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Player of the Season Candidate: Maynor Figueroa

Maynor Figueroa of Wigan Athletic shields the ball from Akos Buzsaky of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers at the DW Stadium.
Maynor Figueroa of Wigan Athletic shields the ball from Akos Buzsaky of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers at the DW Stadium.

This was meant to go out yesterday, but having gone out, and then read that Martinez was on his way to the red half of Liverpool (oh wait that is Liverpool). But anyway this post isn't about Roberto, my anger on that score will come later on.

We are here though to talk about a player who has played in about every left sided position this season. Personally I feel that it has been our Honduras left back's best season for a couple of years. Maynor Figueroa had looked slow and was caught out often last year. But he has improved over the summer, and now he has adapted his playing style to play on the left side of the centeral defence.

Maynor was signed in the quite of the January transfer window under Steve Bruce. None knew what we had signed, and we were all waiting for him to get a chance and play for the team. That took until the last game of the season, where he was to line up in the left back position against Cristiano Ronaldo.

I have to say none gave him a chance, and we felt that we would get ripped to shreds with our inexperienced left back the culprit. Hang on one minute, did Ronaldo do anything in that game? No he didn't Figgy out marked, and out classed the then best player in the world. And the Honduran international nearly even scored, but his shot just skimmed the post.

That has set the bar of his performances. With a quick recovery time, and brilliant knowledge of when the right time is to tackle a player, he has only improved. This season from the start he looked one of our better players, but he wasn't really affecting the game stuck out in the left back position.

He was a key figure at the start of the season though. Cutting inside to cover Gary Caldwell, when our center back was exposed. Although Maynor himself was being exposed. It was one of the clinchers for Martinez to change the formation.

Since that switch Figgy has only bounded ahead. He suits playing centrally using his pace to close players down getting in behind. While his aerial ability has given some added buff in the central position. While Figueroa's passing ability to spread the ball from left to right anywhere on the pitch has helped the team with his more central role.

The only unfortunate thing for Maynor is that he didn't score this season. Which I am sure doesn't matter to much to the defender. But most of his goals have been fairly spectacular.