Jordan Henderson player-of-the-year? You must be having a laugh
They went for Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson which just goes to show the folly of polls. It’s how Ryan Giggs won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year prize many years back when he’d spent most of the relevant season on the substitutes’ bench.
The BBC Player-of-the-Year trophy is not worth shouting about - it’s the Checkatrade Trophy of football prizes - but the PFA award is a big one.
And it’s also a poll. Professional footballers are the ones eligible to cast a vote so surely they have enough nous not to vote for Henderson? He’s not even in the top six Liverpool players never mind the top six footballers in the country.
But then you realise lockdown loonies like Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish get to cast a vote and they’re not the smartest.
Truly their brains are in their feet.
The Henderson bandwagon appears to be based on his admittedly fine work during the coronavirus crisis.
It can’t be anything he’s done on the field, although he has at last accepted he isn’t Steven Gerrard and can’t score from 25 yards or hit long-range glory balls accurately.
Indeed as captain of the best side in the Premier League Henderson should turn down future awards.
I have no idea how he could look superior talents like Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino in the eye in the Anfield dressing room if he walked in carrying what should be one of the most presitigious sporting awards of the year.
Obviously a Liverpool player has to win it (Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is the only other serious contender), but it can’t be the captain. He can have the glory of lifting the Premier League trophy at a deserted Anfield, probably around November time.
Henderson’s presence is not even vital on the pitch. If Van Dijk or Robertson don’t play there is a problem because it means Dejan Lovren or James Milner might have to step up. Divock Origi is Mane’s natural replacement for goodness’ sake. But if Henderson is absent Fabinho steps in. That’s no downgrade at all.
The list of previous PFA winners does give me hope though.
Van Dijk won it last season which was fair enough as were the wins of his immediate predecessors Salah, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Indeed you have to go back to that man Giggs again for the last false winner. He won it in 2008 about five years after his peak.
Public polls are at the mercy of people who just want to vote for a player from their favourite team, but then players also have favourite teams and deep-lying hatreds of other clubs.
I’d vote for Alexander-Arnold if I could.