winger who cant cross (about 1 in 5 good crosses at best). If he sorted that out then he would be very good, otherwise no, he is infuriating in that respect. Great attitude though, given the terrible treatment by Roeder at the start of the season.

Given is an excellent shot stopper but I just wish someone would coach him to distribute the ball properly and more importantly talk to and help organise his defence.

Taylor is committed and has been generally good and has great potential but has still been prone to silly errors. Nobby is brilliant (shame it took Roeder about 9 months to realise that Nobby was his best right back) but Nicky Butt has been player of the year.

As for Martins, well, I wonder if some local youngster had played up front and in his debut season had scored 17 goals and been forced to lead the line on his own without a recognised strike partner in a team that has struggled most of the season, if there would have been a lot more shouts for him to be player of the year?? In fact he would probably walk it and we’d ALL be claiming we had the next great local number 9 on our hands. Martins has done very well given his and the teams circumstances and is a faucet of general hope. Will Martins and Owen will work under Roeder, im not so sure. We’d have to (hopefully) abandon our current tactic of generally lumping, predictable long balls up front and then offer little support in order for it to work and get the best out of Martins.

KJ said:

Steven Taylor is a liability-always likely to give away stupid free kicks or penalties, and get sent off. He'd be a better player if his arms were removed. You are all deluded.

Only 3 contenders for me: Milner for the way he was treated yet always turns in a good shift. Nobby for being class. And Given.

Duff, Parker, Zog, Emre, and most of all Dyer have been unreliable at best.

Of our current squad I would only be sorry to see Given, Nobby, Oba or Milner leave. The rest are average (or awful) and dispensible.

David Newton said:

Its a no brainer James Milner has been outstanding all season

Keith Mole said:

Nobby Solano - end of story

Richard Lyons said:

Its gotta be Milner, he has been sheer quality this year, hes only 21 and its all in front of him, and you could argue that when Roeder started dropping him to the bench it was no coincidence that we started losing games and playing badly. What a player hes goin to be

carl of whitley bay said:

it has to be nicky butt and james milner they were both virtually shown the door through the summer and when the club had an injury crisis they were called upon and they have not let anyone down. true professionals in my eyes. only interested in playing football for their employers. attitude is a great example to youngest starting out in the game. better than certain players attitudes that will remain unmentioned.

Ryder's reply: Spot on Carl of Whitley Bay.
Butt and Milner have worked their socks off this season and it is amazing they could have been playing elsewhere at one stage last summer.
Where would we be without them this season?

Anonymous said:

Tim Krul

Dave B from OZ said:

James Milner by a mile considering the way he was treat he is a model of commitment for other players to look at.

We ned more of his type of Players

Blandandtedious said:

I love competitions!

I reckon for the player of the season it’s got to be the 33 year old Butt; unfortunately you can’t build a team around him, perhaps a small fence would suffice! And the young player of the year to Santiago Munez in the shape of David Edgar for his superb strike against evil and tyranny.

Its great fun this questions malarkey, so here are a few ideas for further competitions.

Who is the prettiest of the ugly sisters?
Who is the tallest of the seven dwarfs?
How long do you think my biro will last?
Who would win in a fight between Kylie Minogue and Kieron Dyer?
Why does Mr, Oliver have faith in Glen Roeder when he’s obviously not very good?
How is Shepherd going to get out of another fine mess without the help of the Thomson twins?
Why are some clubs successful and others not, despite holding all the necessary attributes?
That type of thing!

Apologies for briefly straying into the realms of reality, I’m off for a cup of camomile tea.

Ryder's reply: That is officially the funniest thing I have heard all week.
Answers, The ugly sisters are both as ugly as each other hence the name, the ugly sisters.
It could be dopey but I haven't watched a Walt Disney film for years.
Cannot answer the biros one as I've always used a fountain pen.
I'd go for Kylie every time with Dyer after watching his last scrap with Lee Bowyer.
Last time I looked Glenn Roeder has the second best win record after Kevin Keegan, so perhaps he is judging it on his results, just a hunch like.
I didn't know the Thomson twins were still around to be honest, but I always liked Doctor Doctor as a track.
Anyway, wasn't it the Thompson Twins with a P in it?
If I knew the answer to the last one I would send my CV to Real Madrid.
And just for the record, Nicky Butt is only 32.

clive said:

if steven taylor did not speak with a geordie accent you would all realise that he is not very different to bramble it just goes to show how easily you are pleased you also believe that toon fans are the best yet they boo their own team when they need the crowd behind them you get what you deserve middle table and no trophies

Katie said:

Milner or Given...cant decide.

Gerry Hagon said:

James Milner first, Nicky Butt second, very worrying as these two were supposed to be surplus to requirements at the beginning of the season. It says a lot for the management.

By the way anyone interested in a couple of season tickets? I am certainly not forking out £900 to watch the dross we had to endure this season.

Blandandtedious said:

I forgot
Who is the tallest of the seven dwarfs? - all depends who can see Snow White in the Bathtub.

wasn't this supposed to be about 'Soccer' as Roger Thames would say?

Ryder's reply: Do you mean Roger Tames?

graddas said:

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............Stephen Carr?

