Forget Nasri & Bale, Vidic & Nani Should Be Favourites For The Player Of The Season Prize
In the last week the press has nominated some candidates for the Barclays Premier League’s Player of the Season, and for some reason two Manchester United players did not get a mention. Over the last 12 months there may not be two more deserving players than Nani and Nemanja Vidic, because without both of their services, United would not be enjoying the success that they are at the moment.
A real testament to both players is that Nani and Vidic truly believe that team success is greater than an individual honor, and United and both of them, personally, should benefit greatly from that for the next couple of seasons.
At the beginning of 2010, most experts would have said that both of these players would be plying their trade somewhere other than Old Trafford, but they are now two of the best players in their position in the Premier League on long-term deals.
Of the two, Nani’s emergence is the most surprising, because of the way that he has really matured over the last 13 months and has developed into one of the most feared wingers in the Premier League. His role model and former United teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, once said, “I don’t consider myself as the best player in the world. I’m not obsessed with individual titles. I’m much more interested in being part of a team which wins trophies.”
On top of his willingness to contribute more on the defensive end, Nani has took the onus to get himself more involved in the United attack and has accomplished that by scoring nine goals and registering a league-leading 14 assists. According to Opta Sports, Nani, who was constantly linked with a move away from Old Trafford until his breakout game against Arsenal last January, has set up more goals than any other player in the Premier League this season.
However, it is not only the goals that he is creating, but the chances, which, against Wigan, Nani had no fewer than six shots, three on target, and he was unlucky that at least one of them did not buckle the Latics’ net. Of the 14 assists he has contributed this season, the pick of the bunch was for Wayne Rooney’s second goal against Aston Villa, because, instead of wanting the foul, he got up and bent a perfectly-placed cross on toe of his teammate to tap passed Brad Friedel.
In that same game, Vidic scored a goal that many center forwards would be proud as he struck screamer that Friedel, who normally frustrates United to no end, was rooted to his spot and could only admire his shot. After signing a new deal, Sir Alex Ferguson quickly appointed United’s team captain, and, to be honest, Vidic has rarely disappointed and has been a rock at the back.
Vidic epitomizes the saying, “leading by example,” by executing the intangibles – timely blocks, vocal leadership or just sacrificing his own well being for the greater good of the team. The big Serbian has made the most appearances for United this season, has started all 27 of their Premier League games, and has match his career-best total for goals scored, with four.
To further his credentials, in five games against the top four teams – Arsenal (1), Manchester City (2) and Tottenham (2) – United has only conceded one goal under the guidance and leadership of Vidic.
There are a couple of the other players, Arsenal’s Samri Nasri and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale in particular, that are being mentioned for this honor, which, to be honest, they are both having very good seasons. Both of them were virtual non-factors against United in three matches this season – the Reds still have to travel to The Emirates at beginning of May to take on Arsenal – which Nasri has already scored two goals against them.
Bale has a deadly left foot and blinding pace that can trouble any full-back in the Premier League, which is why he is being linked with moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs, but he struggled to get the better of United at both Old Trafford and White Hart Lane.
Another feather – or three – put in Vidic’s hat has to be the fact that Arsenal has only been held scoreless three times – one against United; and Spurs have been kept goalless five times – twice against United – and he was most certainly a deciding factor in all those games.
Offensively, so far against the top four, Nani has scored two goals and provided an assist, which does not including either of his two match-winning deflected crosses in both the Manchester and North-South Derbies – and that means he was involved with all of the goals scored!
Nasri did score against City, and him and Bale canceled their goals for their clubs out in Tottenham’s dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory in the North London Derby.
Stats Against Top Four
S. Nasri – 4 games, 2 goals, 0 assists
G. Bale – 5 games, 1 goal, 0 assists
Nani – 5 games, 2 goals, 1 assists*
N. Vidic – 5 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, 4 shutouts
*Nani’s two deflected crosses led to two goals
Anyway a critic looks at who could be the Barclays Premier League’s Player of the Year, there is no possible way that either Manchester United’s Nani or Nemanja Vidic can be overlooked based on all the evidence unearthed in this article.
Submitted by The United Religion
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