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9) Riyad Mahrez instead of N’Golo Kante (2015/16) It takes a soulless bore to constantly pore over statistics and pick isolated holes in presumably coherent arguments. Even in a George Graham Tottenham team, three goals and two assists, the last of which came in November, is a diabolical return. Ginola left Spurs a year later, moving to Aston Villa before ending his career in 2002 after a short spell at Everton. The London club are famed for having silky, attacking players down the years, from Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles to Teddy Sheringham and more recently Christian Eriksen, and Ginola fit … Bale was even nominated for Young Player of the Year but finished second to Jack Wilshere in a quite inexplicable turn of events. That would be his final total, while Drogba eased to an astonishing yet often overlooked 29 goals and ten assists in 32 games, including the winner against a United side sans Rooney in early April. There is a belief that many players factor in the final few months of the previous season when it comes to deciding the best player of the current one. 1 – David Ginola became the only player in Premier League history to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award whilst finishing in the bottom half of the table. David Ginola, right, was in … Anyone from Liverpool or that boy Kevin de Bruyne would be worthy winners. The 2019/20 Premier League Player of the Season shortlist has been announced. Maybe the context has been lost over time, forever enshrining the decision to name Pat Jennings the Player of the Year after conceding 63 goals and keeping five clean sheets for ninth-placed Tottenham as an example of why footballers should be banned from having actual opinions, instead sentenced to a career of providing weekly entertainment to the masses as otherwise barely sentient beings. George Boateng had barely rediscovered his bearings by the time Andy Gray was imploring Robert Pires to “take a bow, son” over commentary. Kante was utterly peerless as an all-rounder and there would have been no miracle without his divine interceptions. During the 1998–99 season, Ginola scored one of his most notable goals, when Spurs played Barnsley in the FA Cup sixth Round. Clean sheet enthusiast Nemanja Vidic and Phil Collins fan Steven Gerrard were among those shortlisted who had to suffer such tokenism first hand, provoking a confrontation that would only ever end with the former being sent off in disgrace.

But his ability to run past players and deliver for the strikers endeared him to the Spurs crowd, especially as his form helped them win the League Cup. In three seasons at White Hart Lane, sparky midfielder Ginola became a fans favourite and his popularity with his peers won him the 1999 Players' Player of the Year award. The title was decided by four points and Cantona, scorer of the only goal in the FA Cup final, contributed about 20 on his own.

And after the 49-year-old's death, Ginola stated his belief that he wouldn't have won the honour were it not for his colleague. Didier Drogba ended the season with a title medal in one hand and a Golden Boot in the other yet it was League Cup winner Wayne Rooney who was named the best player by players, fans and football writers. Smith’s brilliance was perhaps too familiar, while Hughes’ two-year English absence only made hearts grow fonder and defences as weary as before. That, too, downplays his dominance. Saturday, 17 October 2020 | 8.5°C Belfast, Menu

In a sixth-round replay at Barnsley, Ginola picked the ball up near the halfway line, surged forward, beating four men on his way into the penalty area before slotting into the bottom corner. He was United’s only genuine star, with more than twice as many goals as any teammate; Drogba was perceived to have merely shone brightest in a glittering galaxy at free-scoring Chelsea. He was excellent as Manchester United rebuilt their attack around him, selling Cristiano Ronaldo and seeing Carlos Tevez’s loan expire as Rooney stepped up, randomly scored about 427 headers in a month and dragged his club into contention. 2) Gareth Bale instead of Dimitar Berbatov (2010/11)

Every player on this list has played for, been linked with or still interests a PL club.

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