The bookies are raining odds down on us again for the annual player of the year award. Fans are frantically making a case for their favourite player. There appear to be four names popping up: Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Juan Mata and Robin Van Persie.
Purple patch players
I think Bale can be struck off immediately, as can Mata. Both are excellent players on their day but have very much been purple patch players for me. Van Persie and Suarez are consistent and every game give you an edge. Of course, no striker is going to be 100 per cent clinical but Van Persie has delivered big goals at big times for United. Meanwhile, in a transitionary Liverpool, Luis Suarez has not only kept faint hope alive of a fourth place finish (largely on his own before the arrival of Daniel Sturridge), but has rebuilt his reputation after the Evra incident, and more importantly answered question marks about his finishing ability.
His win-at-all-costs attitude may fly in the face of English gentlemanly conduct, but it's time we stop harking back to an archaic stereotype. It is only our self-importance that thinks we should be pontificating to Europe about how players should behave. Furthermore, it's becoming hypocritical to push the opinion that British players do not join their continental team-mates in flopping to the floor when necessary.
Suarez the Bulldog
Ironically both Suarez and Van Persie are players that won't be bullied out of games. Suarez is like a bulldog, he will literally be bounced around and get up again. Van Persie will give as good as he gets in the sly digs column and will probably still get a goal at the end of it. Different types of players but the same breed no doubt.
Like the league, the 'big four' is really a 'big two' and there is one way out in front. We are quick to castigate the villainous but we must also be quick to reward the redeemed. There is only one candidate that should be crowned. Oh, and before you start: pipe down Alex!