Pies’ Alternative Six-Man ‘Player Of The Year’ Shortlist

Chris Wright

18th, April 2012


By Chris Wright

As you may or may not have heard, the PFA got around to naming their six-man shortlist for the 2011/12 Players’ Player of the Year award earlier this week; with Manchester City boasting a triumvirate of nominees in Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Joe Hart while goal-glutton Robin Van Persie and the ubiquitous names of Wayne Rooney and Scott Parker fill the latter three spaces on the ballot.

For the record, those in the know about all things sports betting have Van Persie comfortably pegged as the favourite to be bestowed with the trinket at the PFA’s awards bash on Sunday night, with Aguero being earmarked for the ‘Young’ Player of the Year award despite having been a professional footballer for the last nine years of his life now.

Once again, here’s those shortlists in full (via BBC Sport)…

Nominees for PFA Players’ Player of the Year award: Sergio Aguero (Man City), Joe Hart (Man City), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), David Silva (Man City).

Nominees for Young Player of the Year award: Sergio Aguero (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd).

Any road up, we thought we’d have a stab at picking our own sextet of worthy winners, then open the floor up to you ‘orrible lot to ay’ a crack…

1. Robin Van Persie, Arsenal – It’s hard to argue with the logic here. RVP has been immense for the best part of two consecutive seasons – providing the catalyst for Arsenal’s re-coagulation into a half-way decent side again.

Sure, he has his foibles and feint whispers of criticism have begun to creep in during the arse-end of the season, but can you really blame him for petering out ever-so-slightly? RVP has sent statistics bods into orgasmic frenzy with his goal-scoring feats over the past 12 months – squatting atop the Premier League goalscoring table as a result. That’s probably worthy of a nod in it’s own right.

In fact, that volley against Everton alone would be enough to earn him a nomination if Pies had their way.

2. Clint Dempsey, Fulham – Another exemplary season, racking up 22 goals from midfield (albeit very advanced midfield), winning matches almost on his lonesome for a – let’s face it – middling Premier League side and ne’er a mention in the end of year honours? For shame.

3. Wayne Rooney, Man Utd – Fair enough, while it’s not been a vintage year, he’s still been pretty darn good again this season. In fact, Rooney has bagged 31 goals this term at the last count – which is really rather impressive whichever way you look at it.

4. Alex Song, Arsenal – Song has been head and shoulders above Parker this season, who you feel – and we don’t usually buy into this particular strain of conspiracy – may only have been included on the PFA’s shortlist due to him being the sweat-plastered, stubby-limbed, side-parted sweetheart of the England-centric press hordes.

Parker’s £5 million acquisition undoubtedly represents a bargain on Tottenham’s part and he’s done a decent job plugging away in front of the Spurs back four this season, but Song has flourished into a much more debonair article in 2011/12 – stepping into the deep-lying central void that Cesc Fabregas originally vacated when he was ushered upfield in his final season-and-a-half at Arsenal.

If Song continues to stretch and develop and Arsenal can bring in a reliable defensive foil for him over the summer, then we could be looking at a revelation next season.

5. Grant Holt, Norwich – Whether it be a nomination for ‘Player the Year’ or a berth in England’s EURO 2012 squad, this stout fellow deserves some tangible recognition for his incredible transition from the boggier standard of the little leagues and the ‘no f**ks given’ manner in which he’s adapted to putting the frighteners up Premier League defences in 2011/12 – scoring 15 goals in all for Norwich this campaign.

The source was a little dubious, but we read somewhere that, as of the last round of matches, Holt is currently the most efficient English striker in the Premier League on a shots-to-goals ratio – comfortably beating Wayne Rooney in the standings.

He is routinely chided by the spoilt phalanxes of bratty football snobs who deem anything other than a slick, non-contact, one-touch passing move across the edge of the penalty box by a batch of 5’4″, six-stone halflings as footballing barbarianism for being a old-fashioned lumphammer of a striker.

Yes, he’s strong, physical and imposing – how is that a criticism? He may have the turning circle of a Korean grain ship, but he’s excellent at using his body to create half-yard pockets of space here and there and his aerial abilities are far more polished than those of a certain be-ponytailed Geordie.

In short, Holt could be exactly the kind of lumphammer that England may come to rely on this summer if they are seriously entertaining any vivid cheesedreams of actually scoring at any point in Polkraine.

6. David Silva, Man City – Narrowly pipping teammates Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany is Man City’s nippy little creative executive – largely by virtue of his leading of the Premier League assist rankings and his imperious early-season form – wafting passes through gaps that weren’t there the split-second before and generally making it seem like he was playing on slightly different plane of reality to everyone else on the pitch.

