Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his scepticism about Luis Suarez's candidacy for winning both the PFA and Football Writers' Association player of the year awards, believing there has been a change in attitude in English football about the kind of 'profile' required for winning the most prestigious individual honours.
According to Mourinho the fact that Suarez, who bit Branislav Ivanovic last season and served a 10 game suspension for the offence, was this season chosen as the stand out player indicates things have “changed a little”, going on to state that the type of 'profile' for player of the year, among the media in particular, had changed since he began his first stint in English football 10 years ago.
Instead Mourinho preferred Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, believing he had the 'right profile' for the award. The Chelsea boss said:
“My player of the year would be always from the champion...I think I would choose Dzeko. Why? Because he was the third striker in the beginning of the season, and when the team needed him, in crucial moments of the season, he made the difference. Sixteen goals for the third striker is something spectacular.”
Mourinho also believed Dzeko added more than goals, providing assists, behaving in the right way, stating: “he's fair, he doesn't dive, doesn't try to put opponents on the stands with accumulation of cards”.
On first glance, given Mourinho's penchant for mind games and double speak, it would be easy to be sceptical and feel there is some deeper, cynical motivation behind Mourinho's advocacy of the Bosnian striker.
Dzeko has scored 16 Premier League goals this season including five in the last four games as City marched to a second Premier League title in three years. These goals included two decisive goals in the crucial 3-2 win at Everton, and deadlock breaking goals against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Dzeko also scored twice as City crushed rivals United in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in March. Going further afield Dzeko has managed 10 goals in 15 Premier League appearances for City since Sergio Aguero's hamstring injury in January threatened to derail his team's bid for silverware this season.
The statistics certainly back up Mourinho's argument that Dzeko has come through for City when they needed him most, and may even hint at further intentions by the Chelsea boss, who will certainly make acquiring a proven goalscorer his priority this summer.
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