Rafael and De Gea have been disgraced by Wilshere

by Sam Peoples

This season has been a topsy turvy campaign for Manchester United in many respects.

The highs have been balanced out by the lows, the peaks have been matched by the troughs and the euphoria of success has been levelled on many an occasion.

Glorious days of winning away at Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea have being matched by the equally disappointing exits in the FA Cup and Champions League (in unceremonious circumstances).

It has hardly been a straight forward season in some respects but amidst the ever-changing landscape that has been United this year, there have been some consistencies – none more so than David de Gea and Rafael da Silva.

Yet both were left out of the 2013 PFA nominations with Jack Wilshere getting a nomination ahead of both.

Wilshere is one of England’s greatest young talents and previously won the award back in 2011 but does he deserve it on the merit of his performances this season? No.

But De Gea and Rafael have had phenomenal levels of progression this season. Both for different reasons.

This was Rafael‘s fourth season at the club. Ever since joining back in 2008, his brash and characteristically dangerous style of play epitomised a career that always seemed to take two steps forward and three steps back.

The red card against Bayern Munich was his low point but the Rafael that played that day is unrecognisable from United’s #2 today.

International duty with Brazil, becoming a father and Fabio departing for QPR have all helped him transform himself from a sprightly, unreliable Brazilian into one of the Premier League’s best defenders.

rafael-manchester-united-man-of-the-match-everton2Combining defending and marauding attacking runs with ease, Rafael has been nothing short of a revelation this year. Man-of-the-match performances against Everton at home and QPR away epitomise just how far he has progressed.

Yet, he was overlooked for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. I genuinely thought he was a dead cert to be in contention for the award.

And as for De Gea, don’t get me started on big Dave.

Name another keeper in the league who has been more consistent this season? Cech? Krul? Hart? Nobody. De Gea has been by far and out the best goalkeeper this year – nobody comes close.

Setting the longest period in the Premier League without conceding (678 minutes) since Van Der Sar’s epic 1,311 minutes back in 2008, he made his critics eat the humblest of pies.

The levels of progression he has shown this season is scary considering he is only 22.

He has transformed himself from a skinny boy into an unwavering man between the sticks. Every single aspect of his game has improved – dominating his six yard box, dealing with aerial threats, taking whacks in the face, distribution, decision making and shot stopping: everything.

It is a far cry from the De Gea who flapped at a ball against Blackburn to give them a 3-2 win at Old Trafford back in 2011. A far cry from the De Gea who struggled to find his way in the Premier League in his first season at United amidst a continuous storm of media pressure. Now, he is ready for the rough and rumble of the league and looks like he invites the challenge more with every game he plays.

At the same age, only Buffon and Casillas were established goalkeepers at really top level clubs (Juventus and Real Madrid). They have since become stalwarts in their own right and there is absolutely no reason why we are not watching the career beginnings of the worlds best goalkeeper.

So, to see Rafael and De Gea both left out of the PFA Young Player of the Year Award and Wilshere get a spot is a real shame. Welbeck was a surprise nomination to anyone who isn’t a United fan and in all honesty, some United fans too – especially given that he was chosen ahead of De Gea and Rafael for the award. But, I am chuffed for Welbeck who should get a lot of confidence out of the nomination.

Despite both being ignored for a reward they richly deserve, United fans know just how far Rafael and De Gea have come this season, and it is only just the beginning for both of them.

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nkusuny 04/21/2013 - 01:31

Don’t give a damn over who’s nominated or not. but Santi Carzola deserve to be there ahead of carrick! He has assisted and scored more goals than Carrick.

rizal 04/21/2013 - 01:09

Getting mad at Jack and don’t get mad at Wallbeck for the spot, why because Wallbeck is your player, This is soo typical STUPID and distasteful some or even more of Manu fans. This type of thinking is not welcome and will only promote the worst out of human behavior.

Jon 04/20/2013 - 23:39

Top job with the ridiculous hyperbole, there. Twat.

John Hamm 04/20/2013 - 20:30

LMAO! Complaining at Wilshere’s inclusion when Welbeck got nominated. Welbeck who has scored 2 goals in 35 appearances this season. A forward with those sort of stats being nominated for YPOTY is the bigger travesty here.

