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Chelsea Trio Nominated For PFA Awards
4/14/2005 6:40:00 PM
Three Chelsea players have been nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year award.
Captain John Terry, goalkeeper Petr Cech and midfielder Frank Lampard all appear on the short-list for the prestigious award, along with last year’s winner Thierry Henry of Arsenal, Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

The winner will be announced at the PFA awards dinner on Sunday 24 April.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor believes Lampard and Terry are the front-runners for the award. "Frank was knocking on the door when he was playing under Claudio Ranieri last year, when he finished second to Thierry Henry," said Taylor.

"Like John Terry, he’s taken his game to another level under Jose Mourinho, who deserves a lot of credit for the way he has brought on Frank, John and Joe Cole this season.

"Frank just wants to play and, like Terry, he has been there week in, week out all season and they have both been inspirational."

The PFA Young Player of the Year award sees Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney heading the nominations. Rooney, 19, has impressed on the pitch since his £27 million move from Everton last summer.

Also nominated are Rooney’s club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, plus Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe, Manchester City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips, Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing, and Dutch winger Arjen Robben of Chelsea.

Only ronaldo and Robben are not English-born, and according to Taylor, having four Englishmen nominated for Young Player of the Year augurs well for the future of the national team.

"The England manager should be grateful that we have got talents like striker Jermain Defoe coming through," saidf Taylor.

"Stewart Downing has had a taste of international football and looks like he’s got the temperament and ability.

"There’s no end to what Wayne Rooney can achieve and Shaun Wright-Phillips has it all to be a special flank man," added Taylor.

who do you guyz think will win it? i think its a lock on Lampard who imo has been the standout this season in English Football. Cech has been the best keeper in the epl and terry arguably the best defender, but i think lamps has outshone any other midfielder in England this season.
There is a chance also for Robben to take out the young player award. what do you all think?

31,893 Posts
Lampard on the first one. Cech shld be second for his record clean sheets. Terry for the the impact. thats 123 :eek: I wonder why Makelele and Gallas is not there. JCole for his assists, especially in CL.

Arjen Robben is having more impact than anyone when he is on the field. Himself and SWP. Rooney may be good... but not as good... Nationality aside.

Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
63,337 Posts
JackoTheDon said:
They'll find a way so that Henry can win it i'm sure.

I'm sure they debated over who should be in... AJ or RVN.
you thick chav

it is voted for by every player in the country, do you think they hired the MEN to have this "debate" ? :shades:

1,878 Posts
What a difference a year makes.

Claudio Ranieri was the gaffer for an underachieving Chelski side and conveniently made the scapegoat of the failures of 2003/4, despite Roman Abrahamovic bank-rolling the West London club. The Premiership held its breath as Hernan Crespo, Adrian Mutu, Scott Parker, Claude Makele and Petr Cech made its way to Stamford Bridge, which only more than a decade ago, looked more like a Second Division ground than the first. The Tinkerman lost the plot by finishing third in the Premiership, way below the expectations of the Russian billionaire who was more ambitious and needed someone to satisfy his craving for success on the pitch.

A year later, the English football scene had changed dramatically. Whether this is the lesser of the two evils is still debatable. As much as the neutral fan (and the average Liverpool supporter) got bored of the debacle and media-wrangling between Monseiour Wenger and the Sir Alex of Ferguson, the Jose-Mourinho show is slowly getting on the nerves of many, not least on English soil. We now have Jose the arrogant, Jose the bad loser, Jose the media whore, Jose the cheat and Jose the rule-breaker. For the Chelsea players, having the pressure and attention taken away from them via the antics of the gaffer, it certainly had brought success for the team. So it is not to anyone’s surprise that they have taken over Arsenal as the runaway leaders of the English game. To some, it is only a matter of time before Mourinho’s squad surpasses Arsenal’s unbeaten record. Already, they were going all out to emulate Manchester United’s treble success in 1999 before they were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup.

With the League title more or less heading for Stamford Bridge and the Premiership trophy making its way to decorate Roman’s television set in the living room, there remains one last piece of silverware for Chelsea and by no means, it is the biggest. If Chelsea were to lift the trophy (complete with Fat Frank’s and John Terry’s glee at hoisting the tin cup) at Istanbul, Jose Mourinho will no doubt have a field day rubbing the noses of Sir Alex of Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in the dirt. For we all know that winning the Champions Cup title has been Sir Alex’s Holy Grail for the past six years (has it been that long?) and it has certainly become a moot point in the argument that Arsene’s Arsenal are one big European trophy short of being a great English club. What more for Jose to win it at his first attempt in England when his much older peers have failed at one time or another in the competition? Of course, neutrals would never hesitate to point out the fact that his team was assembled at a great cost. Astronomical or obscene even.

Now, only two teams stand in Jose’s way to glory and begrudging veneration in the football world. We still have no clue as to who the second team whom they will meet in the Final in Istanbul, but signs are that the Dutch side, PSV Einhoven will start as the underdogs in their other semifinal. Milan, no doubt, stands as Chelsea’s biggest opponents for the coveted prize.

While many thought that Juventus would stand as a stronger opponent (at least on paper) to Chelsea in the semifinal, they flattered to deceive and were thrown out of the competition by a defensively industrious and well-organised but considerably weakened Liverpool side. Even in the lead-up to the match, Liverpool fans were not too optimistic about their side’s chances. Not many gave Rafa Benitez’s side a glimpse of a chance to move onto the semi-finals. Juventus are a great Italian side who are joint-leaders in Serie A while Liverpool are more than 30 points off the pace in the English league and are chasing their blue neighbours for fourth spot (which ironically would secure them a qualifying spot for next season’s Champions League tournament. The disparity between both sides are clear for all to see, with Rafa Benitez having to put his skills in making the best out of mediocre players in the squad he inherited and Capello’s galaxy of stars (Trezeguet and Ibrahamovc to name a few). Even Buffon looked more confident and stable than Liverpool’s Polish calamity – Jerzy Dudek.

