West Brom have had a disappointing campaign overall, with the Baggies expected to challenge at the top end of the Championship and instead dropping out of promotion contention entirely.
Whilst the season began brightly, with new boss Valerien Ismael picking up the points that saw them soar into the top six, the results soon began to dry up.
They stopped picking up three points every week and began to lose and draw more. They then failed to score entirely, with a brief run between January and February of seven games producing just one goal for the Baggies.
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Out went Ismael and in came Steve Bruce, with many supporters unhappy at the appointment of the former Newcastle boss. Despite a slow start for the former player, he has begun to turn the tide at the club again and whilst they are still not exactly where they would want to be, they are now sat in the top half of the table at least.
This season though will still be one that most West Brom fans want to put into the back of their minds and forget about quickly, with the hope being that a summer window sort out can help them challenge for promotion properly again in the next campaign.
However, when reflecting back over the current season, there haven’t been too many standout players for the club’s fans to shout about. When it comes to the Player of the Season awards then, it could prove to be a difficult prospect to find a winner. However, Football League World’s West Brom fan pundit Matt has revealed his choice as Taylor Gardner-Hickman.
The midfielder is only 20-years-old but has managed 18 league appearances this campaign so far and has not looked out of place in the centre of the field. Instead, he has thrived and consistently put in showings that belie his age and make him one of the Baggies most valuable players already.
Now, Matt is ready to hand him the Player of the Season award, as he said:”I’ve had a think about this and for the Player of the Season, I’m going to go with Taylor Gardner-Hickman, purely because I think he is one of the only players at Albion who hasn’t let themselves down.
“He’s actually come away from the season with an enhanced reputation and a bit more credibility. I think when he was thrown into the first-team against Hull, he impressed and he’s only got better and better since then. He seems key to Albion’s midfield and, in a midfield that lacks guile or creativity, Gardner-Hickman is the only bright spark in that position and really throughout the whole squad.
“It’s going to be a pleasure to see him develop and get even better as a player.
“Apart from that, the only other candidate that I can think of is Andy Carroll and he’s only been here since the end of January so it’s slim pickings really and just shows how badly the season has gone.”
Matt is probably right in his selection, with Gardner-Hickman truly being the one bright spark for West Brom in what has been a torrid season for the club.
He has shown a willingness to get on the ball and try things despite his age and his ability in taking the ball forward via his dribbling and passing has been second to none in the Baggies team this year. He also isn’t afraid to get stuck in and put a tackle in so has contributed offensively and defensively for the side this season.
Considering his workrate and the level of graft he has put in to try and help the side this year, it is no surprise to see supporters take to him despite losing faith in much of the rest of the team.
Now, it looks like he may be rewarded with a potential award at the end of the season – at least if the fans have their say in the matter.