Daniel said:

Best player - Martins, for his goals, which have kept us out of a relegation battle

Best performance - Tim Krul

Mark Blair said:

As a supporter, I've been a shamed to wear a Newcastle United strip this season and will not buy the new strip for this coming season. Like us all, we are disapointed the way we have played, the funds which were given and it goes to show the effort which was put in by club and managers.

We all said, we need defenders at least 3 due to the fact Bramble, Carr & Moore are inconsistant and should be playing in division 2. Taylor has played ok, but is getting better with age and the more games he is playing. Saying that we need to build round him. Midfield, where ok but need 2 more quality midfielders, just incase we have more injurys, which will prob happen ! ! Striker's, Martins has done a great job and i take my hat off to him for the way he has tried and having no support. I think ameobi should go, he is not a player I think is worth his money and hasn't been since he has come into the side. You look at Rooney who is the same age or should I say 4 yrs younger has scored 23 goals, Arsenal, Van Persie 2 years younger 19 goals. Who would you rather have in Your Team ! ! Shola, will never get into the England squad, he's a bit like Carl Court, 1 min he was good, the next terrible. YES, we have had injurys but bye the bye, I think we should of played our young guns more as i think they would of performed a whole lot better.

Question, since the training facilities and medical staff has changed at Newcastle, we have had more injurys than anyone else ! ? Is our training ground up to scratch?

My player of the season, has to be Given, without him we would of been joining Watford in Division 1.

To all you Newcastle fans, ask your'self, if you managed Newcastle United, who would you have in your'e team with the squad we have ? Who would you buy this coming season and What Manager would you like if you as the manager were sacked ?

Remember, we need the players who will commit, the passion that will take us all the way and detrmination to get stuck in and play 100% every game and hopefully we can bring the days back when King Kev was here !!

Mark London

Graham said:

Best three Martins, Nobby and Milner, Nobby edging it just for being a legend and playing the trumpet.

Worst three Carr, Babayaro and Pattison. Babayaro edging it by being mind-bogglingly poor.

joe king said:

Owen`s horse

Olalekan said:

I will take Oba Martins to be my Newcastle Player of the year. From a cameo role in Inter Milan to playing in almost all games in a different league and scoring 17 goals without a regular strike partner is an achievement quite beyond the reach of so many players. Well done Oba!!

Phil said:

on his way out, turned round and came back, took some balls and when given his chance showed what he can do, JAMES MILLNER..i also think roeder has done a great job considering the worst injury crisis know to the club, I know we all like to have high exspectations, but lets be happy with the top 7 next season, any higher will be a bonus, build on that and see how we go,the futures bright, the accadamy is producing, we have some great players coming back and lets see what happens in the transfer market. roder will get it right,exciting times ahead. patience lads and lasses.

Daniel Fox said:

I think obafemi martins by far he has been outstanding and never gave up fighting for the toon!!!!

David Rooney said:

It has to be Nicky Butt, he has put more consistent performances than any other player over the season. He also brings out the best in the likes of Emre.

James Milner has been a delight at times to watch and provides defensive cover for a born again Nobby Solano.

I have been frustrated by the lack of opportunities afforded to young David Edgar as he appears to be the most assured footballer amongst the youth coming through.

However with a tactically naïve manager what will next year bring – more of the same regardless of the signings !

Finally and perhaps controversially I would KEEP Bramble. He is no worse than Taylor; yes he switches off but is that not something the every defensive team work on with their central defenders. He is committed to the cause, he gets abuse because of his distribution at times but just look how often the midfield leave him with no options so a long ball to the wing is the only option.

jim caffrey said:

Another season is just about over and yet again another season of disappointment. Where does the buck really lie? Is it due to the numerous long term injuries to key players? Or maybe it's because the club did not sign a a top class defender during the January transfer window? On the other hand it could be blamed on the inconsistant team tactics applied by the manager? The only real consistantance to emerge for the club is another season of excuses and promises of "thing will get better next year". A very sad but also a very true tale of woe.

Shane said:

oba for me but only just, he needs more vision, too often does he pick up the ball and not play the right ball or doesn't play the ball full stop. Other than that though, he's scored important goals n plenty of'em considering the injury crisis the club's been in. Closely followed by milner, he needs to score more, he's a real threat as he showed for those 4 or 5 games when he scored consecutively.

Ben Purvis said:

Albert Luque ..... enough said :-)

craig brown said:

my best player of the season will have to be nicky butt first then milner , siberski

Guysy said:

I rekon Milner, Then Butt then Taylor. Hopefully we can get two centre halves, a left back and a right back and maybe a striker.Howay the Lads

Goffy said:

4 candidates for Player of the season in my opinion:
James Milner,Nicky Butt,Steven Taylor and Nobby Solano - in that order.The sad thing is that apart from our keepers,our teenage defenders,Martins in his first season in the PL and,when fully fit,Scotty Parker...THE REST HAVE BEEN SHOCKING!

Jeff Storey said:

Milner and Nobby - and sometimes Sibierski. The worst have undoubtedly been Babayaro and Dyer. Most disappointing have been Duff and, when he's had the chance, Nzogbia, who is a shadow of the player he was last season - possibly because he had to make way for someone who is no better than him.

Shante Adam said:

You guys are crazy for not considering Parker. Even though there have been a few injury spells he has played a significant portion of the season and when he does he is almost always man of the match imo. The team is more solid, has a better defense, better possesion, and better movement overall. He throws everything into every tackle and runs from one end of the pitch to the other.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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