It's time to crown our final Player Of The Month here on Roker Report, and later on we'll be crowning our player of the season too, but for now we're focussing on the final month of the season.
Well, it's actually slightly longer than a month. This is from the beginning of April to the end of the season as there was simply no point in working things out for the final two games of May. We had enough stuff going on anyway.
So here's our marks for the, aggregated over the amount of games that player played during the selected time period, and our winner is... Jack Colback. More thoughts and opinions, as well as ratings for the rest of the squad follow...
Colback has been exceptional this season, and something you can't help but notice when watching him on a regular basis, is that he's one of the most consistent too. Something that's been reflected in our markings it appears.
From April to the end of the season, Colback had some very good games, and never dipped below his usual high standard. Standout performances came against Spurs at home where he bossed proceedings in our 0-0 draw, as well as Bolton Wanderers at home when once again, the young man took charge of the game.
The future is incredibly bright for Colback, and with recent comparisons from Martin O'Neill to Paul Scholes, there's little doubting the central midfield spot is his for the losing headed into next season. Here's what the rest of the Roker Report clan made of flame-haired midfielder's performances...
Michael Graham: It comes as absolutely no surprise to see Colback at the top of the rankings this month. Over the course of the season he has slowly matured into a player of real influence. During the final weeks of the season he was standing tall as the most complete central midfield player in the squad and you'd strongly fancy that he has played himself into playing a pivotal part of Martin O'Neill's plans for next season.
Chris Weatherspoon: Oh man. We've really gone and done it now. Yes, after keeping him under wraps for far longer than we could probably all have hoped, Jack Colback has won the prestigious Roker Report Player of the Month accolade - and with it, the wider footballing world is alerted to the presence of one of the best up and coming midfielders in English football.
Of course, mercifully in this case, our little site's influence doesn't quite stretch that far. But it's still somewhat remarkable that our flame-haired midfielder hasn't drawn plaudits from further afield. In a side of non-performers for the past two months, Colback has been the (literal) beacon amongst the darkness. A keen eye for a pass, strong in the tackle and positionally sound, he has all the attributes needed to go on to be a top quality player for years to come for us - add more goals to his repertoire and we'll be lucky to keep him much longer. I honestly can't speak of him highly enough, and I'm willing to put my neck on the line and say he'll have an England cap within two years.
Dan Williams: The time has finally come for Jack Colback has been named the player of the month on Roker Report. Although Sunderland haven't had the best of times in the last month, the diminutive ginger has been at the heart of everything good that we've done, as he has all season. He's quickly become my favourite player at the club, and as you may have seen me say in other articles, I don't think his importance can be understated. Hopefully, next season, we'll see even more of Mr Colback, and if he performs anywhere near to his best, then we might arguably have one of the best young midfielders around in our ranks.
Karl Jones: Arguably the only pleasantry to watching Sunderland of late has been Jack Colback's maturation. Through a run of draws, it has been Colback who has sought responsibility and at a time where many fans are already creating summer 'wishlists', Colback's end of season form has given many a chance to reconsider. This last month has shown a different side to him, in that as well as a patient, pressing midfield player, Colback's superb assist for Nicklas Bendtner's goal against Bolton showed he has the potential to influence a game further up the field, which may prove to be quite a handy sub-plot should Sunderland continue to be a counter-attacking team next season.
David Boyle: Whilst the majority of the squad stumbled across the finish line, ending the campaign with a whimper, midfield supremo Jack Colback continued to impress and further increase his stock within the SAFC ranks. Colback is a player I have a lot of time for and have discussed the qualities he brings to our side on countless occasions across the season.
Comparisons to Paul Scholes have been well documented, discussed and even chanted on the terraces but is the fact that it was Scholes' former captain Roy Keane that first saw something in a much younger Colback a couple of seasons back that speaks volumes for me. Colback has been his usual reliable self in the final stages of the year, with the Bolton showing being a particular recent highlight where he single-handedly controlled, even bossing, the midfield, displaying his usual composure on the ball and basically keeping thinkings ticking over very nicely.
I look forward to seeing the further development of our rising star who can only flourish further under the tutelage of Martin O'Neill's man-management skills.
And now, here's how Colback stands up against the rest of the squad for the month...
01/04/12 to 14/05/12
Perhaps the anomaly in this is that Ahmed Elmohamady ranks so high after just 2 appearances, but he did well in them, and that's the nature of the beast. Elsewhere there hasn't been a massive change in the numbers, with perhaps only Lee Cattermole the most notable drop off, along with Seb Larsson, Nicklas Bendtner and Phil Bardsley, however we can't bust their balls too much after a long and stressful season.
Be sure to come back later in the week, possibly, for our Player Of The Season, where we aggregate the scores from all the previous months.