Last night (19/4/13) I had the good fortune of getting on to Talksport and speaking with ex-football legend Bobby Gould and his co-host Andy Goldstein. The topic of discussion was the PFA Players Player of the Year, which has only just been announced.
The players shortlisted for this prestigious award are Robin Van Persie, Michael Carrick, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Luis Suarez and a certain Gareth Bale. Naturally, all these players have been short-listed for a reason and this is that they have all contributed footballing excellence in the eyes of their peers.
I have a huge problem with at least a couple of these nominations. Bale and Suarez in particular have wowed their respective fans, but they have also been the cause of massive controversy by being involved in a number of unsavoury scenes, namely the art of cheating. Both players have been booked a number of times this season for simulating a foul. Hazard has also been quick to hit the deck when there has been little or no contact.
This leaves only RvP, Carrick and Mata, who in the purists’ eyes will be deserving of the award and if Robin gets it, he will join an elite group of players to have won the Players Player of the Year in consecutive years. Indeed football legend Rodney Marsh also tweeted along similar lines during the debate to say that Suarez will not win it and this will be down to non-football reasons. I guess if humour was to come into play Suarez would have an advantage over his colleagues as I could not help but smile when Liverpool played Everton at Goodison Park earlier this season and Suarez celebrated his goal by running up to David Moyes’ dug-out and performed a brilliant dive in retaliation to Moyes pre-match comments. The complete flip-side of this is that it would be remiss of me not to mention Suarez’s racism debacle where he was found guilty by the FA. It looks like football players are a very forgiving (or forgetful) bunch of people.
I guess the moral of this story is that cheats (should) never prosper.