Friday, April 03, 2020
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Over the years there have been many unofficial record holders in the world of football. Claude Makalele, for example, holds the unofficial title for the Premier Leagues widest ever member. A misty eyed Frank Lampard once reported that our Claude was the proud owner of a flaccid dong which had the same dimensions as a can of Coke. Another proud titleholder was Andy Cole, who it is rumoured had the same I.Q. as a tin of stewing steak. Andy’s attempt to change this view by demanding he be called by his full name, Andrew, did not spark the interest he had anticipated from MENSAH, and only further highlighted his oh so dim wits.


However, there is one unofficial title that whilst growing up really caught my imagination, that of ‘The Championship’s Best Player’. Often bandied about by sensationalist commentators, this title was, for years, the proud possession of a certain Darren Huckerby. I was always somewhat concerned that a player, whose only attribute was pace, could be awarded such a crown.


Had the commentators carried out a secret scientific study to weigh up each and every Championship players skills and abilities and awarded some sort of complex scoring system to assess each? I fancy not. My concerns for the integrity of the Championship’s best player were reaffirmed when 'Hucksy', on occasion, attempted the step up to the Premier League, and acquitted himself as well as Sadam Hussein at a Women’s Institute Christmas bash.


So, with this in mind, I have scoured the second tier of English football to bring you three of the brightest lights, capable of living up to the title of, ‘The Championship’s Best Player’.


Michael Kightly, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Kites, as he’s affectionately known by the Molineux faithful, is a 22 year old, diminutive winger, equally at home scoring a goal or creating a chance for a team-mate. Signed by Wolves from Grays Athletic in the Conference, where he was dubbed ‘the Ryan Giggs of non-league’, Kightly has the rare ability at Championship level to use both feet - keeping opposing full backs guessing. This has led to numerous transfer rumours linking him with Bolton, West Ham and Blackburn for a fee of around £5million.


Kevin Doyle, Reading

Kevin Doyle, 25, is currently the league’s top scorer with 15 goals from 22 appearances. The centre forward is also at the top of the ACTIM Index, the official player rating system for the Coca Cola Championship. These stats, along with Doyle’s proven ability to score goals at the top-level, cement his position as one of the pretenders to Huckerby’s misplaced Crown.


Graham Alexander, Burnley   

Alexander is arguably the league’s best defender, playing an integral part in Burnley’s recent barnstorming League Cup run and rapid ascension towards the top of the league. The veteran centre back is a Scottish international and is ranked by ACTIM Index as one of the ten best players, of any position, in the league. Unfortunately Alexander is in the twilight of his career and is unlikely to get the chance play at the highest level - probably for the best really.  

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