PFA Players’ Player of the Year nominees
The shortlist of nominees for the award has been published. Tottenham Hotspur dominate the nominations for the prestigious award, with both Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart making the seven-man shortlist. Spurs’ duo must face stiff competition from Charlie Adam, Samir Nasri, Scott Parker, Carlos Tevez and Nemanja Vidic.
Let’s have a closer look at the nominees and their achievements during this season.
1. Samir Nasri
Despite Arsenal’s familiar problems in the quest for a trophy, it seems that one problem has been solved: the future. Compared to French legend Zinedine Zidane, Nasri showcased his skills, trickery and smooth passing abilities down on the wings throughout the season. More than that, whenever talismanic playmaker Cesc was injured, Samir filled his shoes, dancing past opposition defences. When Fabregas was eligible to play, Samir switched again to the wings where he showcased his flair and creativity. He’s been so good that one might ask: is Arsenal big enough for the Frenchman’s ambitions?
Nasri has also been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award.
As a note, Nasri has not yet signed the new contract. Watch out, Arsene! Rumor has it that both Pep and Mourinho are monitoring him.
“Carlitos” has made the cut for the second consecutive year. He scored 19 league goals (6 of them match winners) and provided 6 assists. There’s no telling who will be City’s player of the year (Kompany, Silva or Tevez), but without Tevez, City wouldn’t be in lying in 3rd place. That’s a fact.
Remember the 2 goals against Liverpool (3-0 for City) and that solo effort against Chelsea (1-0 for City).
Carlos is one of the biggest names related to this summer’s transfer market. In December he issued a transfer request and the media speculate a move in Spain or Italy for City’s taliman.
3. Van der Vaart
Transfer of the year without any doubt. Paying a mere £8m, Spurs secured a top-class player. He impressed everybody right from his debut against West Brom.
His vision and goalscoring abilities were constantly praised by the media throughout the year.
Despite having a rather unsuccesful second part of the season, Van der Vaart was nominated to the award due to his 10 goals in the league, a worthy record for an attacking midfielder.
As a comparison, in 2 seasons at the Bernabeu, Rafael scored only 11 goals in the league in 58 games.
The Serbian is the rock of United’s defence. Ask Sir Alex, he will tell you that Nemanja is indispensable. In the absence of Rio Ferdinand, Vidic often helped United secure a win with his impressive defensive displays. In February, after Gary Neville’s retirement, the Serbian became United’s captain.
This year, he is the only defensive player to have been nominated for the prestigious award. The last defender to have won the award was John Terry during the 2004-2005 season.
5. Charlie Adam
Outsider? Perhaps. But remember that he came out of nowhere this season. Adam contributed massively for Blackpool this season, scoring an impressive 9 goals.
In January, Blackpool rejected a transfer offer from Liverpool. The club also rejected a player’s transfer request. Can Blackpool hold the player in the summer? Liverpool, Aston Villa and Spurs are rumored to be interested.
6. Scott Parker
Widely regarded as one of the most consitent English midfielders over the last years, Parker is the driving factor in West Ham’s struggle to avoid relegation.
His displays have not gone unnoticed as Capello trusted Parker for the clash against Wales at the Millenium Stadium.
He is the heart of West Ham.
7. Mr. Bale
The metamorphosis is complete. Regarded as a decent prospect for the future at the beginning of the season, Bale has become Europe’s superstar. The club’s second top-scorer, Bale unexpectedly stunned the critics with his displays.
He is the hottest prospect for this summer’s transfer market.
In Europe, he was even more impressive than in the Premier League, especially against Internazionale.
He was praised by prestigious newspapers like Marca, Gazzetta and ElMundoDeportivo.
As well as Nasri, the Welshman has also been nominated for the Young Player of the Year award.
To sum up his brilliant displays, I will quote the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, after Spurs’ clash with Inter:
“Bale combines the height and build of an 800-metre runner like Steve Ovett with the acceleration and directness of a rugby winger like Bryan Habana. And, when he gets to the byline, he delivers curling crosses like a Brazilian.
Big words? Yes, but that’s what Bale is like – easily the greatest sensation in the opening month and a half of the Champions League.
Ask Maicon what he thinks after the two exhibitions Bale turned in against Inter. Yesterday he left Maicon for dead and then a wily old fox like Lúcio was left in his wake like someone trying to follow the vapour trail of an aeroplane.
Three goals and two assists — against the European champions. His performances have been stunning.”
If you ask me, I would choose between Bale and Nasri for the award. It’s a shame though that United’s Nani has only been nominated for the Young Player of the Year.
Dear readers, who do you think will win the award?
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