Let me admit up front that I am NOT a betting man. I don’t even know how to place a football wager so the last impression I want to give is that I have a great knowledge of what I’m talking about. Nevertheless an item on the Manchester United official website drew my attention this week. It highlighted the fact that most United players are strangely way off the pace in the Betfair PFA Player of the Year market. “If you fancy the Reds to win the league, then why not back one of the boys to bag the PFA prize? After all, the last four winners have all been Old Trafford based.” it was argued.
Very true, Cristiano Ronaldo won the award in 2007 and 2008, Ryan Giggs the following season and it was Wayne Rooney’s turn last year so why not make it five in a row? The current United favourites on the Betfair market are Nani at 11/1, Berbatov 13/1, Scholes is at 15/1 while Rooney stands at 21/1. So where’s the man who is likely to snatch the award more than any other United player? Surprisingly enough, leading bookmaker Paddy Power is currently offering the highly generous odds of 14/1 on captain Nemanja Vidic!It has been six years since a defender was voted Player of the Year by his peers. That was Chelsea skipper John Terry in 2004-05 so it may be time for the award to be won by another defender and who can be better qualified than the big Serb? The man has been an absolute Goliath in the United defence.
His performance in last weekend’s scoreless draw at Tottenham may have been pivotal for his chances. No matter what Spurs threw at United, Vidic was a colossus just as he has been so many times this season. It was the sort of display that cannot help but impress his peers.
If you had to ask whether it’s unlikely for a United player to win the award for a fifth consecutive year the honest answer will have to be yes, of course it is, but is it impossible? Certainly not.
It must be said that I had a slight leaning towards the brilliant Berbatov until recently but his inconsistency may go against him. The outstanding form of the United captain however must have made a huge impression on his fellow professionals who will be casting their votes in the next few weeks.
Vidic for the PFA Player of the Year? Why not, at the current odds of 14/1 he has to be the best value wager on the market.
Which United player would be your choice for the award?