Bale and Nasri eye PFA double

BY foxsports • April 8, 2011

The PFA have announced that Tottenham winger Bale and Arsenal playmaker Nasri were among seven nominees from the Premier League for each of their of their top prizes. The pair are likely to face stiff competition in both categories, however, as the contest is generally perceived to be wide open. Bale's Spurs team-mate Rafael Van der Vaart is also in contention for the main prize along with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez, Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, West Ham midfielder Scott Parker and Blackpool talisman Charlie Adam. England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, Arsenal starlet Jack Wilshere, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Manchester United pair Nani and Javier Hernandez are the other contenders for the young player gong. Bale and Nasri are bidding to emulate Andy Gray (1977) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007) as the only players to previously win both awards in the same year. Wayne Rooney was last year nominated in both categories but took the chief prize while James Milner was young player of the year. Players' union chief Gordon Taylor is pleased to see a number of British players in contention for player of the year prizes. The Professional Footballers' Association today announced the nominees for their prestigious Players' Player and Young Player of the Year awards. Of the homegrown players, Bale is nominated in both categories while Parker and Adam compete with him for the main prize. Hart and Jack Wilshere are nominated for the young player gong. Taylor said: "This year there are some very good contenders and it is nice to see some homegrown players in there as well. That is encouraging. "We are the most cosmopolitan league in the world but I would feel a little sad if all the nominations were to players from abroad. "There is a lovely blend there which says what is good about football in this country. "It is a blend of some of the best in the world - senior players with some up-and-coming youngsters that have come through our development programme." Unlike last year, when Rooney was a clear winner, the competition for the top award, which will be announced on April 17, is believed to be wide open. Bale may be a slight favourite but there is not believed to be one outstanding candidate. Wilshere is expected to provide a strong challenge to the Spurs star for the young player prize after earning many plaudits in the second half of the campaign. Bale and Nasri are bidding to emulate Andy Gray (1977) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007) as the only players to previously win both awards in the same year. Taylor said: "It is certainly very competitive. There has been no outstanding favourite so it will be very interesting to see who people think are favourites." Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is in no doubt Bale's outstanding season should be recognised with an award. The 21-year-old Wales winger caught the eye in the early part of the campaign, particularly in Spurs' Champions League clashes with Inter Milan in October and November. A back injury suffered in January has since limited his output but Redknapp feels the youngster had already done enough to impress the voting players. He said: "It's fantastic news for the club. "Gareth's had an amazing early part of the season, he was in great form. "He's picked up a bit of an injury recently but the kid has been absolutely amazing and has got better and better. "In all honesty he would be my choice, he deserves it this year. "He has been the best player this season out of all the players in the country." He added: "Rafa [Van der Vaart] has had a fantastic first season at Tottenham. "He was great at the start but the last few weeks haven't gone for him. "He has been unlucky with injuries that have set him back but he has had a big impact here and has had a great season. "He wouldn't be far away from winning it as well. "There's a few good candidates but Gareth would take some beating." Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was glad to see two of his players nominated on the PFA's shortlist, but prefers collective rather than individual recognition. "I am happy and I believe it is fully deserved," he said. "Both of them have contributed very well with the consistency of their contribution. "After it is all about opinion, but you cannot deny that both of them have played over 40 games and, for me, that deserves to be rewarded." Wenger, though, would not be drawn on who his player of the year would be. The Gunners boss added: "I do not want to judge individuals. "I am not a fan of that because we are in a team sport and to praise individuals is something I never really liked in our sport." Tevez took over the captain's armband at City this season as manager Roberto Mancini believes the striker is such an influential figure. "Carlos is very important for us as he is a fantastic player, " Mancini said in an interview with Yahoo-Eurosport's The Dugout. "You should not only have one like Carlos in the dressing room but maybe six. Then you would be a better team."

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