By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger always takes the PFA awards with a pinch of salt.
The nominees for this year’s prizes were announced on Tuesday and, as expected, Manchester United players dominated the list. Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edwin van der Sar will fight it out for the main award with Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool captain.
Wenger picked out two notable nominees when the topic cropped up at his pre-match press conference. However, the process does not sit comfortably with the Frenchman. He believes the PFA awards are flawed because they do not account for performances at the ‘business end’ of the season. And, of course, Wenger is more concerned with teams than individuals.
“A very influential player at Manchester United this year was Vidic and Gerrard for me is justified as well,” said the Arsenal manager. “He has had a great season and has grown in stature this year.
“But there are always players missing [in the nominees list]. I'm not a big fan of this kind of contest because it's very difficult to be objective and I believe what is important is we are in a team sport and I'm not too interested in singling out players.
“I am ready to vote what is the best team at the end of the season rather than about individuals.
“Also, the PFA players of the year decisions are all made in February. But February is not a really important time and that means the players who are rewarded are those who played well until February.
“But now is the most important time of the season - April, May - so I believe these awards just reward the players of the first six months of the season. A player who has been out until January has no chance to be voted but he can still be very influential for the rest of the season.
“If they vote in May, I hope some of my players would be in there because that would mean we have done well tomorrow and later.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Apr 2009