This week my Man of the Match award goes to Ben Watson for an outstanding work rate and a beautiful 25 yard opening goal.
The FA cup winning goalscorer struck again with a beautiful opener for the team and some terrific play. Midfield was dominant this match and Watson was the real engine that got the team going.
The goal was so beautiful to watch, I had it on repeat for about an hour whilst writing this report!. The build up play was magnificent, Barnsley didn't know what was going on at all so Watson found himself in so much space. He took a lovely touch and followed up with a great strike to hit the back of the net. A real midfielder's goal to watch but one that set the tone for the match I think.
After the goal, Watson continued to dominate midfield. His passes were smart and precise, his positioning was well worked, he was always available and got stuck in with challenges. He worked well with every player and showed confidence with his play. I'm looking forward to seeing him play more games this season.
There were a number of other candidates who just fell short of my decision so let's give them some credit.
Leon Barnett deserves a lot of credit. How many players really shine on their debut these days? Not many, especially not in the Championship. Barnett looked great at the back, he helped keep a clean sheet, got stuck in with challenges and scored off a corner. Perfect game for a defender!
I can see Shaun Maloney being a regular name in the Man of the Match contenders. Not really much to say, Maloney was Maloney, he scored a great clincher in the dying seconds and had plenty of chances throughout the game. His corner led to Holt's goal and he was setting up plays every five minutes. If he continues doing what he does so well then there is no doubt Shaun will be a strong contender for Player of the Season.
Jean Beausajour started with real flare for the best part of the first 30 minutes. He provided a real threat down the left hand side, constantly finding open space to run in. He provided plenty of opportunists and offered a lovely lay off that led to Watson's goal.