It’s almost that time of the year again, where we all turn our attention to the PFA player of the year awards. It’s not exactly as prestigious as the Ballon d’Or, but is still a great addition to any football players trophy cabinet. Just ask Bale and Suarez. They left for greener pastures after they won theirs. 😉
As per the norm, there are a few names being floated around for the award, as some players have distinctly stood out and delivered quality performances throughout the season so far. Without a doubt, it will be a difficult call to make this year, as there have been some individuals that have produced heroics with each match.
Now, before you begin bashing me for the title of this post, I want you to understand one thing. Look at the name of the award. Player of the year. THE YEAR. Not just 2 months of quality play, but the entire season. In my opinion, for you to be considered to be a player of the year, you need to have a number of qualities, with the most important being skill, performance, influence, impact and consistency. When you posses this mix, you’re bound to already stand out way before the awards season. Its almost unexplainable. Your style of play has to be unique and so potent such that it can rally an entire team to perform.
The reason why I wouldn’t pick Hazard for this award currently isn’t because he particularly lacks any of the skills aforementioned. In fact, I’d like to think that he actually is miles ahead a considerably large amount of players in the EPL. I actually
enjoywatching Hazard play, as his dribbling and take-ons tend to leave defenders bamboozled and flat-footed. Furthermore, he does have goals to his game, which for me is a benchmark for all world class midfielders. By the way, just in case you never knew, any team with a midfielder that scores goals is always found in the top 4 in every league. Bold statement, I know, but I’m yet to be proved wrong. By goals, I don’t mean the occasional goal here and there (I’m looking at you, Jonjo Shelvey). I’m talking about a midfielder with 10+ goals and a truckload of assists in a season. I’m talking about the likes of midfielders such as Toure , Reus, Pirlo, Pogba and if you want to go a bit retro, Scholes.
Based on my description, that already hands Cesc Fàbregas and Angel Di Maria an automatic disqualification. Both are quality players, but I feel they are currently not performing to their maximum. Both could do with a bit more goals in their repertoire. Back to our main man though, the reason I feel Hazard is not yet worthy of a PFA is because he lacks influence. Why do I say so?
Chelsea came in second last season after faltering in the last stages of the season. The title was in their grasp after ‘Slippy G’ handed them a valuable three points to extend their lead at the top. Whether it was a matter of fatigue or simply a lack of concentration I don’t know, but one thing was for sure, that when the elite players rise. That’s where the impact and influence comes through. This is where Messi, Ronaldo, Robben , Sanchez and Bale excel at. That capability to single -handedly turn a game upside down. To come up with that moment of magic that leaves your mouth gaping. Remember Messi’s goal vs Iran in the world cup? Gareth Bale’s solo stunner vs Barcelona in the Copa Del Ray final? Coming closer home, we can look at the most recent holder of the award, one Luis Suarez. He literally carried Liverpool for the entire season, only for the team to let him down; much so that he had to leave. That’s what I’m talking about. I feel Hazard hasn’t done that enough. That’s the area of his play that falters for me. Luckily for Chelsea this season though, they have that kind of influence and impact in the name of Diego Costa. If I had to pick a winner from the Chelsea squad only then it would be Costa. He has brought in what Chelsea lacked at times last season. Goals. And as you can see, they’re now way ahead of the chasing pack in the league.
That being said, I’d like to think that so far, the most viable candidate would be Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Kane is to Tottenham what Suarez was to Liverpool. He’s intelligent, fast, pacey, scores goals, assists and even drops deep to defend. He also rises to the occasion when needed, i.e the Chelsea and Arsenal demolition show at White Hart Lane. :’D Oh, one more thing- HE’S ONLY 21! For him to have such a great influence on the team and currently be on top of the goal scoring list alongside Costa at that age makes him a worthy contender for the titl-…eer…I mean, award. He’s a truly upright player in the making and just for that I think he totally deserves it. If he can keep up his sensational performances then I can’t see him staying at Spurs for long.
The only other person I’d pick for the PFA realistically is Alexis Sanchez. I feel he may be overlooked because it’s dependent on where Arsenal finish. For your information, Arsenal have EXACTLY the same points total after 31 games this time round as they did last season. I’m not joking! 19 wins, 6 draws and 6 defeats. They might sit second in the league, but is it because they’ve progressed or because a couple of other teams are under-performing at the moment? Let’s save that for another blog post in the near future. Another reason why Sanchez may not bag it is because he’s been somewhat off the pace since January, with goals becoming a bit scarce compared to his previous appearances. Therefore, Kane bags it in my books! Case closed.
I’d love to hear your opinions and comments. Do you agree/disagree? And who does your PFA player of the Year award go to and why? Leave it all in the comment section below!
Cheers for now. Until next time.