‘Ifreke talks Sports: PFA Nominations – Of English bias and missing names

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

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I always knew Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez would make the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. ‘Gareth of Nazareth’, as I prefer to call him, has been Tottenham’s saviour all season. When they looked short of ideas, the Welsh winger would come to their rescue, with one nonchalant swing of his left boot. Don’t believe any other theory – Van Persie is the reason Manchester United will win their 20th EPL crown. About 37 miles away from Old Trafford, Suarez has become a one-man army for Liverpool this season.

I’m also pleased for two other nominees. Juan Mata has been excellent in Chelsea’s midfield and his numbers are nothing short of remarkable. Michael Carrick has kept things going smoothly in the middle of the park for United, with his vision and prescient passing.

But I’m baffled as to why Eden Hazard is on that list. I honestly think the Belgian is an exceptional player. However, he ran out of steam after starting the season like a train on fire. He has shown more glimpses as this campaign pans out, but he is not worthy of a place in that six-man list.

I wonder why Santi Cazorla didn’t get in there. It is only the Spaniard’s first season in this unforgiving League, but he was taken it by storm. Arsene Wenger has made a few dodgy signings recently, but in the former Malaga playmaker, he has found a new heartbeat for his underachieving side. Cazorla’s compatriot, Michu, should have been included too. Signing of the season hands down, the striker’s precision and movement, has added the x-factor to Michael Laudrup’s squad.

In the Young Player of the Year category, I was shocked to see Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck as nominees. Opta stats prove that Arsenal have won more games without the undoubtedly influential Wilshere. That Welbeck has scored only League goal this season, says so much. I think there’s a bit of English bias in there, but I don’t expect either of them to win. However, I’m very disappointed with some ridiculous ommissions. Credit should always be given where and when due.

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