The Professional Footballer’s Association has revealed it’s six-man shortlist for player of the year, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick, Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Surprisingly, the shortlist does not include any defenders or goalkeepers, and is also short of any players for reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. Swansea’s Michu, who’s £2 million move from Rayo Vallecano over the summer many people’s signing of the season, is also not on the list despite being tied for third highest goalscorer in the Premier League and playing a crucial part in Swansea’s season. Continue reading
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that United forward Robin van Persie does not need a rest, despite having not scored in United’s last nine games. Van Persie, 29, scored twenty-three goals for United since joining the club from Arsenal in the summer, but has been on his longest drought with United having not scored for the club since February 10 in a Premier League match against Everton. The Dutchman did claim United’s winner against Sunderland on Saturday, but the goal was recorded as an own goal by Titus Bramble.
With the Manchester derby looming, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has denied rumors that Van Persie’s goal drought is due to him being overworked, and has said that he will not be rested for the derby on Monday night.
“Robin doesn’t need a rest, that’s for sure,” Ferguson said. “He’s a strong lad with a great physique. It is disappointing that he wasn’t awarded the goal at Sunderland, but I can understand that because it took a wicked deflection. Continue reading
Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has branded Uefa “cowardly” following Uefa’s backing of referee Cuneyt Cakir’s dismissal of Nani in United’s Champions League second leg tie against Real Madrid, a decision that resulted in Madrid winning the tie. Nani was given a straight red card in the 57th minute (due to a challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa) of United’s second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie when United were up 1-0. Following the red card, United crumbled, and conceded two goals to lose the match 2-1 and the tie 3-2.
“That red card was heavily unjustified,” Van Persie told Dutch website Algemeen Dagblad. “It was not even a yellow card or a free-kick. Nani couldn’t do anything about it, he hardly touched [Alvaro] Arbeloa. The worst thing is that Uefa supports him. That’s cowardly, because I really don’t understand it. Why don’t they just be honest and say: ‘He hasn’t seen it’?”
Van Persie went on to question Cakir’s appointment. “I didn’t understand before the game that this man would be the referee, such an unknown referee who hasn’t been in charge of a big games for months,” He said. Even the guys from Madrid told me afterwards that it was not a red card.”
Van Persie also said that if not for the red card, United would have gone on to win the match. “For an hour everything was looking good, the tactics seems to be right,” he said.
“We really had the feeling that we were going to score the second goal and then it would become very difficult for Real Madrid. But then it the referee pulled the red card. Real were not dangerous at all, I’m sure we would have kept our position. So now it’s all about the title in the Premier League.”