Pablo Hernandez had a very interesting day yesterday and becoming the winner of the Players Player and Player of the Year wasn’t anywhere near the best moment, his partner gave birth to a baby boy. A huge congratulations to Pablo Hernandez and his family, and that meant he couldn’t be there to be presented with the two main awards last night after a very good season for the 33-year-old.
Hernandez was nailed on to win both awards in all honesty. The attacking midfielder has stepped up in a season where many have folded and hid. He has been the leader within the squad, the one who wants the ball and makes things happen. If you had said at the end of last year that Samu Saiz wouldn’t scoop the lot not many would have believed you but his fall from form has meant that the appreciation for Pablo Hernandez has gone through the roof and he deserves it. He has been the most creative player on the park in almost every game since the turn of the year and in fact he dragged us through games at the back-end of 2017, scoring some crucial goals in tight games. I think the captaincy has meant that he has to be more of a leader on the park as well, certainly the Millwall and Cardiff games he was probably the only one who didn’t go hiding at half time, others bounced off him and began to put up a fight.
On a personal level it was then right choice for me, I have gone full circle with Pablo this season. At the back-end of last season he dropped off and at the start of this I really wasn’t impressed. I didn’t think he was doing the basics and the introduction of Samu Saiz seemed to force Hernandez to try things to impress rather than to help the team. After the first bad run he came back into the side and seemed more relaxed, playing from the left took the pressure off him rather than him feeling he had to prove something and he went from strength to strength. I couldn’t have been happier that he signed a new deal, we need him around the squad because he oozes calmness even at the toughest of times. The fact he signed a new deal hopefully means the club are selling themselves as well, because we need some players through the door this summer, starting with a man Pablo knows very well, Kyle Bartley.