I know many of you have been sat constantly refreshing BMTHOKM, on the edge of your seats, waiting for this second instalment, so I shall not disappoint! A more cheery subject this time around and a chance to acknowledge some of the coups Greg has pulled off over the years. Again, the people of Twitter have spoken, and ‘Greg Abbott’s Best Signing’ was crowned. To begin with, let’s look at the starting XI (Please Note – Not all players are in correct position)
GK – Adam Collin – Who else? One of our own, Great Salkeld native has become a firm fans favourite in his time at Brunton Park, mainly through his knack of pulling a blinder when it matters most. ‘Big Ad’ has also proven his penalty saving expertise, and United have not lost a shootout when Adam has been in goal. (ed. – where’s Tim Krul?!)
RB – Frank Simek – USA! USA! USA! A free transfer from Sheffield Wednesday, where he is still talked of fondly. His impressive displays last season made him a big hit with the United faithful, and he is always missed when out injured. He has captained the side on number of occasions, and has proven himself as a natural leader, as well as a cracking right-back.
LB – Matty Robson – Often the focus of the fans criticism, opinions on Robson differ. However, the fact that he swept the Player of the Year awards in his first season at the club shows a lot about Matty as a player. In my opinion, he is the scapegoat of the side, and although he does have his off days, he is still a quality player.
CB – James Chester – Although he only spent six months at Brunton Park, he certainly endeared himself to the Carlisle fans, and earned himself a big money move to Hull City in the process. He proved to be an excellent temporary signing, looking strong at the back and also chipping in with a few goals along the way.
CB – Lubomir Michalik – Again, he splits opinions among fans, but there is no doubting the lad is a good player. A replacement for Ian Harte, Lubo has had some cracking performances in a Carlisle shirt. His display at Hillsborough this season was as good as I’ve seen him, and his 40 yard free-kick at Hartlepool will never be forgotten.
RM – Jon-Paul McGovern – A popular choice among the tweeters, JP joined from Swindon last summer. Has played in both the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 this season, and looks adept in both formations. Although he has very few ‘standout’ displays, he does what is asked of him every week, and his performances are consistent.
LM – Ben Marshall –Another loan deal, but this was three loans spanning around 18 months! Little was known of Marshall when he arrived, but that quickly changed, with some fantastic performances in a Blue shirt. He is now at Leicester City, and is surely destined for greater things.
CM – Adam Clayton – Arrived on loan from Manchester City as a virtual unknown, but quickly became an integral part of Greg Abbott’s side. A number of impressive displays, including a goal in the JPT Area Final against Leeds, quickly made him a fans favourite. Now at Leeds, although he is ‘available for transfer’
CM – James Berrett – There were a few raised eyebrows when James signed from Huddersfield in the summer in 2010, but those doubts were soon cast aside. Taking over from Ian Harte on set-piece duty, Berrett has chipped in with a number of assists and goals during his time in Carlisle. Has ‘agreed’ to sign a new contract at Brunton Park, which is seen by many as a positive step.
ST – Lee Miller – Again, a popular choice from the people of Twitter. He quickly showed his ability, with a brace on his debut away at Leyton Orient to give the Blues three vital points. He chipped in with further goals throughout last season, and rightly swept the Player of the Year awards.
ST – Francois Zoko – Again, a virtual unknown when he joined on trial, but Abbott really pulled off a coup by enticing Francois to Brunton Park. A player who could turn a game on its head, Francois was loved by all at the club. Everything from his Mini, to “Hello Everybody” made him a firm fan favourite. Sadly left us last week, but we wish him all the best.
So surprising omissions for the likes of Tom Taiwo, Liam Noble, Vincent Pericard and the editor’s favourite furrow browed man of EIRE, Ian Harte. Proves what they say – the man has an eye for a player.
But whose the winner of ‘Best Greg Abbott Signing’? The award is shared between Lee Miller and Ben Marshall. Neither myself nor the people of Twitter could decide between the two, and who can blame them? Miller gets the vote for pure goals goals goals (and absolutely everything else – ed.). Whereas Marshall, although he was more of a ‘complete’ player, didn’t make too much of a scoring impact. A fair draw in my opinion, and proof that Greg really can pull of some stunning signings.
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