I agree Wilshere shouldn’t have been nominated but to justify Welbeck’s inclusion as a surprise and simply say “it should give him confidence”…laughable blog! Don’t give up the day job Mr Biased.

Ohitai John Marios 04/20/2013 - 19:53

I agree Carrick deserved to be nominated and whatsoever you argue on him, he’s the really man this season compared to dead Arsenal’s Carzola. Also Rafael and De Gea could have been nominated for the award. Man Utd forever and I wish RVP and 16 Carrick good luck!

ferro 04/20/2013 - 16:48

Im a Gooner… but must admit that their hasnt been many a RB if any who have played as consistantly well as the young Brazilian. Hed be my choice.

Carrick on the other hand has had a terrific season but sadly is one of those players who goes about their business quitely and keeping it simple… whereas the three stand out midfrs (santi bale mata) are full of skill, power, pace, passing, goals, and so much tactical awareness which all best players are admired for.

You have to remember these votes are biased and based on envy favortism freindships and fellow countrymen.

Sometimes a player will be so deserving that he will have to get the nod by the huge majority… maybe Suarez but i wouldnt go that far just yet.

What sickens me the most is how people are suggesting that Gerrard has been the pl best ever when he doesnt even come close to Henry… hed admit that himself as when he bowed to the mighty Vieira. Talk about baised among voters.

I could name a few Arsenal or even manu players who had so much more ability than the Englishman. Sure imagine if Henry had of acutally been English, there would have been a mighty religion based on the supreme Frenchman.

patrick kinanga 04/20/2013 - 14:39

I believe in justice but to this justice has been denied. Rafael so far has been the best right hand defender thus he deserved to be nominated.

Trevor 04/20/2013 - 14:36

I gather that you only see Rafael going forward. Defending, there are a lot better full backs in the Championship.

Gareth Sowinskey 04/20/2013 - 12:23

How dare Wilshere be nominated by his colleagues?! Your stupidity had to be pointed out, but on some level i agree. Wilshere has had an injured season, whereas you mention two important players of a champions to be – side. The thing is, players of the league, who, mind you, execute this vote, have, in the relatively short period in which Wilshere has been able to spark the PL, been able to witness and play against his unmatched talent. His first touch, his 2nd, 3rd … touch, his pace in the little spaces, his driving forward, his passing and vision. His raw defensive will and pressing abilities. Carrick and Rafael play for a close to perfectly balanced 11 man team where no or few players really stand out (rvp). United have a unique playing style, where players just are pawns really: Get the ball out on the wing as quickly as possible and let crosses fly. From then on it’s just a numbers game, get enough men into the box, and make sure the ones who are there are capable strikers. Thank you, I agree to some extent, and good luck.

Everest 04/20/2013 - 11:36

So angry wat the hell i’m hearing, De Gea not nominated? This is den crazy.

Eddie McGinty 04/20/2013 - 11:32

As an Arsenal fan I can only agree. Wilshere has only played half a season, a bloody great half a season, but half a season nonetheless. Rafael has been your best player in my opinion. And Carrick is one of the most underrated players in the world. He’d fit right in in Spain.

Well 04/20/2013 - 11:06


Mat 04/20/2013 - 10:58

I agree, De Gea and and Rafael have improved alot this season. I still hate Ribery for that red card on da Silva in the champions league game though. Even if he was a bit clumpsy it was no red card, and diving from Ribery.

wardy 04/20/2013 - 10:44

I honestly thought you were being sarcastic at first……..How on earth, did you arrive at the conclusions? have maybe spent 6 months of the footy season in a comer??
What a ridiculousness………

Galway Gooner 04/20/2013 - 10:26

While I cant speak as to the merits of either deGea or Da Silva I have to say I was surprised that Wilshere got a nomination considering how little he’s actually played this season. Think it might be a bit of the English bias, similar to those talking up Bale ahead of Suarez or even that git who plays up front for you lot as player of the year. It should always be rewarded based on achieving a consistent level of performance rather than a player simply hitting a purple patch at the right time.

uc 04/20/2013 - 09:23

bale is d man

George 04/20/2013 - 11:10

No he is not. Carrick carried United this season.

