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The Rokies Awards: Sunderland’s best player in 2017 - VOTE!

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It’s time for the next installment of the end of year Roker Report awards. Today we’re announcing the candidates for Sunderland’s best player of 2017 - cast your vote in the poll at the bottom of the article.

Gav - @Gav1879

My nomination for Sunderland’s best player of 2017 is Jordan Pickford.

Granted, we were relegated at the end of last season rather unceremoniously, and Pickford left us to join Everton upon the culmination of what was a disastrous campaign, but I honestly can’t think of one single individual who did themselves more justice than Pickford on a consistent basis in the last calendar year.

Not only was he a regular stand out in a team that massively struggled under David Moyes, but he emerged as a regular starter and even found his way into various England squads. Jordan was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the end of the last campaign and was eventually sold for around thirty million pounds to Everton.

Admittedly, the choices here are rather slim. 2017 hasn’t been a great year for our club, but it would be unfair not to recognise the contributions of Pickford, a player that will surely go on to next summer’s World Cup as England’s first choice between the sticks.

Sunderland v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Connor Bromley - @ConnorBromley

I spent a good hour trying to work out which player deserved my nomination for best of 2017. I finally came to the conclusion that, really, none of them deserve the honour - apart from one player.

Now this player is not the best, he is not the quickest or even a standout performer in a bottom half Championship team. But this year he has came through our academy and solidified his place in our starting eleven.

That man is George Honeyman.

Now, last season was a poor one, but one of the few beacons to shine through for us was George Honeyman, who started getting games once our relegation was finalised. This season Honeyman has went from strength to strength sealing his place in the team under Simon Grayson as one of our few positive performers in our poor start to the season.

The Honey-Man has bagged himself four goals this season from midfield, which is no mean feat in a team that has struggled as badly as ours has. He has looked lively in pretty much every game he has played and has often been one of our only threats going forward.

Bury v Sunderland - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

James Henchard - @MrHenchard

This is impossible. Our ‘best’ players as the Premier League era petered out were mostly an utter disgrace and stampeded out of the club as soon as they could. Of those who remain, most who were here last season are only still with us because no one else wanted them.

And barely anyone has stood out as we’ve stunk in the Championship. To really mark how bad they’ve all been, let’s begin a new gong based on nothing but sarcasm. The Jack Rodwell Player of the Year award.

Jack has actually managed to feature in about 15 league games this year, yet no one can recall a single minute, barring his ludicrous 90th minute two-fingers-in-the-air goal in the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United in September.

Give it Jack. It’s all he’ll ever win here.


Mark Carrick - @Carrima

I have thought about who we could even consider for this one, such has been the state of our club this year. One home win in 2017. Seven wins all year. It’s not much to get excited about.

There is one man who has contributed significantly to four of those seven wins. He took to the field in three of our five league wins of 2017 and one of our Cup wins. He has adapted his game, not only to different managers - three in total - but different formations, personnel and tactics. He has grown wise beyond his years and been our best defender, in a season where his partnerships and goalkeeper behind him have chopped and changed.

For my nomination, step forward, Tyias Browning. At 23 years old, he’s been our stability. He’s been the defender we all hoped Kone would be. He’s been a leader and shown commitment that extends beyond his status as loan player. His ‘Superman’ style celebrations with Josh Maja showed more than a player simply passing through.

Not only has he contributed to over half our wins this calendar year, he’s been a critical part of the defence that has taken on Coleman’s new formation and kept three clean sheets in the last four games.

His willingness to join a side in free-fall during the summer, his desire to learn, adapt and improve, and his commitment to the club are worthy of consideration to be our Rokie Player of the Year.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images,

Graham - @AsylumDoors

It hasn’t been the easiest of years has it? One home win in the entire of 2017 and a smattering of away wins amongst a deluge of depressing defeats, but throughout it all one man has remained very much consistent - come forth, Bryan Oviedo.

I knew I was going to like this guy the minute the scarf pic came out - his teeth glistening like he’d just walked out of a Colgate advertisement with a chesire cat grin. He looked like the kind of cult hero we needed and I already liked him more than Patrick van Aanholt.

Making an impressive debut in our 4-0 victory at Crystal Palace, he couldn’t halt the slide towards relegation under the man who brought him to the club - David Moyes - yet he still seemed to impress us with his ability going forward, his goal scoring from corners and his resolute defending. He looks a cut above this division and it’s a shame he’s had niggling injuries since Chris Coleman has taken over as I genuinely believe he’s one of our best players.

If we can keep the Costa Rican international fit on a more regular basis, I think he could go on to heavily contribute to any success we have under our new boss. He is, without doubt, one of better players in this division and could probably fit into most lower end Premier League teams.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Poll

Which of these is your ‘best player of 2017’?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Jordan Pickford
    (275 votes)
  • 10%
    George Honeyman
    (43 votes)
  • 9%
    Jack Rodwell (lol)
    (39 votes)
  • 6%
    Tyias Browning
    (26 votes)
  • 10%
    Bryan Oviedo
    (43 votes)
426 votes total Vote Now