Monday, April 23, 2007

No Qualms About The PFA Awards...

But The Team of the Year Looks Dodgy

Seriously, is there an uglier photo of Ronaldo than this?

Nevermind, that's beside the point. The Professional Footballer's Association has announced their winner for this season's Player of the Year and also Young Player of the Year.

Surprise, surprise! It's Ronaldo who earned the accolades and got the distinctive 'double' and the only player to do it since Andy 'What a hit, son!' Gray back in 1977.

What happened to Andy Gray after winning the double isn't a cause for concern here but I must admit that the Portugese winger deserves the awards and the it's a recognition for the player whom was made a devil by majority of the English fans, who still make him the scapegoat of their own problems and their inevitable exit from the World Cup last summer.

Despite all the pressure and speculations, Ronaldo rose above all expectation and turned into a wonderful player this season. He has certainly matured in terms of his overall techniques and was a much better team player than he was last season.

So often last season that he was called a player with all tricks and flicks but no finish product. He silenced all critics with a wonderful haul of 21 goals so far this season and still have time to add to the tally.

Whether he'll continue to shine in the Premiership next season is still a doubt but this season, he deserves it.

But when it comes to the team of the year, I have my doubts on whether the players actually watch some football or just pick the players from the team at the top of the table. Let's see:

PFA Team of the Year:

PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2007 - Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra (all Man Utd); Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo (all Man Utd) & Steven Gerrard (Liverpool); Didier Drogba (Chelsea) & Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham)

8 out of 11 players are from ManYoo and boy, why not just the team PFA Manchester United Team of the Year instead? I'm not bitter and think that none of them should be in the team because I personally loathe them but some of the names inside aren't the best in terms of performance.

Patrice Evra?! Are you having a laugh? A few decent performance and Evra is suddenly the best left back in the league? Gary Neville? Van der Sar? Rio Ferdinand? Seriously? And Steven Gerrard?

Why not let me do the honour in naming MY best eleven players of the league this season.

Goalkeeper: David James (Portsmouth)
Despite being an England reject, James has certainly lived up to his expectation and broke a new league record with the number of clean sheets during his career. Despite a couple of comical cockups, his performance has been consistent and is it any wonder why Portsmouth have the second best defensive record outside the top 4?

Left-back: Joleon Lescott (Everton)
A steal for only 2.5million GBP, he excelled despite being played out of position at the left back slot. He fitted into the Everton team so wonderfully and had a great partnership with Joseph Yobo before being shifted to the left to cover the spot left empty by Alex Pistone and Nuno Valente.

Centre Back: Nemanja Vidic (ManYoo)
Deserves his spot in the team and formed a formidable partnership with Rio Ferdinand in the heart of the defence. Tough tackling and rugged, he has adapted to the pace of the English game well.

Centre Back: Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea)
Often away from the limelight perhaps due to his partner being a media darling in England, he has been the pillar of Chelsea's defence and when John Terry was absent through injury, he made a step forward and even had a couple of important goals in his belt.

Right-back: Steve Finnan (Liverpool)
Despite that slump in his form earlier this season, he has picked up brilliantly and is back to claim his title of 'Mr. Consistency'. With the arrival of Alvaro Arbeloa, he had to be at his best and is currently Liverpool's best player in terms of statistics from Opta and the best defender in the league.

Left Wing: Ryan Giggs (ManYoo)
Okay, he plays in central midfield as well but the Welsh winger has been reborn after being doubted as too old and no longer have the speed to terrorise down the left flank. He has turned into an intelligent playmaker with an eye for the killer ball and a scorer of some great free kicks.

Central Midfield: Michael Essien (Chelsea)
Played all around the pitch except up front, he has became the utility man of Chelsea this season and has excelled everywhere he played. Energetic and tenacious, the Ghanaian midfielder has become such an asset for Chelsea and his performance merits a place within the team of the year.

Central Midfield: Paul Scholes (ManYoo)
Another reason why ManYoo has been so good this season. Their players who looked past it and lost their 'legs' suddenly found their hunger and their experience being vital for United's title charge. Still score some crucial goals and didn't lose that playmaking skills over the years. But he still needs to watch his discipline and learn how to tackle.

Right Midfield: Ronaldo (ManYoo)
See above.

Striker: Dimitar Berbatov (Spurs)
A newcomer and performed exceptionally well. His built suits the hustle and bustle of the Premiership and already found his scoring touch in his first season in the league. Consistent performer and if he could improve on his 'away form', he'll be hard to hang on for Spurs.

Striker: Benni McCarthy (Blackburn)
The man who scores so many goals yet nobody knows him. One of the most underrated players in the league despite performing exceptionally well. Just like Berbatov, it's his first season in the Premiership and he was initially bought in to replace the outgoing Craig Bellamy. But they didn't expect him to come this good....pleasant surprise for Mark Hughes, most definitely!


psychohare said...

Drogba will definitely make my first team forward position, coz not many strikers score 30+ goals a season, and he doesnt score penalties too!

I see a trend in Rafa's signings, before hes gonna buy a big player from another country, he will get another player with similar origins who will be able to communicate well with him. This way the big signing can adapt better.
Zenden signed, and Kuyt followed.
Paletta, Insua, followed by Mascherano, and maybe Tevez?
Padelli, and maybe an Italian striker (they are very clinical)?
Voronin, and maybe Berbatov might follow? (considering they both played at Bayer Leverkusen, and are both from Eastern European countries)
i really dun see why Voronin was signed. so that Rafa can sell him after a season and get some cash off him? or will he the next big thing like Crouch is for us now?
only Rafa knows.
This is purely speculation on my part, but i really see this trend and i just gotta spit it out somewhere.
Sorry for making this place a dumpster for my rantings.

siren said...

I agree with most of your team pickings (the PFA one sux!), BUT i'd have slotted Cesc somewhere - after all, the youngster has one of the highest (os is the the highest already? haven't checked) number of assists in the EPL this season, despite his until-recently-broken goal drought. and I dun quite fancy Burp-batov....


psychohare: It's of course a way to help players settle down faster and to at least have someone who speaks the same tongue to be in the squad.

Voronin was signed because Rafa will be letting Fowler go at the end of the season. He'll be the 4th striker and won't be used much unless injury hit the squad or somewhat.

Siren: Agreed that Cesc should be somewhere in the squad and most probably he'll take over Scholes but I think he still needs to score a bit more.

Gilberto shouldn't be forgotten either. I think he's another of those really underrated players.

Berbatov impressed because it's his first season and he did pretty well. But there are many 'one season wonders' out there so we can only wait and see :D

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Toby Christian said...

Hmm... i agree that the pfa picking is rather fishy.. Evra? for god sake he sucks being defender... i'm a united fans and i don't think he deserves the best 11 spot, but Joleon Lescott?? hmm i honestly feels evra still better than him, for left back i'd vote for Heinze or Ashley Cole

For CB, there's too many good CB in the premiership, but here's my favorite 4: Ferdinand, Vidic, Terry, Carragher.

RB: Neville (he's still a great RB you know? not to mention he is the united skipper), Finnan (i agree with u, he's good)

CMF: Carrick (he is starting to show his potential), Essien (he's been awesome), Fabregas

LMF: Giggs perhaps? i don't know many LMF..

RMF: Ronaldo, no question about it..

St: Drogba definitely, he's the top goalscorer in case you didn't notice, Andy Johnson (he's goals what brought reading to it's league post), i won't fancy rooney too much, this is not his best season..