🏆 @OsbornOn1 has been crowned as #NFFC’s Player of the Season after winning the majority of the fans’ vote.#ThatLovingFeeling https://t.co/AO1vQIrgcd— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) May 5, 2018
My concern is that the Player of the Season award at Forest is becoming a little like the Manager of the Month crown or the board's 'vote of confidence'.
That bad? Here's what happened next to the last 11 winners of the award:
2007: Grant HoltAfter bagging 18 goals in the 2006/07 play-off push, Holt seemed to fall out with manager Colin Calderwood and was shunted out on to the wing where he, perhaps predictability, failed to flourish. He netted just three times and was loaned out in March 2008 before being sold in the June.
2008: Julian BennettBennett had been an inspiration during the successful League One promotion campaign - culminating in 'that goal' against Yeovil - so it was a huge blow to lose him to injury after just four games in the following season. When he did come back he suffered a collarbone injury that kept him out for six weeks and then eventually succumbed to a knee injury on Boxing Day that ended his season.
2009: Chris CohenThe recently-retired Cohen wasn't struck by the 'curse' in 2009/10 - although play-off heartache was to come at the end of the season. Chris' bad luck was to follow later.
2010: Lee CampAgain, Camp thrived after winning his Player of the Season title. He kept 12 clean sheets and narrowly missed out on becoming the first player to retain the title, finishing second to Luke Chambers.
2011 Luke ChambersChambers was appointed captain by new boss Steve McClaren but failed to hit the heights of the previous campaign. He scored no goals - compared to six the season before - and, along with the whole team, struggled for form. Eventually left at the end of the season.
2012 Garath McClearyHaving been a key factor in saving us from relegation under Steve Cotterill - scoring nine goals in the process - Garath left for Reading in the summer.
2013 Chris CohenCohen suffered the second major injury of his career in November 2013, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
2014 Andy ReidA ten-goal campaign earned him his second Player of the Season crown - ten years after the first. Reid and Cohen had then formed a promising midfield combination during a superb start under Stuart Pearce before both were injured in the same game - at home to Derby in September 2014. Reid wasn't seen again for nearly a year after.
2015 Michail AntonioMichail's 15 goals and 12 assists were a joy to watch in 2014/15 (I'd put him in my best post-Premier League XI as a result) but he left to join West Ham by the end of the subsequent summer transfer window.
2016 Dorus De VriesThe former Wolves stopper played just one game of the 2016/17 season, leaving to join Celtic. His experience and calming influence have been missed since.
2017 Eric LichajThe popular American international only made half as many appearances in 2017/18. Despite memorable moments - such as a stunning goal against Arsenal - he twice found himself behind Tendayi Darikwa in the pecking order.
So, that's three major injuries, three immediate departures and three - to a greater or lesser extent - losses of form for those winners.
It's probably a reflection of the club's chronic inability to find any real form of stability in recent years. Players who are key one season have either been sold, replaced or misused, meaning we've rarely had a solid, consistent core that has worked together for a few seasons to become a coherent and successful team.
The future for Ben Osborn
Will the same fate befall Ben Osborn? It's hard to say. In some respects - and this isn't meant as harshly as it sounds - he won this season's crown by default. There were very few other players to feature in both the Warburton and Karanka sides. That is, of course, testament to his hard work and talent (he's impressed far too many managers to be dismissed now) but also reflects his versatility.
As the below Tweet shows, Ben has found himself in no less than seven positions during the course of the season.
Player of the season— Grant (@Grantnffc1) April 30, 2018
Ben Osborn. pic.twitter.com/23VJMiPFlT
His flexibility makes him a great squad player and perhaps it's fitting that he takes the crown at the same time as Chris Cohen - a man who filled a similar number of positions in his time - bows out.
However, he'll be acutely aware of the fact that the manager is surely about to embark on another shopping spree. The additions from the January window and those to come in the summer might well mean that we have new recruits to fill all of those seven positions that Ben has filled.
Ben Osborn isn't a player to shirk a challenge. New managers, new positions, new playing styles and tactics, Twitter trolls, relegation battles, off field chaos - he's seen it all in his time in the Garibaldi. The Player of the Season crown is a fitting reminder that he has overcome all of that to earn and keep a place in the side. In light of the lack of a consistent, experienced backbone, the likes of Osborn have been the heart of the club and he's been the poster boy for the Academy core that has kept us afloat. Yes, he isn't perfect but lesser players would have wilted.
The next challenge - to forge a role in a Karanka side that has to challenge for the top six - might be the toughest yet. If he can do that, he'll need to defy the gloomy history for recent Player of the Season winners too. Over to you, Ben.