Making a Case for Steven Gerrard as PFA Player of Year Before Suarez, Sturridge

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Making a Case for Steven Gerrard as PFA Player of Year Before Suarez, Sturridge
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool players dominate the PFA Player of the Year nominations, with three nominated for the senior award and two in the young player category.

Captain Steven Gerrard is named alongside strike duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, while Raheem Sterling is named alongside Sturridge in the young player category.

In such an outstanding season for Liverpool, it's no wonder that they dominate the listings, and even key players Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson might feel a little aggrieved to not be on the lists.

Brendan Rodgers' squad is full of players playing at the peak of their game, not least Gerrard, who has rejuvenated his career in a deep-lying playmaker role at the age of 33.

Suarez is the favourite to win the award, as per Oddschecker, with Gerrard second favourite. The Uruguayan's incredible form this season has seen him score 29 goals in 29 Premier League games, and he definitely already has one vote, after QPR midfielder Joey Barton tweeted his nominations last month:

 

 

Note that Henderson, who Barton voted for, didn't make the final nominations despite an incredible season that has seen him start every league game so far for the current table toppers.

 

Gerrard

While Suarez is quite clearly a worthy winner of the accolade, there is a case that perhaps had the voting taken place slightly later, Gerrard would be the runaway winner.

The England captain's form has risen throughout the season, and particularly in the last few weeks as Liverpool have gone on an incredible 10-match winning run. Gerrard has been vital since settling into his new role.

Sang Tan

A total of 13 Premier League goals this campaign is Gerrard's second-best return in his career, which he has beaten only in 2008/09 when he hit 16 and is more than Robin van Persie has scored this season. Admittedly, 11 of those 13 goals have been from the penalty spot, and another from a free-kick, but all that shows is the mental strength that Gerrard has displayed this campaign.

Gerrard also has 10 assists to his name this campaign, second only to Suarez, joint with Wayne Rooney and Rickie Lambert.

The inspirational leader of Liverpool for over a decade now, and arguably the club's greatest-ever player, Gerrard has won the PFA award once before, in 2006 when he inspired Liverpool's FA Cup final victory over West Ham.

Perhaps, then, Gerrard would be a worthy winner and could yet claim the prize if some voters refuse to vote for Suarez.

Who can forget that Ryan Giggs won the award in 2009, seemingly doing so purely based upon sentiment after scoring just four times that season. If Giggs was a worthy winner then, Gerrard should win the 2014 prize by a country mile.

 

Praise

As Liverpool inch closer to a first Premier League title, much praise has been lauded to Gerrard—who has won every club trophy possible bar the league title.

"He has had a great career winning many things - but it would be a big shame for him if he was never to win the league with Liverpool," praised Zinedine Zidane this week, as per The Daily Mail.

Clint Hughes

"He [Gerrard] has carried this club for years and he deserves this," said full-back Jon Flanagan this week, as per ESPN. "I think all the lads are doing it for themselves but for also for Stevie as well."

"Gerrard’s [title success] would be the most hard-earned and precious league medal in the history of Liverpool," wrote Keith Duggan of the Irish Times before the Manchester City match last week.

"It would be absolutely fitting for him to finally achieve it this season," says former captain Alan Hansen, who lifted the title last time The Reds won it in 1990. Hansen writes, in his column in The Telegraph:

If it was not for Luis Suárez, I firmly believe Steven would be in contention for the footballer of the year award. Suárez has been sensational this season and obviously cannot be ignored, but Gerrard has reinvented himself in a new position and been an inspiration.

 

Winner

Ultimately, it comes down to Gerrard versus Suarez; sentiment versus pure brilliance. Both would be worthy winners, and perhaps Gerrard is a little unfortunate that his club mate has been in such sensational form during this campaign.

Well, maybe not.

Gerrard certainly won't be complaining if Suarez's goals lead to him lifting title number 19 for Liverpool on May 11. Everyone at Anfield would be a winner then, quite literally.

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