Every year, before the end of the season, we come across a little thing called the PFA awards. What better award you may ask? An award voted for by your peers, the ultimate in recognition for your outstanding performance as a player throughout the year or season? Hold on, the awards are held at the beginning of April, when the season finishes towards the end of May, but you cast your vote in March, but the end of the year is December? It just doesn’t make sense!
The PFA Player of the Year award and also the Young Player of Year award are voted for by every player in all 92 Premier League and league clubs in the land. On a division by division basis they also vote for a Team of the Year.
Michael Owen (@themichaelowen) tweeted ‘I voted for Nasri as player of the first 6 months year and Wilshere young player of the year. We definitely vote too early.’ So even the players that vote think the system is messed up. More worryingly the award is for player of the year and Owen implies he is voting for player of the season not year. Now I could go on about all the other problems with the voting system like the majority of other articles you read on rubbish websites like Sky Sports and BBC J, but this isn’t X Factor or a rigged phone-in on This Morning.
I think these awards are a farce, even if they were changed to awards for the season or players voted for a player of the year, they should be updated. I think the awards should be scrapped and based on Statistics for the season.
Crazy fool you may think? What I am talkin’ bout Willis? Well let’s have a look. The PFA Premier League team (as voted for by the players in the specific division) of the year is as follows for the 2010/11 season/year:
Not a bad team on the face of it.
Instead, if we were to base this team on statistical performance (using the Opta performance index) the team of the year would look like this:
A lot better, and I’m just talking about the graphics! (I only have Paint in my locker). To be fair it is not a million miles off the team as voted for by the players, well 54% right. If we were to do the same for the Player of the Year award, the player that would be scooping the individual award would be (drum role) … Luis Nani not Gareth Bale.
At the moment the PFA awards are pointless. The awards get given, everyone pisses and moans about who has won it or hasn’t won it, the voting system, why players on the shortlist for player of the year didn’t make team of the year. In short, they have becomes a joke.
We all know football is a game of opinions, these are awards of opinion so why not change the format to something that can actually give meaning to players. Facts don’t lie and why shouldn’t stats be rewarded?
In the opinion of Spurs fans regarding whether or not Bale should have won, you get the same response: ‘Bale is quality, but by far our best player of the year has been Modric and he wasn’t even in the running’. This is the opinion of 90% of Spurs fans.
Gordon Taylor thinks the biggest issue is that the name of the award is for player of the year, not player of the season and this causes all the fuss. This is an issue, but what is more of an issue is that the players don’t treat the awards that seriously. It has even been alleged that at some clubs the PFA player rep just makes up the votes. So it is an award with little credibility, but an award with a big profile.
If the awards were based on statistics then what could be more credible? We live in the 21st century, where we have the technology to prove performance as a science, why not use it. Why not make it fair, why can’t the best player be proven and get the opportunity to be rewarded for excellence, rather than who is the most popular or has the best exposure at the time of voting. Gordon Taylor needs to wake up and realise that the game has moved on and the real prize is being rewarded for proven performance based on fact. It is time that the players demand change to prove who truly is the best of the best.