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PFA Award Nominees Released


The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has named their candidates for their Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

No problem here with the nominees for Player of the Year, but I definitely take exception with a couple of the possibilities for Young Player of the Year. More on that in a bit.

Player of the Year (club):

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, last year’s PFA Player of the Year)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
David James (Portsmouth)
Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)

Young Player of the Year (club)

C. Ronaldo (last year’s PFA Young Player of the Year)
Micah Richards (Manchester City)
Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)

First off, it was nice to see someone from outside the “Big Four” represented in the finalists for Player of the Year. David James has had an outstanding season in goal for Portsmouth and has been the best keeper in the league, bar none. There’s a reason that Fabio Capello has made him England’s number one at the moment, even at Jam-O’s age.

As I said, I have no issue with any of the six players on that list. They all deserve to be there, although if Ronaldo doesn’t win close to unanimously, it would be a joke. He’s had a truly once-in-a-lifetime year for the Red Devils.

The Young Player of the Year nominees, however, is where I do have a problem. It’s not so much the fact that three players (Fabregas, Torres, and Ronaldo) are in the running for both awards; yes, I would rather see this honor be completely exclusive and separate from the Player of the Year, but I can live with the current alternative. Again, Ronaldo should win nearly unanimously, though Torres will get some votes as well.

It’s the definition of a “Young Player” that has me irked. To be eligible to win under the PFA’s definition, a player has to be under 23 years of age at the start of the season. Newsflash: 23 is not young in soccer; almost every single Premiership team has multiple players from ages 21-23 that feature regularly. If you’re going to give this award based strictly on age, it should be for players under 21.

Personally, I think two factors should go into it. One of them, obviously, is being 21 or younger, and the second is a maximum of 38 Premiership games (a full season) played. I understand that Fabregas is only 20, but he’s been playing in the league for Arsenal since he was 17 and has appeared in 135 league matches for the Gunners.

Give me a break. He’s young in age, but certainly not in experience.

Torres is now 24 years old, come on.

You get the point. This award should be more for a breakout-type young player, a guy who splashed on the scene out of the blue. Theo Walcott, for example, would be a perfect candidate to win this honor. He couldn’t get a game last season, but has played some hugely important minutes for Arsene Wenger this year and has really contributed. He’s not even on this list though, which is ridiculous.

With the PFA’s list of nominees for both awards, then, here are my 1st-3rd place winners:

Player of the Year:

1. C. Ronaldo
2. Torres
3. James

Young Player of the Year:

1. C. Ronaldo
2. Torres
3. Young

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  1. Michael

    April 12, 2008 at 6:15 am

    That’s my point, Ronaldo shouldn’t up for this award either, but he is.

    Yes, James is a goalkeeper, statistically he’s been the best in England this season.

    Rooney has only played 23 league games. Yes, his stats in those games are impressive, but that’s only half the season. Not enough to be on the final list for any award; you can’t play just over 50% of games and still be considered seriously.

  2. BillE Shears

    April 11, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    He deserves to be in there over Gerrard and David James. Gerrard is the most overrated player in England. He scored 7 goals in the League this season that weren’t penalties.

    D. James is a goalkeeper for one. And I don’t see how he has been any better than Van Der Sar, Almunia, or Tim Howard.

    Age and Experience!?!?!? He’s been playing full time at the top flight longer than Ronaldo.

    Rooney has created, in one way or another, 22 goals for United in 23 league games. He should at least be in the conversation.

    And not having him higher rated than the one man show Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor is absurd.

  3. kat kid

    April 11, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    you know how to build the suspense Mikey!

    when is the big final announcement on this one??

  4. Michael

    April 11, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Who would you put him over in the Player of the Year running? Maybe Fabregas? Maybe Gerrard?

    If anything, he should definitely be in the Young Player of the Year list going by the PFA’s guidelines. As I said, he wouldn’t be in my list because of his experience and age, but that’s just me.

  5. BillE Shears

    April 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    How does Rooney not make either list?

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