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Peter's picks

Peter reflects on the stars of the Championship season

Peter Beagrie - Peter Beagrie Posted 1st June 2012 view comments

This has been an incredible season and it's not likely to be forgotten any time soon.

We saw Manchester City win the title in the dying seconds and Didier Drogba dramatically end his Chelsea career by winning the Champions League - but the Football League also gave us all sorts of drama in May.

Lambert: Saints' striking star

Lambert: Saints' striking star

West Ham won the Championship Play-Offs in the 88th minute to break the hearts of Ian Holloway and Blackpool and then we saw an epic League One Final. It wasn't the best game, but it went to the 22nd penalty and I've never seen a more exciting shoot-out.

Meanwhile, in League Two a youthful and exuberant Crewe side graced Wembley with an incredible goal from their prodigious talent Nick Powell.

With all of that in mind, let's draw the curtains on the season and raise our glasses to some of the outstanding performers.

I've chosen my Championship highlights below, but feel free to add your comments. There's too many stars for me to mention, but if you want to pay homage to somebody else then make your mark in the comments box at the bottom of the page...

My Championship manager of the season...

It's always difficult to pick one person out because there were two outstanding candidates from the automatically promoted sides. Southampton's Nigel Adkins was given a role at big club after doing such a good job with Scunthorpe. He achieved back-to-back promotions and his team played some outstanding football. He deserves to be called manager of the year, but on this occasion he doesn't get my vote.

It's almost the toss of a coin, but I think he's been shaded by Brian McDermott, somebody who is poles apart when it comes to his personality but just as gifted when it comes to his man-management skills. When he took over Reading they were just a few points off the bottom but they finished well clear of the drop. In his second season he got them to the Play-Off Final, but was devastated by defeat. They lost a couple of key players in Matt Mills and Shane Long, but he was able to reinvigorate and revive his squad.

His resurgent Reading went on to win the title after a fantastic run and while he had some fantastic individuals, they were the embodiment of the word "team". He and his chairman resisted overtures for his services from other clubs, such as Wolves, and the new owner should now invest a few bob in the side. The future looks rosy for Reading.

A shout out for...

Sean Dyche - He was afforded his first chance in management and I think he's done a miraculous job at Watford on limited resources. They've played a good brand of football and I think he deserves a mention.

Having a right to feel sorry for themselves...

Nick Barmby - His first taste of management was a sour one with his sacking at Hull being as spectacular as his signing. Let's hope it doesn't put him off coaching for good.

Portsmouth fans - it was a case of 'here we go again' as more turmoil and financial disaster hit the South Coast club. They turned out in their thousands, but were let down by another false dawn promising financial security. All I'll say is they should keep the faith because the club would cease to exist without the supporters.

My Championship player of the season...

There were question marks over whether Rickie Lambert could reproduce the form he had shown in the two seasons before Southampton went into the Championship, but he answered those questions in style. He scored bundles of goals, supplied plenty of assists and led the team from the front. A while ago he had been dubbed a bit of a journeyman after a long time playing in the lower divisions, but he now has the chance to rub shoulders with the elite in the Premier League. He's been starring in his very own fairytale.

Comments (8)

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Michael Adams (Blackpool fan) says...

How ian holloway cannot be mentioned in all these comments is beyond me .Please keep overlooking his talent .We want him in blackpool for along time So keep dissing him .It inly works in our favour as fans ofBFC

Posted 04:05 5th June 2012

Peter noel Hodgson (Middlesbrough fan) says...

I am a Middlesbrough fan, I thought that Middlesbrough did ok this last season. How do you think they will do next season? I think they will do better than last season.

Posted 20:03 3rd June 2012

Chris Gill (Southampton fan) says...

I would just like to add my own thoughts in terms of managerial performances. 1) There's a reason that the Royals and the Saints were the most entertaining sides all season. Adkins and McDermott. 2) Sean Dyche has been awesome at Watford, but also a mention please for the likes of Andy Thorn (Coventry) who were one of the few teams to come to St. Mary's and play football, albeit with half a youth team. Good luck next season Sky Blues. 3) worst managers: Sam Alladyce, set up West Ham to play alot of rubbish, effective but not the way the game should be played. Steve McClaren, never understood his appointment and he proved to be a joke and abandoned that ship before he could be fired. Oh yeah, where the hell are portsmouth getting the money to go on a pre season training camp in Gibraltar. thats a bit harsh on the fans who genuinly care and are donating money to the club only for it to be spent on a holiday. wtf No wonder they're in the situation they're in. Complete mismanagement.

Posted 00:33 3rd June 2012

Dodgy Dave (Middlesbrough fan) says...

BAILEY FOR PLAYER OF THE SEASON

Posted 12:37 2nd June 2012

Carl Allen (Birmingham City fan) says...

All this talk and no mention of the wonderful job Chris H done at the blues. Baffled ! He only went and assembled a team together, basically with pennies, managed our small squad over 60+ games in Europe, the league and cups. A win away at Braga and a draw away at Chelsea were amazing achievements. Not to mention finishing 4th in the league and overall just being a really top bloke in post match interviews. KRO ! Chris Hughton needs to remain at blues and we'll be back in the Premiership before we know it. Sort the owners out, keep our best players, remove this embargo, GET THE ACCOUNTS POSTED ! and get a couple of affordable players in to add depth to our squad and push on ! However I'm looking forward to another exciting championship season ! Lets see what it brings

Posted 11:36 2nd June 2012

Charlie Mcharg (Derby County fan) says...

forest vs derby 1-0 down and with only ten men derby fight back to beat there local rivals with Jamie ward taking on half the forest team to slide the ball past camps near post then Jeff Hendrick sliding in a cool finish from the edge of the area to cap off a memorable win for the rams

Posted 10:21 2nd June 2012

Tommy Anderson (Portsmouth fan) says...

Great article once again Peter, at least someone from the Media acknowledges what us Portsmouth fans are going through instead of saying that the club derserves to be liquidated, it was like when we went to Blackpool away for a 5.30pm kick off! I sky+ the match and heard your post match comments! Your a true footballing great Peter! Tommy

Posted 20:43 1st June 2012

Josh Molloy (Blackpool fan) says...

i think that the manager of the season should be ian holloway and the player of the season should be tom ince

Posted 20:23 1st June 2012

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