The PFA Player of the Year nominations were announced yesterday afternoon and, as usual, they show that footballers might not be the brightest bunch. While not helped by the fact they vote for the thing in February it seems to be another year of reputation ahead of achievement. Obviously some of the nominees deserve it but here’s a run down of who’s up for the prize:
- Robin van Persie – a no brainer and the undoubted eventual winner.
- David Silva – fantastic until January, slightly off the pace since then
- Joe Hart – another solid season although, as the Sunderland game showed, even he’s not infallible
- Sergio Aguero – an impressive first season although, like Silva, he’s quietened post-Christmas
- Wayne Rooney – a quietly good, and surprisingly disciplined, season for the United man
- Scott Parker – the media will be happy…has he even been Spurs best player?
So who’s missing? Any of the following, that’s who!
Vincent Kompany (instead of…Robin van Persie)
RVP has been the best striker in the league this season but what of the best defender? Vincent Kompany has been nothing short of excellent all season. He’s far and away City’s most important player (as shown by their performances in his absence) and deserves all the plaudits he receives. He’d be a worthy captain to lift the Premier League trophy, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen yeah?
Antonio Valencia (instead of…David Silva)
While David Silva was the creative star of the first half of the season Antonio Valencia has been the star of the second. Inexplicably he’s able to tear full backs apart despite only having one foot to kick with, a foot that was nearly ripped clean off against Rangers last season. A true old school winger, United fans love him and only partly because he never smiles.
Papiss Cisse/Demba Ba (instead of…Sergio Aguero)
If we’re talking strikers impressing in their first full season in the Premier League then Demba Ba has to be near the top of the list. Before Christmas he was a machine despite having very dodgy knees…and then the African Cup of Nations came. Since then, Ba’s only managed to find the net once. But that hasn’t bothered the Geordies, as another Senegalese goal machine has stepped into the breach. You can’t really split the two for their contribution to Newcastle’s fantastic over-achievement this season so I’d give them a joint nomination.
Michel Vorm (instead of…Joe Hart)
Swansea have had an awful lot of praise this season for avoiding the relegation dog fight and playing some lovely football, but it’s their goalkeeper who has formed the base of much of their good form. Vorm was relatively unknown in this country before this season despite being Holland’s number two goalkeeper at the 2010 World Cup but there’s not many people who don’t know him any more. Apparently United, Arsenal and Spurs are sniffing around him now which shows just what an excellent job he’s done…and what an eye for talent Brendan Rodgers has.
Alex Song (instead of…Scott Parker)
I like Scott Parker. I think he should be England captain at Euro 2012. But really, has he been THAT good this season? Tottenham have struggled since February and that’s been mirrored by Arsenal excelling and overtaking them in the league. For me, if you’re talking about a defensive midfielder then it has to be Alex Song. Tough tackler, great passer of the ball and the unsung hero in an Arsenal team that, back in September, looked destined for mid table.
Clint Dempsey (instead of…Wayne Rooney)
Wayne Rooney probably hasn’t got the credit he deserves this season from the press or the United fans, however I wouldn’t even say he’s been in United’s top five players this year (Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Evans, Ferdinand in case you were wondering). Clint Dempsey on the other hand is the archetypal under rated player in the Premier League. He’s scored a hatful of goals, mainly from midfield, and contributed a fair few assists on top of that. A big money move beckons in the summer but you do wonder why nobody took the chance three years ago when he was playing equally well?