Chelsea and Manchester United are the teams which produce most English Men’s Player of the Year. For Chelsea, Lampard has been nominated several times and won twice, while Ashley Cole won in 2010 and he was again considered a favorite for winning 2012’s trophy.
There was much controversy surrounding this year’s nominations and front runners. Capello’s first choice was Chelsea’s left-back, Ashley Cole, who had a lot of issues with the Football Association during 2012. People said he abused the F.A. and that his behavior should have eliminated him from the race.
The English player was accused of inappropriate conduct after lashing out at the F.A. He ended up being charged with misconduct and obligated to apologize. Despite all these problems Cole did an excellent job for both his club and the English national team. Capello said that his actions off the field did not interfere with his impeccable presence on the pitch. The Italian coach also reminded people that didn’t agree with Cole’s nomination that he has already won this award in 2010. He wanted to underline the fact that he is one of the most consistent and experienced players, performing at the highest level whenever representing his country and that the perception of his perfomances and attitude should not be influenced by his off pitch behavior.
Cole is one of Chelsea’s and England’s most dedicated players and he gives his all in every match when he plays for both teams. He is the consummate professional, was probably England’s best player at the Euro’s in Ukraine and Poland and managed to win the Champions League and FA Cup with his team. The only candidate who came close to his achievements as a footballer this year was Joe Hart who won the Premier League trophy with Manchester City. Gerrard had a good year but it was far from spectacular. Out of all the five players nominated for this year’s trophy Cole still looked the most likely to win. Chelsea’s player managed to reach his 99th international cap and will probably reach the 100 match milestone in the next few weeks when playing against Brazil. He has been playing for England’s national team since 2001 and has never started a match as a substitute. He won the Champions League with Chelsea and played some great games for the Three Lions at the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Cole had 48 appearances for Chelsea during last season only one of which ended with a red card and appeared 9 times for England, only receiving one yellow card. He managed to get 12 yellow cards while appearing for his club which is a low number for a defender especially while playing in the Premier League.
The best Men’s Player of the Year list also included Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Welbeck but none of them had particularly great achievements over the past year in my opinion. The ceremony took place last night and the winner was announced at St. George’s Park. There were coaches that considered Glen Johnson as the favorite because of his consistent appearances and great season. Others encouraged the fans to vote for Welbeck, who had the best season of his life so far.
Gerrard, who won the trophy for the second time, was McClaren and Eriksson’s first choice because of his dedication to both his national team and Liverpool. The 32 year old managed to surpass young Welbeck who finished 2nd. Ashley Cole finished 3rd probably because of the incidents he was involved in over the past year which put off many of the voters. There were more than 180,000 voters who expressed their opinion on the FA.com site, setting a new record and surpassing 2003’s record number of voters.