It’s been a good week for righteous indignation, but I fear that the latest round slightly misses the mark.
While I was quick to pepper any journalist who seemed to be awake with a Clint Dempsey prod via Twitter last night, ultimately I think this is probably not quite fair. The PFA (e.g. the players) have five nominees for their award, and Dempsey’s not on the list (which is Rooney, RVP, Silva, Aguero, Hart).
Whoscored.com rate players based on Opta data and rank everyone as follows based on the season so far.
1 Wayne Rooney Manchester United
2 Robin van Persie Arsenal
3 David Silva Manchester City
4 Luka Modric Tottenham
5 Gareth Bale Tottenham
6 Antonio Valencia Manchester United
7 Mikel Arteta Arsenal
8 Sergio Agüero Manchester City
9 Michael Carrick Manchester United
10 Yaya Touré Manchester City
11 Juan Mata Chelsea
12 Nani Manchester United
13 Samir Nasri Manchester City
14 Clint Dempsey Fulham
15 Luis Suárez Liverpool
16 Frank Lampard Chelsea
17 Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham
18 Emmanuel Adebayor Tottenham
19 Ashley Young Manchester United
20 James Morrison West Bromwich
This looks very reasonable to me and validates the players’ views to a degree, too. Dempsey is 14th, which is great when you consider how many players are in this business, but not as high as we might hope if we’re in an excitable mood.
In mitigation, only he and WBA’s James Morrison (Mr Mojo Risin’) are not from the best teams in the league, which a) shows how well they’ve played and b) shows that they probably could play for said teams.
So it’s not a disaster that he’s been overlooked. What I suspect might work out in his favour is the writers’ award. I read a lot of the sports papers and it seems to me that a lot of football journalists were on to Dempsey before Fulham fans were. They’ve often talked him up, and while fans are horribly quick to find flaws, neutral sportswriters come, watch, and write. Dempsey’s always been well enough regarded and has received even more good press this year. I think the writers like Dempsey, and will want to show that they’re not just big team obsessed. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he placed in those awards.