I think it’s quite clear to everyone who watches football, especially every United fan, that this season has been Nani’s. He has been by far our best attacking player, with his 10 goals and 18 assists saving our blushes, providing us with cushions and breaking deadlocks along the way. His improvement has been immense, from midway through last season, when all of a sudden it seemed that he flipped a switch inside his head and became the threat that Fergie and everyone connected to the club had been waiting to see. We could never fault his talent, merely his execution, mental state and whether or not he had the ability to use his skills and technique to greater effect. All those people who complained about him, myself included, should take a step back and admire the drastic change that has seen him develop into one of the best players in the league.
These days, Nani is my first name on the team sheet (well actually second behind our “Serbian Steel” captain, Nemanja Vidic) and we just look so much more intimidating with him in the team. If you watch closely, he manages to beat his first man just about every time he gets the ball. If he doesn’t beat him, he pushes the defender back, at least 10-20 yards, with his tricks and flicks keeping defenders off balance. Defenders are scared to commit because they know how quick he is and the chances are high that he will just skip past them.
When scrutinizing his all round game, at the moment is seems as though there is not much to complain about. Starting with his attacking ability, he has all the tricks and movements required to beat the defender. He drops his shoulders, moves his feet and can turn every way possible. He puts in a great ball, from either side of the pitch, and with 18 assists to his name you could not argue. He can shoot with both feet, making it extremely difficult to defend, because there is no telling which foot he will use to release a shot.
Not only is he United’s most attacking threat, but he has proved to be a more than capable defender and works extremely hard for the team. Unlike he predecessor, Ronaldo, he tracks back on every occasion and keeps his tantrums over losing the ball to a minimum. It should also be noted that he works brilliantly in unison with Patrice Evra on the left flank, whether it be attacking or defending, their mutual understanding has been a huge asset for the team.
The reason I have written this article is to try and understand how United’s player of the season just does not seem to make the grade in terms of the PFA Player of the Year material. I have 2 questions that I need to be answered to satisfy my curiosity and anger as to why he was excluded.
- What are the criteria used to select the players?
- Are the attitudes and personality of a player included?
How the fuck can any authority or fellow professional player justifiably leaves out Nani?! Yes, I can fully understand that Nani is not the most likeable guy, with his mini tantrums, exuberant exaggeration of injuries and his general conduct portrayed on the pitch being construed as unsavoury to say the least. He causes most rival fans to strongly dislike him, with most crowds choosing to boo him throughout games. And to top it all off, he just looks like one of those people you want to punch. But those are not valid reasons for exclusion. His personality surely cannot count against him!
The guy, as mentioned in the beginning of the article, he been United’s best player and if we win the league, he would have played a major part of the campaign. I cannot fathom as to why he has been snubbed. There are no logical reasons. When you compare him to the other players who have been nominated, he has clearly equalled or bettered any kind of record or impact they have had this season so far.
- Samir Nasri has scored 9 league goals and made 1 assist. He has been amazing for Arsenal and he would definitely make my list. But has he been better than Nani? I don’t think so.
- Gareth Bale has scored 7 league goals and created 1 assist for his teammates. Another player who deserves to be there, but has he really (think honestly) been better than Nani in the league this season? He has not. Bale has missed a huge chunk of the league, with his injury keeping him out for a good 2 months. In addition, one cannot argue his amazing contribution in Europe, which I believe has been muddled up with that of his domestic contribution, which has been the lesser of the two. Nani has been pretty much injury free, expect after that horrific red-card worthy challenge from Carragher, after which he made a swift recovery.
- Charlie Adam- better than Nani. Never. Both put in sublime balls but come on now, even though they play in different positions, how much would Adam go for and how much would Nani go for? Injustice.
- Scott Parker-done brilliantly for West Ham, been their driving force and best player, but better than Nani? Deserves to be there but not ahead of Nani.
- Rafael Van Der Vaart. Been one of the signings of the season. But where has been for the last 2 months? Yes, he started like a house on fire, but he since then he has been extremely quiet for Spurs. Another player I would still keep on the list, but not ahead of Nani.
- Carlos Tevez, brilliant player and definitely deserves to be on the list. However, it should be noted that Berbatov has 21 league goals compared to his 19 and most importantly, all of Berba’s goals have come from open play, whereas Tevez has scored 5 penalties. What are the criteria again?
- Nemanja Vidic. Nothing to say. Captain fantastic, best defender in the world.
All of these guys are good players and have performed admirably throughout the season. I’m not knocking them or saying that they are not as good as they are. I am merely pointing out that an injustice has occurred. It’s unfair, Nani should be on that list no matter what anyone says.