It has generally been accepted that three footballers are in with a chance of being voted the Player of the Season for the 2012/2013 Premier League: Robin Van Persie, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale. But which of the three should win?
Van Persie – ‘RVP’ – has undoubtedly been instrumental in Manchester United’s seemingly successful title push. The Dutchman has netted 19 league goals in this campaign and even led to some claims that the Red Devils were a one-man team – unbelievable claims, when you consider the squad that Sir Alex has at his disposal. But time and time again, he has scored crucial goals to win the red side of Manchester crucial victories. Against Southampton, Manchester City and recently, Sunderland (although that was eventually given as a Titus Bramble own-goal). But, with a run of 9 games now without a goal, has he been consistent enough to merit the award?
Luis Suarez is my personal pick for the award. He has scored 22 league goals this season, and has single-handedly carried Liverpool to the position which they currently occupy in the league. A beautiful hat-trick against Wigan epitomises the delightful spell he is having in England and he will certainly have his fair share of suitors when the transfer window re-opens in the summer, namely German heavyweights Bayern Munich.
Gareth Bale has only recently found his most scintillating form, but when he has this form there are only two players better than him in the world, and they are both playing in Spain. But consistency is an issue. Before Christmas, even Spurs fans would accept that he was largely anonymous – although he had occasional great displays, for example in the away at Old Trafford. But since Christmas, he has been in truly electrifying form, capped off by wonderful goals away at West Ham and Swansea. Pablo Zabaleta recently described him as a ‘force of nature’ and the best player in the Premier League.
My vote lies with Suarez, for sheer consistency, and the fact that he has scored the most goals, and in a weaker team as well. But there is no doubt that Bale and Van Persie are two wondrous players who are both worthy of such an award.