This weekend gone saw the PFA Player’s Player of the Year awards. These awards carry the kudos of being voted for by fellow professionals, who would in no way be swayed by lazy journalism. So it must be nice to have your standing in the game recognised by people who allegedly know something about playing it (© Every media source in the world). The Terry/Lampard one two was probably the worst kept secret in football over the last month or so and given the nominations it would be hard to argue against Rooney’s selection as Young Player of the Year.
Elsewhere in the awards Luton had six players in the League one team, with one name standing out. Their captain and ex-tic Kevin Nicholls. It’s worth a mention as he now seems to have sorted out the issues that affected his Latics career and is realising the potential that we all saw was there. Hopefully he won’t get the chance to prove it to us next season.
The First Division team was dominated by ourselves and Sunderland. With three players each in the eleven selected. They reckon awards count for nothing if you don’t win the big prizes, but they look nice on the mantelpiece. So congratulations to Nathan, Jason and Jimmy for their inclusion in the team of the year the Duke and JR’s must be pleased to have their status as the hottest strike force outside of the Premier League confirmed.
Personally I’m a little surprised that Darren (hottest young prospect striker outside of the Premier League) didn’t feature but I bet he was third. I’m also surprised that Jimmy, who might be in your face and a pain in the backside, but doesn’t exactly cause loads of problems, made the team. I suppose it goes to show that a little bit of skill and a lot of effort (and I’m probably doing him an injustice there) gets you places.
Our showing of three players in the team is reasonable; it’s not hard to see why other players haven’t featured. Filan will have suffered from the good defence/good goal keeper thing (face it, he doesn’t exactly have a lot to do most games, does he?) where as Davies has had his work cut out with Ipswich’s ‘score more than we concede’ attitude. Eaden and Breckin have both been steady but unspectacular, and have also been found out more than once this season. Jackson has been in and out this season, which will have affected his votes and whilst Baines has exceeded expectations McCartney has gone from strength to strength since Michael Grey left Sunderland and probably deserves his selection.
As for the midfield no one will have been surprised that Teale didn’t make it and whilst Mac’s goals have been a vital part of our season I can’t see many right backs losing sleep over the rest of his game. Kavanagh has shown great form since joining us but Cardiff’s position in the league suggests that he can’t have been too impressive before that. The one player from our Midfield who could have made it would be Mahon, but again lack of games mean that many of the voting players won’t have seen too much of him. Sidwell was a shoe in given him coming top in the recent 442 poll of Football League players, Arca is a name you always look out for on the team sheet, despite him never impressing that much against us and Idiakez, if rumours are to be believed, will be playing in the top flight next season, regardless of what Derby manage to achieve.
The overall team selection is probably reasonable, but then again who am I to question the judgement of professional players? Notable exceptions include Bent, Sheringham, Tommy Miller, Dean Whitehead and Lee Camp; however I would imagine that they were thereabouts in the voting anyway. And next year? Well hopefully our players will struggle to make an impact, what with Chelsea’s continuing dominance of the Premier League, but you never know – Andy Johnson made the nominations for this years awards. Failing that lets hope we can keep enough of this team, and build on it to make an even bigger splash in the first division.
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