He faded a bit in the middle and still has a tendency to go missing for large swathes, but up until the end of January, Silva routinely graced games by doing something with a football that made our crotch go all fuzzy, unctuous and warm like a microwaved peach.

It is Pies firm belief that a front three better than that of Silva, Aguero and Tevez does not currently exist in world football – shame that 33% of it went golfing for five months. City would probably have won the league by now otherwise.

* * * * *

Narrowly missing the cut: Michel Vorm, Tim Krul, Vincent Kompany, Leighton Baines, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Demba Ba/Papiss Cisse, Antonio Valencia, Yohan Cabaye, Fabio Coloccini, John Ruddy, Yakubu, Emmanuel Adebayor, Juan Mata, etc, etc…

* * * * *

Pies’ eventual winner: It’s pretty much got to be RVP hasn’t it?

* * * * *

Right, that’s our six PFA Player of the Year nominees. Fancy a bash? Feel free to leave your sextet of nominations (plus a winner) in the comments box below…

Posted in Featured, Opinion, Top 10s & lists

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  1. Ricky says:

    Rooney, Van Persie, Kompany, Dempsey and Cabaye

  2. Chris Mc says:

    Scholes. Even if it was only half a season!

    Also…you really have to sort out those auto ads!!

  3. Degs says:

    I’m surprised that Kompany didn’t make the short-list.
    Actually, taking into account the general idiocy of footballers, I’m not THAT surprised…

    RVP all the way.
    Brilliant – especially for the first few months in (what was) a crap Arsenal side.

  4. Mr. Sparkle says:

    Van Persie is a dong, overpaid prima donna, he’s had a good season only because he hasn’t been injured. I’d rather see Clint Dempsey win this one out.

  5. SL says:

    England arent getting out of the group stages if they have to rely on the fat boy cheat.

    Foreign refs arent gullible to fall for his dives.

    It would be Dempsey for me but it will go to someone at a big club.

  6. unitedtillidie says:

    Van Persie has to win it, even if he has gone off the ball. Wazza has had one of his most prolific seasons and only played outstandingly in about 10 games. Also what on earth is Oxlade-Chamberlain doing on there? Obviously the lad is talented, but he’s started 5 games and not completed a single 90 mins for Arsenal. Surely Jonny Evans should be in the Young Players category over him?!? Whatever you may say about Evans he’s been total class this season.

  7. Luke says:

    Michel Vorm impressed us all early on because we didn’t know who he is. I find him to be what is required rather than something exceptional. My goalkeeper of the season is Ali Al Habsi…

  8. usrick says:

    Pies choices much better than PFA’s. Part of the problem with Man City players is that there are so many who could reasonably be included that it suggests they look good because of being on a strong team. Could easily, for example, add Kompany in place of Silva. The more impressive candidates are the ones who have a lesser supporting company: Dempsey,Holt and (to a lesser extent) RVP.

  9. ndo says:

    Not even a mention for poor Luis Suarez? Not as good as last season…but still pretty good.

  10. Col says:

    Aguero, Cabaye, Song, Van Persie, Dempsey, Sessegnon.

    Thought about Holt but he just lost out. David Silva is too Arshavin-esque for my liking.

    Bale and Aguero being nominated for Young Player is ridiculous. The prospective players should’ve played a maximum of 50 senior appearances to be eligible for the award.

  11. My nominations would be RVP, Kompany, Dempsey, Rooney, Hart and Leon Brittain, I would give it to RVP but the fact that Brittain hasn’t received one mention is astounding, I haven’t got carried away with the “Swansalona” bandwagon, but everytime I see them play I just love how simply he plays the game, always passes safe to a teammate, always available for a pass and makes his team tick. I would take him everyday at Liverpool ahead of Adam, Spearing or Henderson, I also think Joe Allen was unlucky not to get a Young Player nomination!

  12. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    @Mr. Sparkle: only good because he’s not injured???


  13. Redskywalker says:


    Hurts to say, but Silva has to take it. British fan’s seem to undermine creative midfielders like him, Xavi, Scholes, Iniesta ect.. but he really is a fine, fine player. The reason City got so far this season. Whenever he was out, City suffered big.

    Don’t think he’s played enough to get onto the list, but Gylfi Sigurdson has been electrifying for Swansea since joining on loan.

  14. dbm says:

    My shortlist…Scholes, RVP, Dempsey. If United finish this season with the title then its got to go to Scholes. Just boils down to one question.

    Would United be in this position without Scholes?

  15. gormee says:

    Johnny Evans, Kompany, RVP (winner), Dempsey, Valencia, Silva

    Welbeck (winner), Hoillet, Walker, Moses, Allen, Sturridge

    @Chris Mc
    never heard of adblock before? go google it and thank me later

  16. Chowens says:

    How Scott Parker is there I am not sure, he does a job but there are a number of players you have been better.

