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Tuesday, 17 April 2007

That’s why we’re journalists! (sing to the tune: La Donna e Mobile from Rigoletto………..ok, the “Who needs Mourinho" chant)

I read an article in the Daily Mail today in regards to the shortlists for the PFA Player of the Years awards, with which I need to take a bit of issue.

My Football365 colleague Philip Cornwall has written on the site today stating that it is essentially a two horse race between Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he is pretty much spot on.

However, the Mail correspondent, Ivan Speck, who I actually think is a terrific writer, suggests that the inclusion on the shortlist of Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas is a bit suspect.

So who do you suggest instead, Ivan? He asks if Gerrard and Fabregas are more deserving than Pompey trio David James, Sol Campbell and Matthew Taylor? Answer: yes.

He then suggests three more potential candidates. Dimitar Berbatov, Ben Foster and Obafemi Martins.

Now Berbatov has been excellent this season, whenever I have seen him, and Martin Jol should be applauded for this signing, but again you are looking at whether he has been a better player than any of those on the list, which apart from the aforementioned Gerrads, Fabregas, Drogba and Ronaldo, also includes Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. And frankly, he hasn’t bettered any of these.

As for the other two, Martins, although looking pacy and dangerous, has shown form which has been patchy at best. And although I rate Foster, and hope that he is the number one keeper at Old Trafford next year, and for England for many years to come, can you really tell me, with a straight face, that the best player in the Premiership is the bottom side’s goalkeeper.

And, to be fair, there is one seriously neglected point. Who do you think decides the shortlist? It’s the players, and they have already voted. The shortlist is just to inform everyone that one of those six will be winning, and that this is the top 6.

Meanwhile, it is refreshing to see a few different names on the Young Players list. Fabregas and Ronaldo appear again, joined by Wayne Rooney, but it is great to see young Englishmen Micah Richards and Aaron Lennon, as well as bargain of the millennium Kevin Doyle.

However, I suspect a certain Portuguese winger will be likely to pick up one, maybe two awards.

Nudge, nudge, Wink Wink.

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