Why Nathan Redmond Should Be Player Of The Year !
Tuesday, 30th Apr 2019 10:37
With the various polls about to determine who should be Saints player of the year, here we take a look at why Nathan Redmond should not only be player of the year but totally deserves it.
It is fair to say that when he joined in the summer of 2016 Nathan Redmond did not become a fans favourite, he wasn't helped by the fact that he was signed under the instruction of one manager Ronald Koeman and then had to start his career under another Claude Puel.
With Saints short on striking options Redmond was pressed into action early doors as an out and out striker and with Puel bigging him up as the next Thierry Henry and Puel not universally popular with the fans, suddenly he was seen by some as Puel's man and damned by association.
His first season was a mixed bag, he scored on his debut and scored a not shabby 7 goals including the only goal of the League Cup semi final against Liverpool, but he was reviled by some who for some reason could not just see past his perceived connection to Puel.
This comes to where football is sometimes about perception, a flying winger for instance is often perceived to be playing well, but all the runs count for nothing unless there is an end product and that means crosses made, accurate crosses made, chances created and assists and of course goals scored as well.
It is about how often a player influences a game, Dusan Tadic being another case in kind, although at times he struggled and the fans got on his back, he was still consistent with his goals tally and the top player in creating chances and assists, but sections of the crowd considered him lazy as he did not chase every ball.
Too often supporters go on perception and not reality, the worth of a player should be judged on what he contributes and although statistics are not the be all and end all, they do help when it comes to attacking players because they tell you whether he is a showboater or a true influencer of a game.
Last season was awful for Nathan Redmond, he started just over half of the matches and was often sub, he scored only once, but that was a vital goal up at Goodison Park and therefore he did contribute to the cause, but he was a shell of the player he should have been with the crowd on his back.
So when this season started there were few predicting much for Nathan Redmond, there are some who would credit Ralph Hasenhuttl in his resurgence and although the Austrian has certainly improved the player, the truth is Redmond was perhaps our best player in the opening part of the season.
He looked a different player from the first game, you could see a change in attitude, a change in mindset and a clear determination not to have a season like the last, whether Mark Hughes had any influence in that or whether it was purely Redmond himself.
Whoever is responsible it has certainly worked and he is the only player to have played in every match so far starting 31 League games plus another as sub scoring 5 goals, 1(1) in the FA Cup scoring 3 goals and 2(1) in the EFL Cup, meaning that although he goes into the final two games having scored two goals less than both Danny Ings and JWP in the Premier League, he is joint top scorer overall with Ings on 8.
This brings us to the contribution he has made overall, from the very start of the season he has been at the heart of everything that Saints have done in an attacking sense, on top of those 5 goals in the Premier League he is top of Saints table for assists with 4, with 58 shots he has had more than any other player, although in fairness Danny Ings who is 12 behind him has played a lot less games.
But his overall contribution doesn't stop there, only 5 players have made more than his 38 tackles, only Pierre Emile Hojbjerg with a staggering 1,507 against Redmonds 979 has made more passes.
These stats show just how involved he has been in every game and this is where hit true worth has been , when we go forward he is at the heart of it, perhaps the assists total doesn't tell everything, Redmond is the man who will carry the ball and then knock it into the box, it is not all about the final ball, like Long & Ings who do a lot of work off the ball and in creating space for others that doesn't show on stats, Redmond is often the instigator of an attack, but not always involved in the final pass and goal.
Hasenhuttl can be credited in building on the foundations that Redmond had created for himself earlier in the season, it has to be said that for all his good play, before the Austrian came Redmond had not scored a goal in any competition, but to put that in perspective, no one else other than Danny Ings was really scoring either.
Redmond was a true contender for player of the season before Hasenhuttl arrived at the club although in truth he did not have a lot of competition in a team that was awful under Mark Hughes, but he like others has stepped up a notch.
So Nathan Redmond deserves player of the season not just for his performances that have been as good as anyone's, but for the way he has turned round his career not just at St Mary's but in general over the course of this season.
He deserves it because he has been the subject of some horrific abuse at the club over his first two years, but he has never moaned, never complained, just got on with the task in hand and always given 100%
There are possibly only two other contenders, James Ward Prowse would be one, but his season did not take off till January so overall hasn't had the contribution that Redmond has made.
Pierre Emile Hojbjerg would be the only other true contender in the voting, he alone has perhaps rivalled Redmond in terms of games played and consistency, but in my opinion for all of the reasons I have mentioned I think that no one deserves it more than Nathan Redmond.
So what is your opinion, do you agree with me and if not who is your player of the year ?
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