Sunday Night MB = PFA Player of the Year?
The PFA awards are revealed on Sunday evening.
PFA Player of the Year Candidates
By all account it comes down to one of the following players:
- Van Dijk
- Salah (Edit: Turns out he's not on the list...)
The winner will likely dominate the press but it's worth noting that Man City play Burnley and Chelsea play Man Utd on Sunday, where as Liverpool won't play until Monday, so even without a goal, the Chelsea/City players should be ahead of the Liverpool candidates in the MB table.
Who Wins The Award?
The PFA haven't named a centre back as 'Player of the Year' since John Terry 15 years ago but this year Van Dijk has been praised so much, by so many people, that it's hard for me to see anyone beating him... He's my pick.
19 clean sheets in the Premiership so far, 8 goals & 4 assists, technically top of the table with 3 games to play, still in the Champions League... and he's played 218 minutes more than anyone else on the list.
Sterling has also been beyond incredible throughout with 29 goals & 12 assists. We probably shouldn't over look the impact of him standing up to racism because in recent days pundits have been praising him as a role model, specifically saying: "Shouldn't the Player of the Year award recognise his character on and off the pitch".
Salah has played 9 games more than Aguero this season but both have picked up 30 goals & 9 assists. Aguero has netted 3 hatricks including back-to-back hatricks against Arsenal and Chelsea, which is insane. Salah... has been slagged off all season for his poor performances but Whoscored gives him an average performance of 7.39 over 54 games compared to Aguero's 7.45 over 45 games so theres hardly anything in that. Liverpool are top of the league for now and still in the Champions League... could that be the difference maker?
Then there's Hazard. Oddly, he has played in 3 games more than Van Dijk but he has been on the pitch 485 fewer minutes. Never the less he's bagged 26 goals, 15 assists which means he and Sterling have both played a role in 41 goals this season. The truly impressive stat that could tip this whole thing in his favour, is that Hazard has won 17 Man of the Match awards according to WhoScored.com, that's considerably more than Salah (7), almost double the amount that Sterling has won (9) and more than triple Aguero (5) and Van Dijk (7).
If you put any stock in the WhoScored ratings at all... Hazard's average over a 57 game season is 7.80, which is significantly higher than Sterlings 7.54 and Van Dijk's 7.37 average over 54 games.
Young PFA Player Of The Year
Interestingly.... Sterling is on the shortlist for Young PFA Player of the Year, given that he was only 23 when the campaign started but would they give him both awards?
- Bernardo Silva
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Marcus Rashford
- Declan Rice
- David Brooks
The Football Index
Sterling looks like the best choice for Sunday night MB. A relatively easy game against Burnley, followed by being a candidate for both awards. Given his age, position, English and goal record and that he's started writing in news papers not just featuring in them... he's arguably the best buy on the index anyway... so this could be like a nice excuse to top up.
@Dan-The-Man its now defo between two players only and I think Sterling is going to clean up and take both, he's been phenomenal this season and being at the front of the campaign to clear out racism will of helped. He's matured massively on and of of the pitch and has scored so many goals. Van dijk seems the fav with the bookies and is rightly up there but I have a feeling they've got this one wrong.
@Shippers Ha, when I started this post, I was only going to write about VVD and Sterling... then the more I looked in to it, the harder it became to leave out the likes of Hazard. (17 Man of the Matches, highest WS average over more games, responsible for same goals as Sterling but from a much weaker team)
Have they formally narrowed it down to Sterling vs Van Dijk? Or is that just the bookies?
I'm hoping Sterling takes both but have they ever given both player of the year and young player of the year to the same person? Or would they give Sterling POY and YPOY to someone else?
If its anything like the FIFA awards I can't see it having too much impact on FI although at least the two best players will be in contention this time around... Would be happy with either Sterling or van Dijk winning the main award.. Either way whoever doesn't win will probably get the writers award???
Seems odd that Sterling who's been around for so long also qualifies for the young player (as does Bernardo Silva at 24)... I would like to see a Rookie win it like Brooks or Rice whilst Trent Alexander Arnold could be a good punt as he's been very consistent.
I'm not sure if they have ever given the same player both.
If they give Sterling YPOTY, I'd imagine they'll give Van Dijk or Hazard POTY and if they give Sterling POTY, I'd think Silva looks like the main candidate for YPOTY.
I can't see Sterling not winning an award... and winning either should grab the headlines. Even if he gets snubbed for both awards... I think that too would be big enough to get the headlines.
@ShaneH yes they have given it a few times... think the first was Andy Gray in 77?? Also Ronny & Bale have wiped up winning both in the same year!!!!
Dan The Man
I'd love to see Raheem do em both and get some proper recognition. English players are often over looked when talking about the best players in the world but he defo should be talked about that way.
I agree with what most other people have said, effectively it is between Sterling and VVD. If I had to guess I would put my money on Sterling because these things usually favour attackers and he has had a phenomenal season by all accounts. I do think we can definitely rule Salah out though as he isn't even on the shortlist 😉
Sterling should at least young player of the year imo, he is in both categories.
@Dan-The-Man another thing to take into account for MB purposes is the possibility and this is a possibility dependent on how it's worded but Sterling (in my view) wins young player of the year, so that will receive recognition but on the basis its basically between VVD and Sterling most articles will probably state VVD pips Sterling to reward thus meaning Sterling picks up those points plus ones for young player. That is an if but a large possibility
@Shippers what an excellent point, I think you are spot on with this, hadn't even thought of that myself
similar thing i think happened in December where because Modric 'pipped' Ronaldo i think Ronny took the buzz day after!!!
GOT GOT NEED
My money is on Sterling. Incredible performances all year and stepped up in the big games. His off-pitch good news stories keep coming thick and fast too!