What is Bale going to win cometh May!!!!

abhi 04/20/2013 - 13:41

Are you trying to say that United will win the title because of carrick….your heads gone!!! Bale is a better player and more important to his team than carrick ever will be…you shame the united name!!!!

chris 04/20/2013 - 19:33

NOT TRUE United wouldnt be anywhere near where they are in the league without carrick Bale is quality bit spurs have won nothing Carrick is quality and united have They are different players but carrick has been more important to us this year than anyone except Rvp MAYBE

dave@spurs 04/21/2013 - 20:05

player of the year thats what, 3rd welsh team of next season,cardiff, swansea,Bale,
you have to be a gooner with a remark like that. and no wiltshire should not be ahead of de gea

steve 04/20/2013 - 08:24

What a load of garbage you have just wrote De Gea looks good behind a well drilled defense and can be brilliant one minute and then flapping the next. He has played well for 8 weeks.
Rafael has been reasonable but hardly set the world alight though i do believe that he will be a top class full back. One great goal at QPR does not make a season.
Wilshire inclusion is a bit suspect but for the 3 months he was fit he was brilliant driving on a poor Arsenal side and look at the difference he made to England against Brazil.
It is all irrelevant anyway as Bale is the one outstanding choice in the group.

Trim 04/20/2013 - 12:20

Well drilled defence? We’ve had to play Carrick there at times due to injuries. Vidic and Rio have bothe been injured, as have Evans and Smalling. It’s only recently that we’ve had a few games with the same back four. I reckon we have coped well with having to mix and match the back 4, so Dave has done really wel to cope with this. He has shaped into a really good keeper who I’m sure will be even better next year

B 04/20/2013 - 19:01

I wouldnt call United’s defence well drilled too.

Dog 04/20/2013 - 08:21

So wot do u think about carrick nominated over carzola hey

Dog 04/20/2013 - 08:10

So what about carrick nominated instead of carzola u sap

chris 04/20/2013 - 15:07

what have arsenal won with corzola NOTHING AHAHHAHAHAHAH

Don TownLon 04/20/2013 - 17:05

If you offered every manager Rapahel or Carrick or De Gea or Cazorla – who would they pick??? Seriously, Plastic Mancs are so thick they should stick to what they’re best at – nothing!

Clockendrider 04/20/2013 - 07:08

You’re right. How dare Wilshere be regarded by his fellow professionals, outside of his own club who are not allowed to vote for him, as one of the best performers of the year.
Still there’s no accounting for taste. Carrick is nominated in the senior category.

George 04/20/2013 - 11:08

Wilshere undoubtedly is a great talent, but he was most of the season out injured!!
Also, Welbeck made the list only because he is an England Player.

vino 04/20/2013 - 14:08

Wilshere minutes: 1627, Raphael minutes: 2062. In other words Raphael has played 4 more games than Wilshere. The real crime, if you care about this type of rubbish, is Carrick being nominated ahead of players like Michu and Cazorla.

B 04/20/2013 - 19:00

You idiots dont know what you are on about, Carrick fully deserves to be nominated. He is the best passer of the ball in the premier league and has the most forward passes in the whole of European football. Michu’s form has fizzled out but Carrick has been one of the most consistent players in the premier league, above even Van Persie and Suarez.

Harry 04/20/2013 - 21:20

Its called Player of the Season, not consistent player of the season, I could name 20 players ahead of carrick for Player of the season, but I accept he has been good for United. All teams need players like Carrick, but he doesnt win you trophies.

Tak 04/21/2013 - 01:09

Carrick best passer of the ball in the Premier League? HAHAHAHAHA.

You’re deluded if you think this is the case, I can name better passers in the United midfield let alone the premier league…

hmz 04/21/2013 - 03:29

some people have short memories. 2009, giggs won pfa player of the year despite only started 12 games & 12 subs appearance. that’s very deserving.

Joker 04/20/2013 - 06:26

De Gea???


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