Manchester United ‘Player of the Year’ – the nominations are in…

Here on this very RFFH site we recently ran a poll asking visitors to our site to vote for their player of the season- it’s running until the end of the football calender so feel free to give us your choice.

At first it looked as though occasional somersaulter Nani would walk away with it as the voting seemed to favour him, yet in the past seven days a certain Mexican forward has stormed to the front of the pack.

Of around 2150 votes cast Chicharito currently has about 550 a 26% per cent share of the vote. It’s also worth noting that each IP address can only vote once so it’s not just a Hernandez groupie voting for him constantly.

While these votes only represent a tiny proportion of United fans it was enough to get me wondering whether or not there was a real validity in the voting trend. Has Chicharito genuinely been United’s player of the season?  First of all a look at the main contenders wouldn’t go amiss, let’s cast our eye over the players who received over 100 votes.

Edwin Van Der Sar

The Dutch legend’s retirement hangs over Old Trafford like the sword of Damocles and is surely the toughest transfer decision Sir Alex Ferguson faces in the summer. With 13 clean sheets in 30 Premier League games not to mention six clean sheets in eight Champions League games it’s hard to make a case against VDS being United’s top player.

Other than the home game against West Brom, Liverpool away and the Semi Final at Wembley I’d actually argue that Van Der Sar hasn’t had a bad game all season. Three bad performances in over 40 appearances is quite frankly a joke and almost too good to be true. The only slight detriment to Van Der Sar’s claim to United’s player of the season is the fact that for many of those games, such as the one against Everton yesterday, he had little if not nothing to do. Admittedly not his fault but something that should be considered.

Nemanja Vidic


“He comes from Serbia…..” Yet again United’s skipper has proven himself to be an absolute rock in defence with a series of displays that rightly saw him in the mix for the PFA player of the year. Vidic has been almost as reliable as ever, I say ‘almost’ as for me despite it being a great season for the Serbian I genuinely think his best was two years ago. I’m not saying he hasn’t been impressive, but I’d actually say it’s still Rio Ferdinand who makes the defence practically unbeatable and although Vidic is important, the former England skipper is arguably even more vital particularly in the big games.

Given a choice of Chris Smalling and Ferdinand or Vidic -for me Rio’s a better bet, only if you had to choose of course.  The reason it seems unfair to claim Ferdinand is United’s player of the season, is with only 15 Premier League games- less than half the number Vidic has played- it’s not really enough to be considered.

Nani

Until recently Mr. Da Cunha seemed a shoo-in to win according to our vote, however people seem to be getting a tad frustrated with the Portuguese star. With nine league goals and an impressive 14 assists it’s not hard to see why many Reds were incredulous at his omission from the PFA player of the season senior list.

Despite his commendable goal and assist record there are more than a few factors which may put people off choosing him as player of the season. 124 shots in the league alone, shows that Nani certainly isn’t short of confidence, but this is an example of where he can sometimes frustrate. How many of those shots have been at the expense of passing to a Red shirt in a better position?

Don’t get me wrong I love Nani and am more than willing to accept his foibles for the sheer talent he is. However the greediness, theatrics and imaginary card waving may just turn off a few United fans enough to look elsewhere for their player of the season.

Nani’s cause hasn’t been helped by a slight dip in form of recent games, although let’s face facts whenever he goes through one, he usually then embarks on a run that silences even his harshest critics.

Ryan Giggs

The most decorated British player in the history of the Universe has had yet another season to remember and may well actually one day break Stanley Matthew’s record of playing well into his seventies.

Giggs has shown yet again what makes United better than any other team- skill, class and determination, he’s got it all. I’ll never forget watching the 37 year old at Upton Park earlier in the season chasing a loose ball in the 93rd minute of the Carling Cup as the Reds trailed 4-0. Giggs isn’t just a legend he’s an institution but has he genuinely been United’s best player this season? Arguably not. He’s mint and this is a cracking season for him but I’d argue it would be our hearts rather than our heads making him the player of the season.

Dimitar Berbatov

It’s funny how fickle some Reds can be- in fact it’s not actually funny it’s pretty shameful. A season ago in the home game against Spurs was the nadir of my time as a Red. Seriously. The amount of barely coherent ranting aimed at the Buglarian before he’d even kicked a ball was a disgrace. I understand the anger and frustration some people feel when a highly paid player doesn’t do himself or the shirt justice but verbally attacking him every time he gets near the ball is beyond belief.

This season it’s a different story, 21 league goals a hat trick against the Scousers. It couldn’t have been much better for the man formerly known as “that f*cking lazy tw*t” by some fans. Although yet again we hear the same drivel being spouted when he missed a sitter at Wembley he’s certainly convinced the vast amjority of fans that’s he’s the real deal.

If it wasn’t for the fact he’s been dropped pretty much for most of the past month or so, you’d argue he’d have wlaked player of the season. Great player. Great season but the fact he’s now third choice striker probably makes a mockery of the idea he’s United’s best.

Chicharito

The grumpiest United player since Lee Sharpe has been a complete waste of money this season and proof that Sir Alex needs to retire. 12 goals in 24 league games for a debut season is a farce. The fact that many of those goals- Stoke away, Blackpool away, Everton at home were vital is no excuse. His Champions league record is equally deplorable take away the goals against Marseille, Valencia and Chelsea and what have you got? The lad needs selling as soon as possible, anyway must dash the nurse says its time for my meds.

In all seriousness Chicharito has done more to give United a much needed impetus than any other player this season. the fans are genuinely buzzing about him and have been ever since he arrived. Whenever he’s on the pitch- or even the bench there’s a belief that United can and will get a goal. He also seems to play as I imagine most United fans would if we were fortunate enough to be blessed with talent great enough to star at Old Trafford- a big smile on his face, shed loads of effort and a ‘its the team that matters more than my goals’ persona.

Has he been the player of the season? Although the next few games could well see Nani or maybe even Berbatov do something special to convince myself and many other Reds otherwise I’m gonna be boring and go with the majority.

Am I overstating the Mexican’s impact? Do other players I’ve not mentioned deserve to be considered? Where the hell have I put my car keys? Feel free to comment below…

Read more of Justin’s articles at Red Flag Flying High
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