Let’s just put it all out there: there’s no compelling reason Luis Suarez shouldn’t win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award this year.
In 2012-13, Suarez was in what was at that point the best form of his career to date. On track to fight to the bitter end for the Golden Boot with Robin van Persie, Suarez’s reputation preceded him with the voters and both Suarez and RVP lost out to Spurs’ golden boy Gareth Bale, who managed to snag both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year gongs.
Although voting for the award was closed by the time that Suarez made a light mid-match meal out of Branislav Ivanovic, it significantly soured inroads Suarez had made in rehabilitating his image up until that point and ultimately cast a dark shadow over what should have been a banner year for the striker.
But this year is different. In the form of his life — again — and without any major controversies blemishing his statistics, Suarez is a front runner for the award by any legitimate measurement. As his colleagues begin to cast ballots, Suarez’s name is bound to pop up again and again. French accent enthusiast Joey Barton indicated as much on Friday.
How I voted in PFA ballet. Suarez no brainer. Henderson has had a complete turn around. I was once a critic. pic.twitter.com/OvMbDqOoGD— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) March 28, 2014
Barton is certainly not the be all and end all of PFA voting, of course, but other tweets have popped up showing Suarez’s name in the top box as well, to say nothing of the ballots that won’t be shared on social media but that will feature Suarez’s. Barton’s vote is worth noting for his selection of Jordan Henderson as Young Player of the Year, and Liverpool could even have a second candidate in Raheem Sterling based on his incredible growth this season as well.
Recognition by one’s peers isn’t always necessary, but it is flattering. Regardless of the results, at the very least it’s just nice to be nominated, but most Liverpool fans will be pulling for a win in at least one category, if not two.