Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Man United get FIVE PFA Nominations. Rest of EPL is dumbfounded.

If you like your players fresh, occasionally used, and oft-substituted, then Giggsy's your man"

If you're a United fan, you should feel good about winning yet another bit of silverware this year: the incomparably useless PFA Player of the Year award. Their odds, stacked much like the NBA Lottery, are good, as five of the six players nominated are from Old Trafford, the sixth being that wonderful Scouse lad, Steven Gerrard (sorry, Lamps).

(Oh, and two of the four nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year are United lads too: the injured Rafael Da Silva who's played six full games this year, and the injured Jonny Evans. Rounding out the noms are Gagbonlahor, Aaron Lennon, and Stephen Ireland.)

I get that they've had a good year (though not since the nomination deadline in early March, heh), but really? How many of the five actually deserve a shout?

Let's look at those United players nominated:

Ryan Giggs: The aging Welsh wizard has started and finished just FIFTEEN games this season. While his goal away at Upton Park was valuable to the cause, can we really justify giving him a shout for PFA Player of the Year? I thought actually playing counted for something.

Nemanja Vidic: Fair nod. He's had a bruising season at the back, regularly tucking strikers away in his back pocket, except for those two league games against Liverpool.

Edwin Van Der Sar: Much has been written of this dour Dutchman. I get that he's responsible for the clean sheet run of January and February, but he made an average of 3 saves per game during that run, and has shown himself to be positively inept over the last 6 weeks or so. If I were picking a goalie to start an important game and I could pick from any in the league, I wouldn't be picking him.

Rio Ferdinand: Now we're getting silly. While he's had a great season, I am baffled at the nominations for both center-backs and goalkeeper.

Cristiano Ronaldo: A massive drop-off from last season, especially by his lofty standards. The moaning and complaining have increased, and his influence has been questionable for long stretches of the year. For any other player, his season has been excellent, but for a guy coming off the unstoppable run of 2007/08, surely there's someone else more deserving?

If anything, it just goes to show you can't get too riled up about this stuff because like all voting/nominations processes (*cough* UF Power Polls *cough*), they're open to subjectivity and just about every inexact science in existence, as well they should be.

And so, you wonder which of 'em will win it. The bias in me would pick Gerrard over any of them: he's having the best season of his career, has spearheaded some memorable victories (including 4 wins and a draw against the Big 4, when LFC hadn't beaten any of them in the league since Rafa Benitez showed up) and scored some wonderful goals.

You have to fancy that Rio/Vidic cancel each other out, because selecting the more deserving center-back in that pairing (arguably, a pairing that succeeds due to their unity and communication, making it nigh-on impossible to pick the better of the two) would be like trying to pick between Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV, or trying to choose your favourite child. They have their merits, and yet they're so inextricably connected that it's impossible to tear them apart.

Van der Sar? On merit, probably the 3rd or 4th best keeper in the league, behind Schwarzer or Cech. Ronaldo? Meh. Been there, done that. As for Giggs? If he'd played more, maybe. As Paul Doyle notes in his blog, by far the best United player this season has been completely ignored, lending further weight to the fact that the big-name, big-play guys get all the recognition. No-one thought to throw in a vote for Michael Carrick? Seriously?

And so, I return to my state of feigned outrage at the nominations, because at least one Liverpool lad broke up the monotony. If I were Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, or Frank Lampard, I'd probably be a lot more pissed off.


The NY Kid said...

Have I mentioned that Jonny Evans is a rapist?

c0rrine said...

sooo shitty how lamps isn't on the list. the only united players who deserve a nomination are vidic and vds. the liverpool part of me wants gerrard to win it, but i think the deciding factor will come down to silverware. if liverpool happen to win the title *knock on wood* then there will be no doubt of stevie getting the award.

EbullientFatalist said...

Waitwaitwaitwaitwait . . . Jonny Evans is a rapist?

Lampard got screwed.

Ginge said...

Where's the love for Tim Cahill?!?!

Ibracadabra said...

The young player of the year award will - without a doubt - go to Stephen Ireland.

Has anyone improved his stock more from one season to the next than the baldy Superman?

Really an amazing progression. One worthy of the young player of the year award...

I think it will be Vidic or Gerrard for the senior honor...

Mike Georger said...

It was my understanding that the voting has already taken place, so the silverware won't matter. Or am I wrong? But Gerrard has won it before on a much worse team, I honestly think the United players will split the vote and he will take it.

If Ireland doesn't win there needs to be an investigation.

phil said...

Lampard, Ireland, and Fellaini got screwed.

And really it should be between Lampard and Gerrard.

phil said...

Agreed on Ireland for the young award, if he's eligible.

God, I wish he'd come back to the Rep. of Ireland squad.

jjf3 said...

How does Hangeland not make the top 6? Imagine Fulham this season without him? Now imagine ManU without Vidic this season? Who slides further? (and I rate Vidic above Rio, but if you don't, swap'em)...

Think about how they've played, who they're surrounded by, and, if you want to be an American baseball riter, how "valuable" they were to thier team this year (ie, how the team did). And then tell me how you get StevieG, 5 ManU'ers, and no sign of Hangeland.

What crap...good to see footie awards are just as useless as baseball ones are...