End of Season Ratings

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As the footballing campaign is drawn to a close, we take a look at the best and worst performers of the 2018/19 season.

Lee Camp 5

When Lee Camp was unveiled as Blues’ new number one, my expectation levels were set firmly to zero. This wasn’t because I had any sort of negative opinion about him as a goalkeeper but because I didn’t see him as an upgrade to David Stockdale or Tomasz Kuszczak. 

As it turned out, I was correct. But having said that, Camp hasn’t been a downgrade either. Stockdale and Kuszczak had their problems between the sticks, as has Camp. 

The veteran hasn’t been brilliant, he hasn’t been shockingly bad. But he has exceeded my, albeit very low, expectations. 

He has a tendency to save the shots he has no right to before letting in a simple daisy cutter at his near post. His distribution is strong and his command of his area has improved. 

Maxime Colin 7 

This is a more simple observation because Colin could, undoubtedly, play at any level. At right back, he’s consistently strong and has a perfect balance between defending and attacking. 

His performance against Leeds when moved to central midfield was particularly pleasing but not at all surprising. If anything, it proved what we already knew – that Colin is a technically decent footballer as well as a quality defender. 

He is certainly one of the first names on the team sheet. 

Kristian Pedersen 6

The Danish left back has been a decent addition to the squad without setting the world alight. His muscular frame makes him a tough competitor and he has had joy against tricky wingers this season. 

Pedersen must improve positionally and mentally though. His habit of flying into needless tackles 50 yards from goal have seen his name written into the referees notepad on more than one occasion and he is often caught napping when facing counter attacks. 

Another full pre-season should stand him in good stead for another long Championship campaign. 

Michael Morrison 7 

The captain has led the team well and has produced some big performances in some big games. Saying that, Morro does go through poor spells during season where he seems to forget the basics of defending. Those wobbles are becoming shorter and shorter, thankfully.

Morrison puts his body on the line for the team and is strong aerially in both boxes. His distribution leaves much to be desired though. 

Harlee Dean 6

Dean has formed a decent partnership with Morrison at the heart of the defence. While Dean is a better technical player than his partner, his performances aren’t as consistent. 

It’s worth noting that Dean played through the pain barrier towards the back end of the season which summarises his commitment. 

Jacques Maghoma 6

Many people will scoff at this score but hear me out. Mags hasn’t been great, I’ll admit that. He has been inconsistent at times and ineffective at other times but he still offers the team a lot of defensive nous. 

Mags is streetwise and the full back behind him will tell you of the benefits of having him in the team. 

Yes, he should contribute more going forward but when he is at the top of his game, he is still an asset. 

Maikel Kieftenbeld 6

Where do I start with Dutch Mike? His commitment and energy is invaluable in the middle of the pitch. He breaks up play well and chases the ball as if his life depends on it. 

Obviously, the technical side of his game isn’t the best but he does exactly what is expected of him. 

He will be a loss next season as he recovers from a serious injury. 

Gary Gardner 6

Signing a player on loan from Villa could, in theory, horribly backfire. There was many who didn’t want him at the club. 

That scepticism soon died down as Gardner put in some committed, impressive performances. He is tough in the tackle and uses the ball relatively well. 

His permanent signing would be a no-brainer at the right price. Blues can’t be held to ransom by their neighbours though, I’d make them a take it or leave it £1.5m offer. Not a penny more. 

Connor Mahoney 7

The loanee from Bournemouth took a while to settle into the team. In the early days, his playing time was limited as he tried to force his way into regular contention. 

The second half of the season saw Mahoney thrive and he looked every inch a bonafide Championship winger. 

He offers quality dead ball delivery and can beat a defender or two. Another season of development wouldn’t go amiss, I’d snap hands off for him on loan once again. 

Che Adams 8 

Che has found his scoring boots, at long last. It didn’t look that way early on in the season. Adams initially lost his place to Omar Bogle but after coming on and bagging a brace at Nottingham Forest, he went from strength to strength. 

Speaking of strength, Adams has it in abundance and pace to burn. His goals speak for themselves and he was always an outlet for the team. It’s a shame he couldn’t be the first Blues player since Steve Claridge to score 25.

