Last night Gareth Bale was awarded the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award at a ceremony in London. Whilst Bale has certainly emerged as a talent this season this award should not have been awarded to him this early. He was also runner up in the Young Player of the Year award to Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire who has had an outstanding debut season.
I do not want this to turn into an all-out rant as Bale is a hugely promising young player who could well go onto become one of the top players in the world. He is blessed with blistering pace and an incredibly sweet left foot that we saw demonstrated to magnificent effect in the San Siro against Inter Milan.
However, he has barely done anything in the Premier League and his stats tell the story: 26 games, 7 goals and 1 assist! He walks away with the award when Nani, of Manchester United boasts league stats of: 28 games, 9 goals and 14 assists. The Portuguese winger has enjoyed his most productive campaign at United this season and only found himself nominated in the Young Player category.
Whilst I say this I do accept that the Players do vote in December and therefore Bale’s Inter Milan heroics were at the front of their minds but I still just cannot explain it. In an era where we build young players up to the status of world beaters and then knock them down when they disappoint us, it is bizarre. Some of the recent transfer speculation is linking him with a massive transfer move in the summer and I just cannot see any justification in the amounts being mentioned.
It is also incredibly dangerous giving a young player this much adulation. The Welshman appears relatively level headed but last week against Real Madrid he seemed to be a player who was beginning to believe the hype; he spent most of the evening throwing himself around the pitch theatrically looking for penalties and free-kicks, one of which he should certainly have been booked for.
I do not want to appear to be too negative about Bale, I do think he is a wonderful talent and his style of attacking is incredibly refreshing. The best Young Player around at the moment is Jack Wilshire who was able to mix it and not look out of place against the best – Barcelona. My player of the season would have been between Nani, Nasri and Tevez – all of whom were fantastic at the start of the season.