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Who Deserves To Be Nominated For The PFA Player Of The Year?

Thursday 19th April 2012
ON MONDAY, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) released the nominees for the Player of the Year. Since 1973, the award has been given out to the stand out player of the Premier League as voted for by fellow players. The winner will be announced on Sunday, but does everyone that has been nominated deserve to be? And who has missed out of becoming the 39th winner of the prestigious award?

Nominees for PFA Player of the Year award 2011-2012

1)  Sergio Aguero (Man City) – Since moving to the Premier League from Athletico Madrid, Aguero has enjoyed an impressive goal scoring record. The Argentinian has proved that the “first season syndrome” has been a myth, fitting in well with the side challenging for glory.

Aguero has chipped in with 21 Premier League goals as well as 7 others in cup competitions. With a few games left, Aguero could reach 30 goals, a terrific return and £38million well spent. ‘Kun' is a sharp and clever player, who is characterised by agility, strength and acceleration. ‘Kun' has been compared to his City team-mate Tevez and was expected to form a prolific partnership with him.

Instead, his keen eye for goal has been even more important while Tevez went on strike, showing that he managed to cope well with the added pressure. Aguero has enjoyed a fantastic first season in the Premier League, deserving his nomination for the renowned award.

2)  Joe Hart (Man City) – The 24-year-old has enjoyed a quick rise to becoming City's and England's number one, and has taken the chance with both hands. Only two years ago, Hart was loaned for the third time when at City to Birmingham but since his return has cemented his place as the clubs number one.

Teams that are challenging for the title need to have a secure and reliable goalkeeper and Hart provides just that. Hart has kept 14 clean sheets this season as part of the City defence that has conceded the fewest goals this season (27). Hart has made some fantastic save's to keep City's title challenge alive, and it looks like he is set to keep the number one shirt for both his club and country.

But does he deserve to be named in the six best players in the league? Although he has been very impressive this season, there have been better players on the field who have made a bigger impact. But that doesn't take away anything from Hart, who has undoubtedly improved dramatically and has arguably been the best keeper this season.

3)  Scott Parker (Tottenham) – Since signing from West Ham in the summer, Parker has established himself as one of the most important players for Spurs. His grit and determination in midfield is vital as it gives players such as Bale and Modric the chance to push ahead. Parker, who won the football writers award last season has also secured his name on the team sheet for England.

It's refreshing to see a player like Parker in the Premier League, as although the league is full of players who get you on your feet, the old-school mentality of a player who just loves to tackle is a joy to watch. However, I just can't help but feel that there have been better players. Parker was nominated last year and rightly so, as he stood out from a distinctively average season. This season, there seems to be much more players who have been consistent (these will be discussed later) so Parkers admission is somewhat of a surprising one.

4)  Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) – There doesn't seem to be enough superlatives to describe Van Persie's form this season. The magical Dutchman has almost single handily kept Arsenal in the hunt for Champions League football, chipping in with an amazing amount of goals, scoring 34 in all competitions with 27 of them coming in the Premier League.

Van Persie has not only just been finding the net; he has provided 12 assists for his teammates, becoming one of the most prolific players this season. Without Van Persie, you wonder where Arsenal would currently be, but one thing is for sure is that they wouldn't be in third place like they are now. Van Persie is only the second player in premier League history to score against 17 different teams in a season, helping him become Arsenal's eighth leading goal scorer with 129 goals to his name.

Van Persie scored 35 goals in the whole of 2011, one short of Alan Shearer's record and he hasn't stopped in 2012 being in majestic form. His sweet volley against Everton showed just how much talent the striker has, with the goal coming in the middle of his form where every time he had a shot it seemed to go in. There is no doubt that Van Persie deserves to be nominated for Player of the Year, and RVP is surely the favourite to take away the title.