Has he played his last game for Blues? Probably. Would I welcome his sale? No, unless the figure is nearing the £20m mark. 

Lukas Jutkiewicz 9 

What a season it has been for Juke. He carried the burden of goals until late into 2018 before they inevitably dried up. But his overall contribution was paramount to the team. Simply put, Adams wouldn’t have scored half as many goals without Juke’s selfless efforts. 

My player of the season, he is improving with age and thriving under James Beattie’s coaching methods. He has been phenomenal.

Wes Harding 6

It has been a funny season for Harding. After breaking through last season, Harding has played second fiddle to Kristian Pedersen. 

Whether it’s at left back or right back, Harding has looked assured and composed. At times, he does play himself into trouble with poor positional sense but he’s young and is still learning.

Harding seems to be Garry Monk’s go-to substitute to sure things up when the team are defending a lead. 

Jota 6 

The Spaniard has been unplayable at times and completely anonymous at times. During the first half of the season, he was the creative hub of the team. His form worsened as the season wore on and he became a bit part player. 

I have my doubts about him as a wide player. He seems to suit a more central position in the hole behind the front two but that would mean totally rejigging the entire shape of the team to accommodate him. He could be moved on this summer. 

Craig Gardner 5

It’s a crying shame that Craig Gardner’s legs seem to be on the wane. He still possesses a fair bit of ability on the ball – he can pick a pass and has a decent right foot but he is often swallowed up in the tempo of a game. 

Taking the captaincy at Reading could have been his farewell. 

I’ll always like Gardner, he was a good player for Blues once upon a time, however, hanging onto him beyond this summer would be a drain on precious resources. 

David Davis 5 

It is difficult to score Davis higher because of the length of time he missed. That said, he’s been slightly off the pace since returning and could do with a good pre-season under his belt.

Charlie Lakin 5

The youngster has been in contention and then out of the picture. He has kept his feet on the ground and turned in some good performances when called upon. 

His contribution at Elland Road, where Blues picked up their first victory of the campaign, was was vital. 

Lakin still has much improving to do but he has the tools to do it. 

Marc Roberts 4

Another difficult score. Roberts was very much third choice centre back and was unlucky in the fact that Morrison and Dean formed a decent partnership. 

He is a useful back-up player to have and I’m convinced that there is a good defender in him somewhere. 

Isaac Vassell 5

Vassell missed a chunk of the season through injury and hasn’t been the same, explosive powerhouse since returning.

Like Davis, Vassell could benefit from a good pre-season. 

Connal Trueman 5

Trueman made his first team bow at the start of the season until the signing of Camp. 

Trueman looks an inexperienced goalkeeper but also shows signs that he can challenge for the number one jersey. 

May find himself out on loan if Blues bring in another ‘keeper. 

Kerim Mrabti 5

The Swede has taken time to settle in but has shown glimpses of creativity. His goal at Rotherham will have done him the world of good. 

He has to do a lot more defensively to help the team out. Hopefully, he will adapt and become a decent player next season. 

Viv Solomon-Otabor 4

The season started swimmingly for Viv, scoring what looked to be the winner in the opening game against eventual champions Norwich. That game finished 2-2 and Viv’s only telling contribution of the campaign was done and he was shipped out on loan to Portsmouth. 

Agree with these? Let us know your thought’s below and who was your standout performer?

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great piece I found myself agreeing with almost every word and score.
    I thought a 4 for Viv was a bit tight the kid needs a chance.
    But great article.

  2. Hard to fault your ratings. Agree with your comments on Jota – round peg square hole. The youngsters all scored low because they were given few chances. Vassell as a (probable) replacement for Che needed to have a lot more game time. Same with Trueman. GM does not seem inclined to do this for some reason. Question – was Pedersen worth the 3 points he cost us – or would Harding have achieved?

  3. Cannot disagree with the ratings, surprised at the start of the season because I thought Trueman would have a extended run in the team and I thought Vassell would have been given more time to show what he is worth when he came back. Jota is too lightweight for me and like you would not be too disappointed to see him go in the the summer. We do need a strong goal scoring central midfielder like a Bradley Dack or Jarrod Bowen and a play maker like Barry Bannon but that is wishful thinking on my part. Pedersen was OK but too many howlers and bookings.

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