The midfielder eventually completed the campaign with eight goals – a personal best so far in his career – in all competitions.
However, those goals came from just 33 appearances of our 59 total with JJ missing 17 games mid-season after picking up a slight knee injury at Reading in November and then fracturing his ankle on his return at Arsenal in December. That kept him out until the FA Cup win against Southend on January 27.
“JJ was excellent again,” said coach Chris. “For me, the only shame was the period he missed through injury because I'm quite sure he would have reached double-figures otherwise. He sets himself new standards every season and did it again.
“There aren't that many goalscoring midfielders around and they are so valuable. You've got Cahill at Everton, Gerrard, who sometimes plays wide and has a freer role at Liverpool and Lampard is perhaps the best example at Chelsea.
“JJ's goals are one aspect of his game, another is his contribution to every match - generally there is no-one who covers as much ground as he does.”
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Chris Hughton is convinced Jermaine Jenas would have cracked the double-figure mark in goals but for his fractured ankle last season.