Manchester United’s star man Wayne Rooney deservedly won the PFA Players’ Player of the year on Sunday night, but the PFA Team of the Season raised a few eyebrows.
After winning the player’s award and the young player’s awards Rooney and Aston Villa’s James Milner were obviously going to be shoo-ins for the team of the season, but some of the choices are rather surprising to say the least. The omission of Chelsea stars Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard are astonishing, and the fact the latter was not even nominated for the Players’ Player award come of a surprise to some. Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher and Antonio Valencia made the season’s XI. Fletcher’s main purpose at United is as an enforcer and he only has three goals and four assists to his name in the league. In comparison Lampard appears to be taken for granted as his goals have become almost customary as he netted his 19th and 20th league goals on Sunday against Stoke. On top of that the 31-year-old England midfielder boasts 12 assists to his name and his side currently lead the Barclays Premier League and will be at Wembley to defend their FA Cup title next month.
Perhaps it is Fletcher’s improvement that earned him the nod ahead of the likes of Lampard, but it is hard to see how Valencia made it over the likes of Malouda. The French midfielder has gone from zero to hero at Stamford Bridge and would probably be favourite to be Chelsea’s player of the year had Didier Drogba not scored so many goals. Malouda’s stats are more impressive too as he has 12 goals and seven assist, which is a lot better than Valencia’s five goals and seven assists and the latter has played more games in the league. Also, a few people may be left scratching their heads at Patrice Evra’s inclusion as there is no great reason to suggest he is more deserving than Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock, Everton’s Leighton Baines or even Ashley Cole (who was on fire for Chelsea before his injury and has even contributed three goals from left back this season).
Perhaps questions of the credibility of the awards can be questioned after Ryan Giggs won the players’ gong on a vote of sentimentality last season. As for the team awards there are many honourable mentions who did not make it in (Bobby Zamora, Roger Johnson, Pepe Reina, Carlos Tevez, Darren Bent etc), but everyone has their own preferences, right?
Joe Hart (Birmingham); Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United); Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), James Milner (Aston Villa), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal); Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Didier Drogba (Chelsea).