So the shortlist is out and everybody is talking about it, but no necessary for all the right reasons. Personally I don’t understand why a player can be in both categories, if he is being nominated for Player of the Year then he shouldn’t be eligible for Young Player of the Year as well. The player in question this year is Sergio Agüero. At 23 he is eligible for the Young Player of the Year but I kind of feel it is unfair to be nominated in both, much like Gareth Bale was last year. For those who don’t know the age limit on the young player of the year award is 23, something I believe shod be changed to 21 as in today’s football, many footballers can be an established player by even 21, Bale being case and point so I think it is unfair to players like Walker and Welbeck that most likely will lose out to Sergio Agüero. Maybe they could introduce an award for breakthrough season which Walker and Welbeck would be eligible as well as James McClean.
There has been some real stand out performances by some good young players this season, and none so more, in my opinion, than Wojciech Szczesny. If any Arsenal player was deserving of being shortlisted for Young Player of the Year I would have thought it was the Polish goalkeeper not Oxlade-Chamberlain, who if anyone follows me on Twitter will know I am a huge admirer of. I am not saying that Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t been a revelation this season, he would be a contender for breakthrough player, but he has only made 13 appearances for Arsenal and 8 of those came from the bench where as Szczesny has started all 33 games and has cemented his place as number one goalkeeper at the Arsenal, so much so that it almost seem years ago that Arsenal had a goalkeeping issue, and when you are the ‘keeper concedes 8 goals and the fans are not shouting for a new keeper that is saying something.
Kyle Walker has had a great season with Tottenham and one that I predicted he could have after watching him impress during an unimpressive U21 European Championships for England and had hoped that he was going to be given his chance at Spurs rather than go out on loan again. Walker has earned call ups to the England national side, an impressive feet when you think that England already have Glen Johnson and Micah Richards in that position, but his speed and Athleticism has won over many fans that have seen him this season. I am glad to see nods for Welbeck and Sturridge but feel that Sturridge maybe deserves it slightly more than Welbeck. Sturridge hasn’t been playing in his natural role, unlike Welbeck, but has been the more consistent performer in my eyes. Welbeck’s season go off to a flyer, but has since cooled and thought the same could be said for Sturridge, I still feel he is more the inform player.
Another player that deserves a shout is Blackburn’s Junior Hoilett. If a player can play well enough that he is linked to the clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham then surely he has played well enough to get a nomination. If the age limit was 21 then he most likely would be in contention.
So now lets have a look at the even more controversial fuelled Player of the Year shortlist which has City trio Joe Hart, David Silva and Sergio Agüero, Tottenham’s Scott Parker, Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and United’s Wayne Rooney.
I have to say I am rather surprised that Scott Parker is there but more surprised that no player for Newcastle was nominated. I would have thought that Demba Ba or Cheick Tiote would have had a shout and I’m a little disappointed that Leon Britton didn’t get nominated either, but I guess passing the ball in football is not all that important. I feel for Clint Dempsey who has been outstanding all season and is really coming into his own right now and he should feel gutted that he has been omitted, but hopefully he wont be overlooked when it comes to the fans player of the year or football writers’ association. There are a few other players that could have been on the list also; Everton’s Leighton Baines, Fulham’s Clint Dempsey, Chelsea’s Juan Mata, Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany & Yaya Toure and Arsenal’s Alex Song.
Baines has been a real constant for Everton this season and so much so that now he is being touted as the replacement for Ashley Cole at left back for England. He has created and scored goals for Everton and is the best left back in the Premiership right now.
Juan Mata has been Chelsea’s best player this season and his contribution was never as evident as his performance in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Spurs on Sunday. He was the most instrumental player on the pitch, and my Man of the Match, finishing the game with a goal and two assists to his name.
Kompany has been the best central defender this campaign, not just for City, but I don’t think there has been a defender better than him all season. He has led City brilliantly and he has been their rock that is when a team has got past Yaya that is! Toure has been, in my opinion, City’s best player and so for him not to be nominated is the biggest surprise to me. He and RvP have been the best two players in the Premiership in my eyes. Yaya Toure has not just broken up play, but has carried City forward on his back. When he has not been in the side City just don’t look like the same team. Silva may get more of the limelight and accolades, but for me if I had to choose one player to have in my team I would have Yaya Toure without a second thought.
With Fabregas and Nasri leaving for better things, at least one was anyway, and Wilshere injured who would assume that 9 assist have come from Rosicky, Arteta or Walcott, WRONG! WRONG! We’re talking about Alex Song. Simply put Robin van Persie wouldn’t have scored as many goals as he has if it wasn’t for the almost trademark deep pass from Song. He has been the ball winner, ball retainer and RvP assister this season, so basically Arsenal’s all round best midfielder this season and this is why I have said I think it is a fair shout for him to have been possibly shortlisted also. I mean if parker is, then why not Song, Mata or Baines.
And why has Demba Ba missed out? Okay, his form has cooled slightly, this is Player of the Year not Player of the Month, and let’s face it Demba Ba has been great for the majority of the season. He has scored bags of goals, terrorised Rio amongst other defenders and has helped Newcastle to fifth where they are now fighting for fourth and a Champions league spot. I have to say as well that Tiote has been a key figure in helping Newcastle become the team that they are today. He bosses most midfields he plays in whether it is against Arsenal, Chelsea, United or City so again I say, if Parker is nominated why not Tiote, Song, Kompany, Ba, Dempsey, Baines, Yaya Toure or Juan Mata.
PFA Player of the Year shortlist: Sergio Agüero, Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney, David Silva, Scott Parker, Robin van Persie.
PFA Young Player of the Year shortlist: Sergio Agüero, Gareth Bale, Chamberlain, Daniel, Kyle Walker, Danny Welbeck.