Why Gareth Bale and Scott Parker weren’t worthy of their PFA awards


Now the football season has drawn to a close it’s a chance to reflect on everything that has happened over the past 12 months, the goals, the trophies, the individuals.

In the case of individual there is no greater accolade for players’ performances in domestic football than the PFA player of the year award and the Football writers player of the year. The two this year were awarded to Gareth Bale and Scott Parker respectively, though both players have played well and turned in some superb performances,  were they honestly the two best over the course of the season?

Both awards are voted for at the turn of the New Year so effectively decisions are being made based on just the first half of the season, in which Gareth Bale especially was outstanding but missed a large portion of Tottenham’s run in due to injury. Parker almost single handily took the weight of West Ham’s relegation fight on his shoulders and deserved not only recognition but his current place in the national team.

However, can both recipients seriously justify winning awards that are based on a full season, when they are voted for in mid-January? At that point of the football season there are still plenty of games to play and many performances to display. Parker for example was nominated for the PFA player of the year award but did not win and wasn’t even voted into the team of the season.

Dimitar Berbatov was also named in that team having scored the bulk of his 21 league goals in the first half of the season, yet barely started a game for Manchester United from January onwards. So is now the time to look at reforming the football voting system to ensure that those who perform consistently get the recognition they deserve?

The winners are announced in April so that means between voting and the results there are three months of football to be played, for example at the time players and journalists go to the polls who knew that Manchester United would win their record 19th Title, reach the FA Cup Semi-finals and the Champions League Final?

Even the players believe the system needs to change, Michael Owen made his feelings clear on the social networking site Twitter, claiming that players should vote at the end of the season not the turn of the year. Even journalists such as Henry Winter have since said that the award should have gone to Nemanja Vidic, who many believed to be the most consistent player week in week out in the Premier League.

So perhaps now is the time to seriously consider change, this is not to say the likes of Bale and Parker don’t deserve the awards but surely the decision should be based on an entire league campaign. After all no trophies are given out half way through the year so surely the individual accolades should be the same. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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  • JimB says:

    The clue is in the name: Player of the YEAR.

    The PFA award is NOT for the season. It is for the calendar year. So Gareth Bale’s indifferent form since 1st January 2011 (massively affected, as it was, by two months out with injury and never fully getting back up to speed subsequently) is irrelevant.

    All that matters was his form from January 1st to December 31st 2010 . And, in that respect, his form was certainly up there among the very best.

    • dpac73 says:

      Absolutely right JimB the clue is in the name of the award. I notice the author doesn’t bother to offer an opinion on who he thinks should have won the award whether in its current form of judging over a calendar year or if it was changed to be judged over the course of a season. Also would that include the summer break to take into account international tournaments? So when is a good time for the vote to be taken? At the end of May or at the beginning of August just before the new season starts?

      • dpac73 says:

        All awards like these are subjected to being influenced by when the voting takes place. If it was at the end of the season then you could argue that Player A only won it because he had a good last couple of months to the season. Also if it was end of the season then the voting would tend to be biased to a player from the team that wins the league much like the manager of the season tends to go to the one who wins the league.

    • Doc says:

      Come come, you expect the idiot writing the article to do his research!

      If the trophies are for individuals why is he bleating on about how many titles a team win, irrelevant.

      The guy is clearly a Man U fan.

  • Joe says:

    I was going to correct a silly point made there. But jimB has already pointed out the obvious. So yes, bale was quite deserving.

  • Hey says:

    And Berbatov and Vidic did? So your support United eh?

  • Bobajob says:

    Nice one JimB … I thought I was alone in knowing the vote is for the calendar year, otherwise it would be called Player of the Season !!!!

  • Dave says:

    As JimB says, the award is for the callendar year so your whole article was a waste of time. You might want to take it down if you can!

  • Cheers for the feedback guys, I wasn’t trying to say that Bale and Parker didn’t deserve the awards and it was more to suggest that the award should be based on the league season.

    As the last paragraph says is it time to look at reforming the system, bit harsh calling the article a waste of time just confusion over the angle of the piece.

    New to the site so appreciate everyone taking time to comment, whether you agree or disagree.

  • mb says:

    The way you singled out Vidic as the best, and consistent shows that your just a bitter Manc that one of ‘your’ players didn’t get the award. Vidic Was useless in many games this season. Like JimB said, it’s the calendar year not the season.
    So don’t write crap articles when you can’t even understand what your chatting about!

  • mb, not bitter at all they were just two examples, and if you read it the way I want it to come across i’m suggesting Berbatov doesn’t deserve his place in the team of the “year”, i fully understand the point everyone is making and i know its based on the calender year i’m offering the idea of reforming the system.

    Accept all your points guess this one didn’t come across as i’d hoped.

  • Dave says:

    Patrick, maybe calling it a waste of time was harsh as the point you make at the end is valid. However, the headline of the article (Bale and Parker not worthy) doesn’t call for a reform of the system, it’s more like a tabloid headline designed to pull people to your article for shock value.

    It worked in that respect but if you want to be taken seriously as a writer then you should at the very least research the subject in hand. I expect your next one to be much better!

  • Dave, I appreciate that comment and thanks for responding. One thing I would like to point out is I didn’t give it that headline and it wouldn’t have been my choice.

    Still finding my feet on but loving it so I hope next piece meets expectations

  • rebrovsky says:

    I agree, it should be judged over the season and if you want to split hairs call it player of the season. What is the point in judging over the start of one season and the beginning of the next

    If the clue is in the title why is it not called “Player of the calendar year”? We have fiscal years and financial years for companies etc, and it seems to me that most people when reffering to a year when talking about football are likely to mean a season, so you wouldn’t know from the title what period the award referred to unless you were a smart arse with a smug superior look on your face.

  • Simon Goddard says:

    And turning to the Parker award. The Football Writer’s vote for at the end of April in December as the players do. Even my 8 year old son is read this ‘article’ and mentioned that!

  • Simon Goddard says:

    should read ‘not in December’

  • Not sure about the idiot comment but other than that I agree with what everyone is saying! More thought needed to go into the piece and greater depth to support my arguement, it wasn’t suggesting the players didn’t deserve their awards and i’m well aware of when voting takes place.

    Once again cheers for your comments and its helped me understand the standard I need to be at. Got this one wrong so expect improvement in my next article.

  • Mike says:

    Let’s have MVP and start calling it soccer…

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