The PFA has yesterday, Friday 19th of April released their six man nomination list for the PFA Award for the year 2013.
Before we continue, lets remind ourselves what the PFA Award actually mean.
The Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year (often called the PFA Players' Player of the Year, the Players' Player of the Year, or simply the Player of the Year) is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the year in English football. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).
Every Spring, each member of the association votes for two players. A shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, along with the winners of the PFA's other annual awards, is announced at a gala event in London a few days later. The award is regarded by the players themselves as extremely prestigious.
The current holder is Robin van Persie, who won the award playing for Arsenal. The first winner of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter. As of 2012, only Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo have won the award on two occasions, and only Henry and Ronaldo have won the award in consecutive seasons. Of the four, only Shearer won his awards playing for two different teams. Although there is a separate PFA Young Player of the Year award for players under the age of 23, young players remain eligible to win the senior award, and on two occasions the same player has won both awards for a season, Andy Gray in 1976–77 and Ronaldo in 2006–07.
And so Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie are in the running for a second PFA Player of the Year award after a six-man shortlist was revealed.
The 2013 winner will be announced at a dinner in London later this month with Van Persie's Manchester United team-mate Michael Carrick, Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Juan Mata the other nominees.
GARETH BALE (Tottenham) Age: 23. Appearances: 38. Goals:22.
Gareth Bale is a brilliant player. He just lights up the pitch. I am not surprised some of the world's leading clubs may be knocking on the door but I hope he stays here. His pace, acceleration, crossing ability and goals are excellent. He has no doubt been Spurs top performer this season, providing some breath taking goals and performances already this season. Too bad he missed out at the London Olympics.
MICHEAL CARRICK (MAN UTD) Age: 31. Appearances: 42. Goals: 2.
Michael has almost been under the radar. You forget he has won four titles and lots of other trophies. It is really good to see a player like him get recognised. He is a players' player. He doesn't make big headlines but he is highly regarded by his fellow professionals.
EDEN HAZARD (Chelsea). Age: 22. Appearances: 56. Goals: 12.
It is interesting that Belgium were in the doldrums for some time and now they have a number of players coming through. Eden is in the best mould of the Barcelona-type midfielders. He has a good reputation and is top quality. He proved a handful for defenders at the start of the season, though he was kept silent for a while, but the 22yr old is at it again, and has need his way into the PFA radar.
JUAN MATA (Chelsea) Age: 24. Appearances: 55. Goals: 18.
Mata has been a lynchpin in that Chelsea side.. He is a top-class player, in the finest traditions of current Spanish midfielders, not massive in stature but has good balance, technique, passing ability, awareness, to get goals and make them.
It would be naive to think controversy won't continue to travel with him but this is a footballing award. Sometimes the intensity that causes a problem also makes sure they win. It is not always possible to put old heads on young shoulders. His football ability shines through. Suarez currently tops the premier League goal scoring chart with 22 goals. Good to see him on the list.
Robin is one of the finest strikers in the world. He was a crucial signing for Manchester United. He has been the icing on the cake in what looks like the Premier League-title-winning team. I have been very impressed by him as a person as well as a player. Van persie has shown the world that he is not only all about goals but he is also a very dependable team player.
Good luck to all the nominees, the winner will be announced in London on April 28.