Another brilliant video has emerged from NUFC TV, seeing the club ask the current crop of players “who was our unsung hero of 2018/19?“.
The 7-minute clip features interesting and insightful responses from the vast majority of the squad, with 15 players sharing their thoughts after naming their ‘unsung hero’ of the campaign.
Interestingly, the four most popular picks were Isaac Hayden, Paul Dummett, Ayoze Perez and Matt Ritchie, with a few mentioning Rondon, Longstaff, Lejeune, Schar and even Manquillo.
Here’s what each player said when speaking to NUFC TV, starting with the skipper:
“Dummett is a very reliable, consistent player. He does a lot of the dirty work that the team needs.
“He puts his body on the line and wears the badge with pride.”
“For me maybe Isaac Hayden. He’s done fantastically over the second half of the season. He’s really important for us.
“He’s doing a lot of work for the team, and maybe work that not all the people can see on the pitch.”
“I’d probably say Javier Manquillo. Because a lot of fans maybe give him a bit of stick, and maybe he doesn’t player every week, but when he’s been called upon in the last few games he’s never let the side down and always done a job.”
“There a couple to be fair.
“I don’t know if he’s unsung anymore but Ayo (Perez). He’s been great all season. He comes up with some vital goals and he gets a bit of stick sometimes, and sometimes we don’t really know where it comes from because we know what he’s doing for us and how important he is.
“Probably Isaac since boxing day really, he’s probably been one of the top two players every game. He’s been outstanding, and for me to play alongside him as been great and he’s helped me massively.
“But for him as well. He’s been going through a tough time, but the way he’s bounced back shows what sort of a character he is to be able to do that on the pitch while dealing with what he is off it.
“But for me, Matt Ritchie has to be the most unsung. He doesn’t get the most credit and doesn’t make always get the headlines, but he plays every game and gives everything for the team. Even every day in training he’s always at it, and he gives 100% every day and that’s all the fans ask for – and that’s why he’s so important.
“If we didn’t have him driving everyone on, getting on everyone and literally chasing every ball, I don’t think we’d be the team we are without him.”
“I was impressed with Sean Longstaff.
“He was very patient, waiting for his chances, but since he came to the pitch he’s shown how good he is.
“Unfortunately he got injured, but the games he played during the season were amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing him fit next season.”
“For me Dummett. Because he was waiting for his chance and when he came on the pitch he gave everything.”
“There’s a couple you could mention, but for me Isaac Hayden – especially over the second half of the season.
“To not be in the team at the start of the season is difficult for any player. Every day in training he sets the standard in terms of quality.
“The way he trains and applies himself is fantastic. To come into the team and perform the way he has done is no fluke. It’s because he’s a top professional and great lad, and I think since he’s come into the team he’s done great.
“Credit where credit’s due. He’s certainly my unsung hero.”
“I think Ritchie. He was a very important and very consistent player this season. I think he only missed two games.”
“He’s very very important. He’s always very hard working on the pitch.”
“For me it’s Florian (Lejeune). Because he’s a very very good player and a very good defender.”
“Ayoze. I always tell him he’s a great player.
“Even last season he did great and he didn’t always get the headlines, but this season he’s doing good and I’m happy that people are recognising his work in the team.”
“I think Rondon should be the one. Also Paul Dummett could deserve it.”
“In my opinion it’s Ayoze, he played really well this season.
“He’s a player we have to keep in the team.”
“Fabian (Schar). His quality is very high.
“He has technique, his long balls are very very good and he’s very strong. He has a lot of quality.
“In our team, this season, he has been very good.”
“I think I’ll go Isaac Hayden.
“Even though he wanted to leave he’s still given 100% every time he’s played. Since January he’s started playing regularly and since then he’s never been out of the team.
“Credit to him, when he’s been here not wanting to be here, but he’s always given 100% and he’s been fantastic.
“The player getting back fit have struggled to get back into the team, so that just shows how well he’s done really.”
Great to hear an insight from inside the dressing room, with there being some VERY interesting responses above and a real mixture of opinions (watch it in full below):
There’s so many contenders for me.
Hayden deserves huge credit for performing so well in the face of adversity, while Ritchie has reinvented himself at left wing-back and constantly leads by example and gives his all.
Then there’s Perez for 8 goals in our last 9 games, with him ending the season as our top scorer AGAIN.
Dubravka deserves a mention for 11 clean sheets, no forgettign the way he responded to those mistakes in February, and both Almiron, Longstaff and Lejeune have also played a big part in our upturn in form in 2019, coming into the side and immediately improving us.
Who is you unsung hero from the 2018/19 season?