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Suarez my choice for Player of the Year

As we come down to the end of the season, the nominations for Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year have been named with Gareth Bale of Tottenham, Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez the three main contenders for the senior award while Bale is also among the favourites for the Young Player of the Year.

All three players have had outstanding seasons with Bale scoring some fantastic — and crucial — goals for Spurs as have Suarez at Liverpool and van Persie in his first season at Manchester United.

Bale and van Persie are exciting left-footed players but are different sorts of players ... van Persie more or less a goal poacher who has the ability to create while Bale is a very powerful player who makes things happen. He depends a lot more of strength and quickness and I think he will win the Young Player of the Year award. I’m sorry Mario Balotelli is still not at Manchester City because if there is a young player in world football right now who can play it’s him.

Not since Andy Gray in the 1970s and Ronaldo in 2006-07 has a player won both awards in the same season and Bale is certainly in the running. A lot depends on the people making that decision but I think Suarez has probably been the most consistent when it comes to scoring goals this year and he has just one goal less than van Persie (22 and 21) as the top scorer in the Premier League for the Golden Boot award. For Liverpool the guy is everything and without him you notice it.

Suarez would be my choice as Player of the Year, between him and van Persie, while Bale is my choice as Young Player of the Year. I think van Persie has done tremendous to go from Arsenal to Manchester United who are on the verge of winning the league title. If Bale and Spurs stop Manchester City on Sunday, then United could clinch the title the following day with victory over Aston Villa who also have a player in the running for the Young Player of the Year, Christian Benteke, along with another Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, the West Brom player on loan from Chelsea.

What people don’t understand about van Persie is he is one of those total packages that I speak about, brought up in Holland and came to England and within two years is dominating the league. That’s what happens when you are brought up in the right fashion. He can do everything, knows how to run off the ball, can shoot, is a good header and scores goals and that’s a credit to the Dutch pedigree.

If United don’t win the league on Monday, they could do it next weekend when they travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal, van Persie’s former team. He’s professional and will be able to handle the abuse that will come his way. The Dutch mentality is very strong and he will be no different. He wanted to win championships and Arsenal weren’t ready to do that yet and he felt it was the right time to move on. He couldn’t have picked a better club, Manchester United, the top club in England and one of the top three clubs in the world. I think it is a good move for him and he’s proved that by the amount of goals he’s scored this year. There is a 13-point gap between United and City and it’s signed, sealed, delivered as far as I’m concerned.

Congratulations to Cardiff on clinching promotion to the Premier League for the first time in midweek, meaning that Wales will have two teams in the top division next season. It’s fantastic for Wales and they do have some fantastic singing at the matches and the atmosphere will be superb next season. They love to sing, have fun and love a few pints and I’m sure they’ll have plenty of those when they travel to watch the team play.

It’s great for football to have another club from Wales in the Premier League. It’s probably worth about £60 million to Cardiff for just getting there and good luck to them,. Swansea had some success this year by winning the Capital Cup, with Michael Laudrup going in and carrying on something that Brendan Rodgers started. They have continued to play free flowing football which is what the fans want to see. I can imagine the Swansea-Cardiff matches next season are going to be sold out as soon as the schedule comes out.

West Ham are on the verge of safety and were unlucky not to get a win against Manchester United in midweek, playing to a 2-2 draw after twice leading. I thought one of the United goals was offside ad that’s probably why they are bringing in goal line technology next season. At least they didn’t get beaten, they got a point which is a precious point for them. They should be okay, let’s hope so.

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Published April 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm (Updated April 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm)

Suarez my choice for Player of the Year

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