5)  Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) – There's no surprise to see Rooney, who won the award in 2010, nominated once again as he has been sniffing around ever since he broke into the spotlight. Rooney has been outstanding as usual, scoring 31 times this season with 24 of them coming in the Premier League. Rooney has not only been scoring the goals, but providing assists and being efficient in his all round play.

With Manchester United at the top of the table, looking for their 20th League title, Rooney has been a vital part of Fergie's side. It's just a shame that lately he hasn't been able to produce that form for England, and he will be missing for the first two games in the Euro's. However, Rooney has been reliable as ever this season, scoring many important goals as United push for another title. At the start of the season, you can almost predict that Rooney will be nominated for this award and this year is no different, with his nomination being fully deserved.

6)  David Silva (Man City) - If there was an award for the first half of the season, there is no doubt that the silky Spanish playmaker would have won. Silva was outstanding at the start of the season as City pushed on to win the title. His eagle eyes vision, his seamlessly easy skills and his eye for goal helped Silva perform as a player who couldn't be touched.

And although Silva has been impressive all season, you can't help but think that he would have won the award has his outstanding performances continued. There is no surprise that Silva is top of the assists table with 13 (17 in all competitions) but also chipping in with a respectable eight goals. Silva is likely to be included in the season's best team and has arguably been the league's best midfielder, so there is no surprise that Silva has been deservedly nominated.

Those that missed out:

1)  Demba Ba (Newcastle) – Behind Van Persie, Rooney and Aguero in the goal scoring charts, the next player is Demba Ba. Signed on a free from relegated West Ham, Ba's goal scoring form has been terrific as he has helped push the Magpies to the European spots.

With 16 league goals, Ba had a terrific start to the season, scoring valuable goals including a smart finish against Man United. Ba would have definitely been on the list had he continued his goal scoring form after January, but the Newcastle spotlight was on new signing Cisse. For a free transfer, Ba is definitely the signing of the season and had he continued his form, you couldn't argue if he had been nominated.

2)  Clint Dempsey (Fulham) – The American star has enjoyed his best season ever, scoring 22 goals in the process. His 16 league goals has earned him Fulham's highest scorer in a season in the Premier League as the versatile attacking player has enjoyed great success, attracting attention from the likes of Arsenal. As well as scoring, Dempsey has been a key part of the teams attacking build up, contributing with five assists. Dempsey looks likely to move to a bigger club and if he continues his form, he could possibly be nominated one year.

3)  Vincent Kompany (Man City) – In the nominations, no defender was included in the list, which is no surprise, as the standard of defending has been relatively poor as Gary Neville likes to point out every week. But if there was to be a star defender, you could look at the likes of Fabricio Coloccini or the consistent Kaboul but the stand out defender has to be Vincent Kompany, Man City's captain.

He has been head and shoulders above the rest of the leagues defending helping Man City to clean sheets in 41% of their games. His importance to the city shown was best shown when City crashed out of the cups when Kompany was absent.

4)  Antonio Valencia (Man Utd) – Wayne Rooney takes the majority of the plaudits for Man Utd, but one of the underlying stars of the team is Valencia. Despite suffering from injuries, Valencia has contributed to the Red Devils title challenge. In only 23 games, Valencia has the leagues joint top assists with 13 and has scored four goals at vital times, particularly away to Blackburn. Had Valencia been fit for the whole season, he would have a stronger case to be included in this year's nominations.

5) Leon Britton & Joe Allen (Swansea) – Swansea's play this season has been refreshing to see, often getting comments for their similar play to Barcelona. The main part of the team has been the midfield, particularly the pairing of Britton and Allen. Allen himself has earned himself the nickname of the ‘Welsh Iniesta' as his passing and movement have helped the seasons surprise package.

In 27 starts, Allen has a 91% success pass rate, with Britton being hailed as the best passer in Europe in January. Although they're omission from the nominations is no surprise, it's a surprise that Allen hasn't been nominated for the Young Player at the tender age of 22. But his partnership with Britton has been one of the most successful partnerships in the league and one that we are likely to see for years to come.
Craig Lishman

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