The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) announced its annual set of awards which saw Liverpool’s bustling forward, Mohamed Salah pick up his second Player of the Year (POTY) title, joining an elite set of players to win the PFA award twice.
Along with the Egyptian, the next honour of PFA Young Player of the Year was awarded to Manchester City’s ingenious young lad, Phil Foden, who has been touted to become one of the greats of the game by his manager, Pep Guardiola.
But what caught another Manchester City’s player eye was the PFA Team of the Year (TOTY) list which saw six Liverpool players make the cut and only three City players despite the Cityzens snatching the title away from Liverpool in the dying minutes of the final day of the season and confirming Guardiola’s recent statement that everybody in England loves Liverpool.
This player was none other than City’s centre-back, Aymeric Laporte, who played a pivotal role in securing the fourth title in five years for Pep Guardiola in English football.
Laporte was disappointed and extremely furious at not making the cut for the Premier League TOTY and vented out his frustration with a cryptic tweet that comprised a Jose Mourinho clip where he utters, ‘I prefer not to speak. If I speak, big trouble.’
A disgruntled member of Pep’s squad, Laporte has undoubtedly played a great season. He’s helped to fortify the City’s defensive walls. With him in the back line, City conceded the joint fewest goals (26) in the Premier League and the 28-year-old posted a pass completion rate of 94.8%, the highest by any player in the league.
Some would have kept quiet about this omission from the TOTY after posting such numbers, but Laporte was far from being tight-lipped.
Along with the tweet, the Spaniard also posted stories on his Instagram, giving out the statistics that made him the best contender on the TOTY list.
If looked at it differently, some would say that Laporte was betrayed by his fellow players who failed to vote for him, leaving the Spanish international with no choice but to beat his own drum.
Some fans rushed to Laporte’s support and stated that the player should not heed any attention to such awards as he’s already helped City win the real trophy, the big prize, a few weeks ago.
But Laporte’s insecurity also brought out the trolls who were just waiting for an opportunity to take a dig at the Spaniard.
Responding to one of these trolls was Arsenal’s defender Gabriel Magalhaes who posted a ‘laughing crying face’ emoji on a tweet that corrected Laporte’s statement that he had the most Premier League goals by a centre-back in the season.
These trolls also called out his poor positional play and diverted his attention to John Stones, who they believed is a better defender than the Spaniard despite the stats showing Laporte’s dominance.
There were also shout-outs to Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip for being clear of Laporte, but it only boiled down to one point and one point only – Laporte’s bruised ego that might take some time to recover after this debacle. For now, the debate for TOTY is settled, which has eventually left the Spaniard unsettled and angry.