    Tim Krul, Al Habsi,Holt, spring to mind.

    The likes of Ba, Cisse, Sigurdson, Scholes have all been very impressive, but only for half of the season.

    Similarly I haven’t seen all that much consistently from Chamberlin, whereas Tim Krul has been impressive and played all matches in the young player category.

  17. WildScotsman6 says:

    Song? C’mon man…. I like the rest of them though. I might have Sessegnon (spelling?) instead of song.

  18. Tom says:

    Mata has more goals and assists than David Silva in all competitions, just saying…

  19. Adam says:

    skrtel anyone? motm nearly every game for liverpool (albeit not many to choose from but still)

  20. Solihull United says:

    micah richards?

  21. kamz says:

    My nominees: RVP, Rooney, Kompany, Dempsey, Vorm, Aguero.

  22. Anonymous says:

    alex song? head away you fool.

  23. SouzaFaria says:

    My shortlist:

    van Persie, Vorm, Krul, van der Vaart, Heitinga, Kuijt

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hardly a mention for Juan Mata……..his first season in the Prem, and for a young lad has been outstanding! Could be better than David Silva……..

    Britton Graham & Caulker, Holt and Morrison, Krul Vorm Ruddy & Al Habsi, although not gonna be player(s) of the year should still get a mention i think……

  25. Harry B says:

    My six would be Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Clint Dempsey, Juan Mata, Emmanuel Adebayor and a hybrid of both Demba Ba and Papisse Cisse.

    Adebayor has kept Tottenham ticking for long periods of the season and although he is an arsehole it doesn’t mean he isnt incredibly gifted.

    You can’t not include RVP or Rooney as they are the two best players in the league. Mata has had an amazing first season in the Premier league, Clint Dempsey has been quality although I disagree with saying he plays midfield as he is often to most advanced player for Fulham. The two Senegalese forwards at Newcastle. It seems Ba has passed on the goalscoring for the second half of the season but between them they have been, in my opinion, the best attacking partnership in the premier league since Cisse arrived. Based on consistency, value and goal scoring record.

    Thanks WAATP.

  26. Mr Sensible says:


    I know he’s only played about 10 games but has any player had as much of an influence during the second half of a season? The last person I can think of is Cantona when he came back from his long suspension.

    RVP has of course been great but he hasn’t had the influence of Scholes. And people used to debate whether Scholes was/is as good as Gerrard and Lampard. LOL!

  27. Michael says:

    I have seen no evidence this season as to why Scott parker should be on the official list and I suppose that if you have to have a goalkeeper it might as well be Hart, but while he has been good, he has not been great. The pies list makes a lot of sense and I find it hard to argue with, but I would switch Song for Kompany.

  28. Mr Sensible says:

    Also you forgot to mention how idiotic the voting process is for this award. The votes are cast half way through the season for a player of the season award. How hard is it to get votes in like the last week of the season, surely counting the votes takes about 1 hour!

    That’s why you have lists full of players who did great in the first half but fuck all in the second half of the season. Maybe they should rename the award “player of the first few months’ award, or even ‘player of 2011’.

  29. adhikapp says:

    I know Chamberlain has been great but he’s barely played half the season. If he should be nominated, McClean should too. And why isn’t Mata at least nominated for the Young Player award? he’s 23 as well! And no single Newcastle player? Krul? Coloccini? Cabaye? None of them getting the Player of the Year award? thats just insane IMO.

  30. dan says:

    Van Persie, Silva, Kompany, Song, Scholes, Dempsey.

    Some people might think it strange Arsenal having 2 players on my list, but my argument is that, with out them, they would be in the bottom half of the table. Silva was sensational in first 2/3 of the season, and that should definitely be recognised. Kompany has been a rock at City, and I would have said only behind RVP to win it. Scholes has been sensational since his return and United’s record since then proves it. Dempsey has been brilliant as well, winning games for Fulham on his own. I can see him moving to a bigger team this summer.

  31. Will says:

    People mention Song, which is one of my favourite players, but if any other Arsenal player should have been nominated it should have been Arteta. He’s been by far the most important player for Arsenals game this season. Massive player and a real shame he got injured, misses out on his last slim chance of participating in the euros.

    Robin in first with Rooney and Aguero tied for second in my book. Silva hasn’t brilliant in first half of season, much like Nasri last year. If we look beyond the big teams there’s heaps of players in Newcastle, Swansea, Norwich who deserves massive cred.

    Pardew for manager of the year. Anything else would be a joke.

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