Is making the PFA team of the year a popularity contest?

Date: 28th April 2014 at 3:34 pm
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jt defendingWhen the Professional Footballers’ Association’s team of the year was announced, it is fair to say there were some rather obvious inclusions.

The likes of Luis Saurez and Steven Gerrard, not to mention Gary Cahill were fairly obvious.

They have been standout players throughout the season, ever present and the ones who have made the difference for their sides – and in Gerrard’s case the opposition as well.

There were also some more contentious inclusions – Petr Cech was the majority choice but there were a few other names mentioned including David de Gea. People also questioned where Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero or David Silva were and indeed just why Adam Lallana made the cut.

Arsenal did not have a single player in the line up – with many calling out the fact Aaron Ramsey missed out. Of course his injury issues more than make this a reasonable omission.

Some of the Arsenal faithful rather laughably called for Mertesacker and Koscielny to be included – about as deluded as a Chelsea fan calling for the inclusion of Demba Ba.

Clearly they were suffering from selective amnesia given the sheer amount of goals conceded against top sides, not to mention failing to understand that the league does not end in February for anyone but them. Yes, the voting takes place far, far to early on in the season, but even by that point Arsenal had been on the end of a few drubbings.

Cesar Azpilicueta also missed out but then again given the popularity and form of Luke Shaw, it was predictable if not understandable.

Manchester United failed to get a player in the team for the first time since 1990 – again given the state of them this season, totally justifiable.

In fact, there is really only one player that simply had to be in the team and failed to make it.

The glaring omission of John Terry – who has played 33 league games this season and been a brick wall (or bus) at the heart of the Chelsea defence in favour of Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany is baffling at best – if the team is done on merit alone.

Kompany is a top class defender there is no doubt about it, but has he even come close to the form of JT this term? That would be a no.

In fact the only player he has replicated has to be Steven Gerrard, with the error against Liverpool that allowed Coutinho to score about as bad as ‘that’ slip.

The fact that Terry and Cahill are so excellent as a pair should have entered the thought process of those voting as well surely?

Well no, given the voting is clearly more political than the Eurovision song contest.

There is one reason and one reason alone omitting Terry.

That is the fact that he is a rather shall we say, controversial human being, and one that at best is loved by his own fans and at worst despised by the rest of football – fans and players alike.

Where then is the difference between Terry and Luis Suarez – who scooped the big award of the night to boot?

Well both have had their racism controversies – with Patrice Evra even admitting that he voted for Suarez despite that nasty saga – and Suarez also took a bite out of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Terry meanwhile had an affair with his former teammate and best friend Wayne Bridges’ ex – and that is the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to JT and his seeming difficulty keeping his trousers zipped.

So why then has Suarez been rehabilitated to the point he is now considered a hero but Terry still vilified despite their flawless seasons?

Suarez scores goals whereas Terry keeps them out, which is admittedly more eye catching, but no reason for players to vote for Suarez despite his past behaviour and not Terry.

When it comes down to it, taking personal feelings out of the situation, Terry simply deserves to be in that side over Kompany. In fact, he probably deserves to be in it over Cahill if push comes to shove.

Had the form of Terry been seen in any other England international, there would be a campaign from the media, fans and probably the rest of the squad to put him on the plane to Brazil. Given Terry is who he is however, there have been whisperings but nothing more.

The partnership between Terry and Cahill has been excellent and would be a huge plus for England this summer – but will not come to pass. Of course, that is England’s loss, and certainly not Chelsea or Jose Mourinho’s.

Blues fans have always been devoted to the man they call ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ – perhaps far too blindly at times and that is something they have been vilified for.

Well now should the same not be said of Terry’s fellow professionals who blindly ignored his form and failed to vote him into the team of the year because they did not like him as a person?

Do you think the PFA team of the year is done on merit or popularity? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.

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