The game was played amidst huge media interest on the conduct of both sides’ fans. Many were glad that the game ended with the media reporting more on events on the pitch rather than events off it. Liverpool went through, much to everyone’s surprise, via a superb 30 minutes performance in the first leg and an almost tepid but no less effective gameplay for the next 150.

Now, Liverpool, managed by last season’s UEFA Cup-winning team manager, stands in the way of the mightly Russian-financed football machine. On paper, many would once again dismiss the Merseysiders as the inferior side, since Benitez has to struggle with putting together a proper squad on some occasions, while Mourinho’s array of players on the subs bench (or even the reserves team) would have walked into any of Liverpool’s matchday squad.

Petr Cech’s impressive performance all round for Chelsea has earned him a nomination for the Player of the Year. He is part of the reason why Chelsea has had an enviable defensive record in the Premiership. A safe pair of hands, Petr was notably one of Claudio Ranieri’s last few purchases before the Italian was shown the door at Stamfort Bridge. On the other hand, Liverpool has had a roller-coaster season in the goalkeeping department, with first-choice Dudek making way too many howlers in way too many important games, second-choice Kirkland having an injury-plagued season and last acquisition Scott Carson being a little too inexperienced.

With Pellegrino being cup-tied, Benitez will have to fall back on the Finnan-Carragher-Hyppia-Traore/Riise partnership at the back. The four of them may not have been the plaudits’ favourite for the best defensive combination in the Premiership (with Hyppia’s top draw performances starting to dwindle) but on their day (almost as recent as the match at Delle Alppi), opposing team players will find themselves up against a colossal red wall when launching an attack. Meanwhile, it is without doubt that John Terry’s meteoric rise to be a nominated player for the coveted away is due to his performances in the Chelsea rearguard, which has well-known for being very stingy in the English game. He will be the pivotal point in the heart of the Chelsea defense, which boasts more experienced Continental defenders, such as Cavalho and Gallas.

In midfield, where the game is usually won or lost for either team, one can say that this is one department which both teams are evenly matched, in terms of talent, experience or skill. The neverending rumours in the press surrounding Steven Gerard’s future in a blue shirt is the damning evidence of his quality and the Abrahamovic / Mourinho admiration of his talents. When fit and hungry, he can rip the opposition team to shreds with his incisive passing and the drive in the engine room. As evidenced by his magnificent goal scored against Olympiakos (which gave Liverpool the passport to the next round of the Champions League), Chelsea will do well to avoid conceding free kicks deep in their territory or to give him enough space to line up a long-range shot. Xabi Alonso’s start-to-finish game against Juventus will give Liverpool fans enough encouragement that he should and could do the same in the two-legged semi-final games. How many Liverpool fans were drooling at his pass to Baros at the Juventus game which put the Czech striker clear of the normally-strong Juventus defence? His mopping up play as the defensive anchor and breaking-up of opponent’s play are reminiscent of a younger, fitter and more skillful Didi Hamann. Luis Garcia may be considered too lightweight for the English game, but on European soil, he has proven to be more than a thorn in many teams’ side. The only problem Liverpool has is on the right, where Nunez, a much maligned player, has yet to win fans over with his midfield forays and we have only seen rare glimpses of what he can do so far.

Damien Duff, Frank Lampard, Claude Makele and Joe Cole for Chelsea. Fat Frank has been scoring goals for fun in the Premiership and is now a favourite for the Player of the Year award. Duff can skin most Premiership defences down the flanks. Claude Makele’s presence as the midfield anchor usually guarantees an uneventful game for Chelsea. Joe Cole has recently won critics over with his performances and received a call-up to the Sven’s English team. Formidable?

Cisse’s return may be good news for Liverpool, but unless Baros can stop running like a headless chicken and improve on his first touch, scoring will always be a problem for a Fernando-Morientes-cup-tied Liverpool side. Even if Sinama-Pongolle’s injury can clear up in time or that Cisse gets back to full match fitness in a fortnight’s time, it will be hard, once again, to predict a consistent scoring front man for Liverpool. Not many would bet against a Liverpool frontman not scoring in open play against a defensively strong Chelsea side.

For Chelsea, they have Didier Drogba, their top goalscorer. Following closely behind him is Eidur Gudjonsson with 14 goals. Then, there is Mateja Kezman and Fat “I love to score from midfield” Frank. If all else fails, maybe Steven Gerard can do his “future” employers a bit of a boost like what he did at Cardiff…

Liverpool has never had a good record at Stamford Bridge, not least since the days of Glenn Hoddle. Already this season, Benitez’s side has found themselves staring at defeat against their more financially-illustrious southern rivals for three times. Now, they have two more chances in avenging for the three defeats and the missing out of silverware at Cardiff. The upside is that Liverpool may have more of the key players back from injury in a fortnight’s time (barring no further injuries in the coming days). The downside? History certainly has not been kind to us.

A win in the semi-finals will only serve to make Everton more nervous about the prospect of missing out on the coveted fourth place squad despite the huge possibility of them ending up there at the end of the season. A defeat will spell the end of a glorious Liverpool adventure in Europe.

Either way, it will hinge on which Liverpool team will turn up on the match day –the team who played at the City of Manchester Stadium or the one who turned up at Turin.
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