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.
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