Good to be back.
It’s the business end of the season, and with that comes the annual series of award ceremonies and it’s the opinion of many on-lookers that The PFA Player of the Year awards has an elitist short-list. One which fails to respect and register the talents of the clubs not as glamourous as the Forbes 500 applicants.
The PFA Shortlist;
Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur and England.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and England.
David Silva, Manchester City and Spain.
Robin Van Persie, Arsenal and Holland.
Joe Hart, Manchester City and England.
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City and Argentina.
Whilst it is fantastic to see half the short-list representing the home nation, there are many players who haven’t recieved the recognition their season has deserved. With that, I wanted to write chosen shortlist of players who were unlucky to miss the cut, along with who I believe should win it, and give my input to the Team of the Year.
My shortlist, although still showing a large representation of the big-clubs, is showing some of the unsung heroes of this season.
Michel Vorm. Swansea City.
After a baptism of fire at Eastlands, where he completed the highest saves-per-game record of any goalkeeper in the 2011-2012 season (11 saves) – Michel Vorm has gone from strength to strength, averaging 5.3 saves per game, acheiving 13 clean sheets and catching an average of 63% of shots. Additionally, he’s earned himself the nickname Penalty Killer with the Swansea faithful after some high profile penalty saves. He’s the highest points scoring Goalkeeper on Fantasy Football with 148 points and is selected by over 30% of players. He’s a man in form and expected to be on the plane to the Euros.
Alex Song. Arsenal.
After joining the Gunners in 2005 the Cameroonian has taken a few seasons to find his feet. This season has been his best season by a country-mile – many plaudits are starting to look at him as one of the finest holding midfield players, no only in the Premier League, but in football right now. With tackling successes in excess of 64% he breaks up the play fantastically, but he’s intelligent, with only 1 red card in his entire career he’s still aquired 12 yellow cards this season – tightrope. Crucially, he’s another element to his play which others like Barry, Lucas, Parker cannot boast; 14 assists. More than David Silva and Luka Modric combined.
Jonny Evans. Manchester United.
When Nemanja Vidic picked up his season ending injury, opposing teams were licking their lips at the thought of an aging Rio Ferdinand exposed along side: Positionally-awful-Jones or the adventurous-Smalling. Jonny Evans was given the nod and Sir Alex has never looked back. My Man-Of-The-Match in many big games, dominating the most talented individuals. My performance of the season came in the 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford, Suarez is often tricky and will look for an opportunity to dive – Evans was smart and had him under-control for the entire match. Evans has had a 100% tackling success rate in over 5 games this season, and makes my Team of the Year.
Vincent Kompany. Manchester City.
The LMA Manager 2004 prodigy has been a dominent force in the Manchester City defence, I was shocked he wasn’t nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award. He’s one of few players who can say; “Robin Van Persie didn’t score past me” after the Dutchman scored vs 17 different sides in the 2011/2012 season, and un-coincedentally Manchester City’s drops in form happened at the same time as Kompany’s injuries and suspensions. In the FA Cup 3rd Round between the two Manchester clubs, Wayne Rooney was savvy enough to know the importance of Kompany as he convinced the referee to send him off. Kompany will be pivotal to this seide for many years. 12 clean sheets and 4 man of the match performances over the season.
Leon Britton. Swansea City.
Much has been made of Swanselona this season, and Leon Britton has been the maestro of their success. His passing stats are the highest in Europe, averaging 93.5% success rate over the season – Higher than Xavi. More notably, Leon Britton is also commanding a midfield which averages only 5 fouls per-game, the lowest of any side in top level European football. Leon Britton, Joe Allen and Gylfi Sigurdsson have set the Premier League alight, it will be interesting to see how they strengthen the back line and improve their striking options. Swansea are a threat.
Yohan Cabaye. Newcastle United.
There is perhaps no better day to be writing this, than the day after his pass-of-the-season for Papiss Cisse’s goal vs Stoke City. (see video). With only 8 assists and 5 goals, his statistics are mis-leading to his performances, much like Leon Britton, Cabaye finds himself as part of a working midfield. Supplying the ball to Ben-Arfa and relying on Cheik Tiote to win him the ball. At times, it’s the players who do not make the headlines that are the reason for your success. Yohan Cabaye retains the ball, and keeps it moving. In the Daily Mail’s player-ratings, Yohan Cabaye hasn’t recieved less than 7 all season, impressive.
These are players who are all very unlucky to miss out on the nominations, and much like the referees they employ, the FA have made the choice to over-look ‘smaller’ sides in favour of the bigger clubs. Any could have gone on to win it.
My Team of the Year was difficult to pick, and dispite the season not being over, I’m happy to unveil my choices;
Walker — Evans — Kompany — Baines.
Britton — Cabaye — Yaya Toure.
Van Persie — Ba — Pilkington.
I’d loveto know your opinions, so please, tweet me at my contact details; it’ll be fantastic to stir a debate.
Over and out.Follow @_the12thman