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2013/14 Review: Roker Report's Player Of The Season

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Who takes home the coveted Roker Report player of the season gong?

Clive Mason

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With the most bonkers season in memory finished, we're a bit knackered. We are not quite ready to put it to bed quite yet, though.

We asked our writers five questions about the campaign, and we'll publish the responses to one question a day through this week.

Normally, when it comes to the Player Of The Season, we just refer to the match ratings and go by the numbers. In the midst of the bedlam this season, we've lost track of that somewhat and it seems almost wrong to do it that way anyway given the nature of 'the miracle'.

So instead, we'll let our writers decide.

Michael Graham - Fabio Borini

Need a derby winner to kick-start the season? Borini. Need a cool head in a semi-final? Borini. Need a Wembley goal? Borini. Need someone to secure a late win against Chelsea and turn the tide of a season? Borini. Need someone to score the second to settle the game that gets you over the line? Borini.

He has done it all and delivered in the big moments. That's player of the season material for me.

Craig Clark - Lee Cattermole

His return to the side after being exiled by Paolo Di Canio has had a huge influence on keeping us up. The driving force in midfield.

Gareth Barker - Lee Cattermole

The lad has made a few costly errors this season, but we've been in the bottom three all season so who hasn't? A great comeback after being frozen out. Bossed the midfield in virtually every big game we've had this season. He never hides, never gives in and in my opinion epitomises what it is to wear the red and white shirt. Passion, desire, attitude with a large sprinkling of quality.

Chris Weatherspoon - Vito Mannone

We must get out of this habit of our goalkeepers being our best players, but the Italian stopper simply can't be overlooked. Assuming the gloves from the departing Simon Mignolet - though not before Keiren Westwood was given himself the chance to prove his incapabilities - Mannone has been a rock.

He has not been without fault - no one in this team ever is - but he has rebounded from his errors with courage and skill, most notably after his agonising howler at Manchester City. A consistently solid performer and a gentleman, too.

Stephen Goldsmith - Lee Cattermole

I think we alll know he's a player that doesn't shirk responsibility, but his reaction to costly mistakes against Villa and Hull has been remarkable. The more people question his ability, the more he confronts his limitations -and that's what edges it for me! There's actually been an improvement in his game this season, he's better now than he's ever been.

Luke Bowley - Andrea Dossena

Look, you can talk about Wembley all you want. You can talk about that semi-final at Old Trafford, the double over the Mags, the win at Stamford Bridge. You can point to the goals of Fabio Borini, the skill of Adam Johnson, the drive and committment of Lee Cattermole, or the show-stopping saves of Vito Mannone.

But ask yourselves, with all honesty, did any of these things give you as much joy as shouting 'Where the f**k is that bearded tw@t!?' as Cardiff City had complete free reign of the right wing that day in South Wales. No, no it didn't.

Nick Holden - Fabio Borini

A tricky one. Adam Johnson was the heart of one great run of games, then Connor Wickham and Lee Cattermole stole the show during our late season surge. However Johnson disappeared all too often during other spells, and great as Wickham's contribution was I can't nominate someone who played so few games.

Cattermole has a more compelling case, and I do love him as a player. When he plays well he drives our midfield on like no other play at the club, and in several games (especially at Wembley) he's looked like he could be one of England's best midfielders. However, some of his goal-costing mistakes in games like Aston Villa and Hull in the FA Cup have just seen him edged out.

I'm going for Fabio Borini. Not only has he scored 10 goals primarily from the left wing, but they've also nearly all been ridiculously important. A late winner against the Mags, an equaliser to take us into extra-time to stay in the League Cup, a penalty against Newcastle, a winning penalty away at Chelsea, and of course that goal at Wembley. To top it all off he seems like an absolutely brilliant bloke, and has a class goal celebration. What's not to love?

Pretty clear that Lee Cattermole caps a remarkable season by taking our player of the season gong! It's almost surprising that there are so many with viable cases to be honest, and no, I'm not including Dossena in that!

Feel free to tell us your player of the season via Twitter (@RokerReport) or in the comments section below!