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Joe's Bolton Wanderers POTY: Josh Vela

In the immortal words of Big Wheatz - #wereisvela

Oxford United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
Josh celebrates his nomination
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

I'm sure Josh was fuming this morning, choking on his cornflakes as he frantically scrolled through the LOVS player of the year nominations. Already overlooked for the league one team of the year, now snubbed once again by his favourite fan site. #wereisvela indeed.

Well, worry no more Josh. Your name will be in the hat when we go to the public vote. And you've earned it.

Plenty of the names already mentioned are worthy contenders - the two centre backs have been outstanding, aided by the hard work of Jay Spearing, and Phil Morris has made a huge impact in the short time he has been at the club. But none have been as instrumental as Vela.

His influence may have waned in recent weeks, but if you look at the season as a whole he has been absolutely vital to the way we play.

Don't forget he's also our top scorer, with ten goals from midfield.

Starting the season with a lot to prove, and yet to really live up to his potential, the switch to a more attacking, high-energy, pressing role for Vela really has been a stroke of genius from the manager.

Vela has relished the change, and his pressing really was the key to our success in the first half of the season, with the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Remember the game against Bury?

That summed it up for me. Disrupting the opposition, preventing them from playing the ball out from the back, weighing in with vital goals.

The switch to the 3-at-the-back formation, and the emergence of Morais as a creative force, has overshadowed Vela a bit over the last few weeks, but I still feel he's been critically important for the team - working hard, pressing the opposition, still weighing in with goals.

I remember him giving his all for the cause at Valley Parade, never stopping running to help grind out a vital point. And that goal to settle the nerves at the death in the Oxford match - still running, charging up the pitch, showing balls of steel to lash the ball home and win the game... no doubt in my mind who has been our player of the year.