Robin Van Persie Wins PFA Player of the Year; Meaningless Award?

Robin Van Persie has been voted as the 2011-2012 English Premier League PFA Players’ Player of the year, mostly due to his incredible scoring rate (27 league goals in 32 matches) and ability to pull Arsenal out of the mud after a disastrous start, currently ranked third, still not clinching a spot in the Champions League for next year.

The 28 year old Dutch striker becomes the fourth Arsenal player to win the award after Liam Brady, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. He’s the first gunner to win it since Henry won it back to back in 2003 and 2004, and the first Dutchman to win the award since Ruud Van Nistelrooy for the 2001-2002 season while playing for Manchester United.

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Van Persie has actually been struggling with his scoring and general form lately, bagging only one goal in his last seven matches, but the PFA award, as meaningful as it might be, has its problems. Gareth Bale won it last season after a sizzling opening to the season, but faded away in 2012. The award is voted for in December, meaning nearly half the season isn’t counted for.

Van Persie, who like every other top Arsenal player in recent season is linked with a big fee transfer in the summer away from Arsene Wenger’s underachieving club, was all about thank you’s and appreciating his teammates after being notified of winning the award.

If other people are saying it, it is special, but it is even more special if your opponents are saying it. It is very special because you are playing against them week in week out and every single player does everything to win and in the end if they make up their minds that I’m the best player it is a big honor. Without them (teammates) I could not have achieved it, For example Theo Walcott, he has given me more than 12 assists and I do really appreciate that.

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Another example of how the awards from the PFA are skewed toward the first half of the season is seen from the Premier League Team of the year – Joe Hart (Man City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Leighton Baines (Everton), David Silva (Man City), Yaya Toure (Man City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd).

Three players from Spurs, who have been terrible of late, winning only one league match during the last couple of months, slipping away from Champions League qualification. Kyle Walker, the 21 year old right back, won the award for young player of the year. He’s the first Tottenham player to win the award since Glenn Hoddle in 1980, and the first defender to win the award since Tony Adams in 1987.