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|Chelsea Legend Tips Eden Hazard For Pfa Player Of The Year by willyrey: 10:23am On Apr 16, 2015|
columnist and Chelsea fan Giles Smith considers
decisions to be taken in the coming weeks and finds
he is not spoilt for choice...
Assuming there ever really was a debate, it ended,
surely, in the 88th minute at Loftus Road on Sunday
lunchtime, when Eden Hazard drove down to the by-
line, laid the ball off, scurried into a position to take it
back and then sent that low, hard pass, which had no
margin whatsoever for error in it, to the incoming
Goal, 1-0, game over, three points – and one further
piece of blinding evidence, if any were needed, to
stick in the file demonstrating conclusively that
Hazard is the only reasonable candidate for the PFA
Player of the Year award.
With the possible exception of John Terry, that is (as
argued extremely persuasively by Tony Evans in The
Times this week), although, as Evans points out, that
award tends not to go to central defenders or to
people who do the less glamorous, cleaning jobs, so
we’ll probably have to set the captain aside and just
run with Hazard.
In truth, there probably hasn’t been any other
reasonable candidate than Hazard for a few months
now - except that, if you listen hard enough, you still
hear people talking about the claims to the PFA’s
award of Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.
Now, you’d be a fool to deny that Kane has had quite
a good season. He has scored a number of goals for
the team currently in seventh place in the league,
who were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth
round, were knocked out of the Europa League in the
Round of 32 and who finished runners-up in the
Capital One Cup.
Plus, amid great media-generated excitement, he has
qualified for the England squad – although, with
regard to the latter, in the current less than halcyon
era, we can’t really pretend that’s saying an awful lot.
Why, it’s possible that you, too, currently qualify for
the England squad if you have a clean driving
license, a respectable reference from your previous
employer and enough Nectar points.
Yet it is plausible that there are voters within the
professional ranks who, as they pause over the ballot
box, are sentimental enough to be swayed by the
story of Kane’s ‘dream international debut’: ‘dream’
in the sense that within seconds of being brought on
as a substitute in that recent game against Lithuania
in England’s dreaded ‘group of formality’, he found
himself unmarked at the back post and able to score
with a standing header.
But are Lithuania really the stuff that dreams are
made of? Aren’t they, in fact, when you look at it
dispassionately, the stuff that an over-padded
European Championship qualifying phase is made
No, if it comes down to those two, it can only be
Hazard. Only Hazard has defied science and logic on
a regular and significant basis, made the runs, found
the passes, scored the penalties, endured the fouls,
worn the t-shirt, won the medal. Only Hazard has
burst along the byline in the dying seconds of a
scrappy match on a terrible pitch and made one
point into three at an utterly crucial moment in the
Incidentally, we say all this in the firm belief that
player of the year awards (even the PFA one – in fact,
perhaps especially the PFA one) don’t really matter
very much, beyond providing a bit of superfluous fun
for onlookers. It’s a team game, after all, and, as the
hoary old saying goes: there is no ‘i’ in ‘team’.
At the same time, there’s no ‘i’ in Eden Hazard,
either, as anyone who watches him regularly would
readily attest, and it would be a shame – a travesty,
even – if the reward for his season-long, game-
swinging selflessness on our team’s behalf was to
watch someone else who didn’t really deserve it
collect the player of the year award in a few weeks’
time. Where’s the superfluous fun in that?
"You can slice it up all sorts of ways,
according to your taste and/or how much you
want to drive yourself nuts with anxiety."
Twelve points from seven games, then. That’s the
basic situation, since the win at QPR. Assuming
Arsenal win all of their last six matches, including the
one against us, and the one against Manchester
United. And bear in mind that if they do that, they
will have gone 14 games without dropping a point,
which would be a new Premier League record for a
By the way, briefly, while we’re on the subject of
Arsenal: has any other side in the game’s history
been plausible contenders for a league and cup
double in the same season that their manager was
barracked by his own discontented fans on a railway
station? Implausible thought, isn’t it? I’m thinking
that something of that nature might have happened
to someone at Real Madrid somewhere along the line,
Real Madrid being that kind of short-fused, deeply
impatient, obsessed-with-its-own-entitlement place.
But anywhere else? It does seem extremely unlikely.
Answers on the usual postcard.
Anyhow, returning to the theme: 12 points from
seven games, say. That’s four wins, three defeats and
a Premier League title. Or it’s three wins, three
draws, a defeat and a Premier League title. Or it’s two
wins, five draws and a summer of bitter
disappointment. You can slice it up all sorts of ways,
according to your taste and/or how much you want to
drive yourself nuts with anxiety.
Maybe the best way to think of it is within the
slightly more limited framework - three points
against Manchester United on Saturday evening –
and then take it from there. Up to you, though
|Re: Chelsea Legend Tips Eden Hazard For Pfa Player Of The Year by Yhinkss(m): 10:54am On Apr 16, 2015|
Who else if not harzard?.. Ride on boy, we are behind you for it
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