This is the time of year whe2-2 draw at Osasuna had nothing to do with the transfer market.Rakitic was benched for the third game in a row as speculation grows about his future ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline.”You can say what you want,” Valverde said about rumours of an exn football journalists traditionally done serious school-masterly tones and write what is commonly known as the End of Term Report. No player can be refereed to without dishing out a B+ for attainment, or a C- for effort. Comments usually include players needing to pull his socks up, get their hair cut and show they wants to learn, and are essential reading as footy fans nationwide digest how their club and heroes/terrace hate figures, have rewarded their emotional and financial investment. But how can I make the report theme interesting when analysing Newcastle United's exploits this season? It's akin to grading a class full of high flying swots. Grade A's all round. One for effort for each and every one of them. Personalised comments would be full of praise, with any negativity just nit picking when seen in the context of their unexpected achievements. More difficult is picking a player of the year, and choosing a goal of the season. From top to bottom of the club this should be a time for happy reflection, a couple of weeks of celebration, mixed with a calm, calculating analysis of where the club goes from here. Especially with a arduous, and unfortunately not very lucrative, Europa League campaign on the horizon that will test a small squad next season. So here are a few random thoughts on the thrilling, refreshing, successful journey Newcastle have travelled since August. A development plan well executed Boss Alan Pardew ended last season believing Newcastle were a "functional" team who would win a few games, do ok, but not pull up trees. He had a plan to change that. He wanted a fluid passing side, with mobility and pace. He wanted solid reliable characters who lifted the mood, not dragged it down on their own personal whim. He wanted goals and thrills to characterise his side and entertain the Geordie public. So out went Joey Barton, after pre-season battles that convinced Pardew he had to be released. And out went skipper Kevin Nolan, a previously pivotal man, but lacking the athleticism to be part of the new Newcastle. In came Yohan Cabaye, a French title winner. In came Demba Ba, with elusive skills and a knack for a goal. Fabricio Coloccini was appointed captain and immediately set a tone of inclusivity and professionalism. Goal-scorers galore – and brilliant ones too Ba started the fun, and January signing Papiss Cisse ended the season in form. 16 goals in 16 games from Ba set up the season perfectly and made Newcastle a force. When his hot streak ended others were ready to step in. It all dovetailed perfectly. Cisse upped the momentum when he arrived and ended up with 13. Hatem Ben Arfa, expertly held back then unleashed by Pardew grabbed six and Cabaye five. In total 15 players notched up 62 goals. Try choosing a player of the year, you could end up arguing all night Always the sign of a good season when this is a difficult question. Coloccini probably swings it, because he was a rock on the pitch and filled the big hole left by powerful Nolan behind the scenes. I'd argue Cabaye was equally important because his addition and good form for most of the season was key to Pardew executing his plan for a new style of slick passing play. Ba was probably worthy of the title until January, Cisse probably deserves it from February until the end of the season. Hatem Ben Arfa's flashed of brilliance suggests he could challenge for it next season if he can be more consistent. And what about keeper Tim Krul? First full season, didn't put a glove wrong, and excelled with the responsibility. Unsung heroes all around I'd single out Danny Simpson for special praise. True he made a couple of errors (that thrown in in injury time against Arsenal), but he was an ever present until the last couple of games of the season when injury robbed him of a proud record. He is tenacious, so obviously enjoys the privilege of his job, and did himself proud. Such a pity he may now move on after a contract wrangle. Then there was the likes of Ryan Taylor who filled in as an emergency left back at the start of the season, made the position his own for a period, and scored three goals (a derby match special too). Shola Ameobi merits his own position as one of Alan Pardew's favourites. Great in the dressing room, always ready to cause Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels their draw at Huddersfield Town was the standard of his players.A 1-1 draw means United drop out of Europe’s elite.Solskjaer said of having to play in the Europa League: “It’s probably the right placehavoc and grab a goal as a sub. Understands the club, and smart too. Goal of the season? Ben Arfa's amazing direct dribble against Bolton (or the FA Cup v Blackburn), or Cisse's stunning swipe against Chelsea? I'd go for Cisse's banana shot, simply for it's audacity, and because it illustrated the sheer 100% confidence of a striker who couldn't stop scoring. Best performance? Newcastle played brilliantly in patches in many games. But no performance matches the intensity and sustained high quality they maintained against Manchester United when they won 3-0 at home. Funniest moment? Not surprisingly it comes from the partisan antics of a supporter. The man who wrote an ever so serious letter to the Mayor of Milan asking if he'd ever spotted a Mackem in the great city, takes some beating. As does the reply he received confirming that indeed, no, the mayor had never seen a Mackem in Milan. For the uninitiated this is a lovely extension of a famous chant that Newcastle supporters like to voice on their European travels, and in the best tradition of taunting local rivals Sunderland. "Have you ever seen a Mackem in Milan… No, I've never seen a Mackem in Milan……" After the heroics of Pardew and his squad this season, it will be sung once again. A+ all round lads. You did Tyneside proud.