Monday Moan: Bale double highlights flaws

Mark Holmes calls for a change to the PFA voting procedure, plays down the smiles at QPR, and blames Alan Pardew for Newcastle's problems.

Last Updated: 29/04/13 at 13:28 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Won both PFA awards on Sunday

Gareth Bale: Won both PFA awards on Sunday

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PFA procedures need a change

It was little surprise to see Gareth Bale named the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night.

Any one of Bale, Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez or Juan Mata could have justifiably won the award, but Bale's sensational form at the time voting took place meant he was always likely to see off the competition.

That, of course, is the biggest problem with the PFA award. Because the voting takes place mid-season, players tend to vote for who is in form at the time.

More worryingly, there is still around a third of the season to play when the votes are cast. What if Bale had spent the entire time since then injured or horribly out of form?

Fortunately, that hasn't happened, and Bale is undoubtedly a deserved winner. But the three most crucial games of the season are still to come for Tottenham, and how Bale and the other contenders perform in those crunch matches should have a bearing on who wins the award.

Surely it would not be too difficult to arrange for players to make a second vote in the last week of the season, choosing one of the six players on the shortlist already decided?

Introducing a second vote would also prevent the unfortunate prospect of a player winning both the Player and Young Player of the Year awards as Bale did on Sunday night.

Once the initial votes have been cast, if a player is obviously in the running for the main award, it would make sense for the PFA to remove him from the Young Player list, promoting the seventh most picked player to the shortlist instead.

For once, neither the winner of the award nor the Team of the Season have caused much outrage, but there are still definite improvements that need to be made to the voting process.

Smilegate a non-story

Typically, there has been much outrage expressed since Harry Redknapp and one or two of his QPR players were spotted with smiles on their face after the club's relegation was confirmed at Reading on Sunday.

How dare they! Could they not have managed a few tears? Or at least a frown!

It just goes to show that some people cannot wait to be offended.

The reason there was a lack of bawling at the Madejski Stadium was that both Reading and QPR knew they were going down long before the game kicked off. Both sets of players had already accepted their fate; there was no devastating blow suffered on Sunday.

Have either of the club's supporters been inconsolable since the game? Have they all flatly refused to crack a smile since the final whistle? Unlikely.

Redknapp, Jose Bosingwa and Clint Hill may have momentarily smiled, but that does not mean they do not care about QPR's relegation.

Regardless of how much money they pick up or how little connection they may have to the club, every one of QPR's players will be devastated that they were unable to prevent the club from going down. Even if they know they will not stay at Loftus Road, it is not nice to have a relegation on your CV.

Smilegate was not a story at all.

Redknapp not to blame for relegation

Statistics have recently emerged that Redknapp's win percentage in charge of QPR is actually worse than Mark Hughes' and Neil Warnock's.

To use such a statistic against the 66-year-old is harsh - he may not have won quite as many games as his predecessors, but he has certainly overseen an improvement since taking over at Loftus Road.

QPR had seven points from 12 games (0.58 points per game) when Redknapp was appointed but have taken 18 points from the 23 games since (0.78 points per game).

It is not a record to boast about and ultimately Redknapp has to take a portion of the blame for QPR's relegation having spent so long in charge, but the bigger mistakes have clearly been made in the boardroom.

Redknapp recently admitted that there is resentment in the dressing room at the wages certain players are receiving, and it has been patently obvious for months that the team lacked the spirit to drag themselves to safety.

Unfortunately, these were problems out of Redknapp's control and, although he must take some of the blame, he is certainly not the reason QPR are now a Championship club again.

Pardew must take more responsibility

One manager that most certainly is to blame for his side's precarious position in the Premier League is Newcastle's Alan Pardew.

He was happy with what was subsequently proven to be a disastrous summer transfer window, and he admitted after Saturday evening's embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Liverpool that the team lacked experience.

Yet Pardew did not seem to have too many concerns about a lack of Premier League experience when strengthening his squad with five more French players in the January transfer window.

Pardew, of course, isn't the only person involved in transfer dealings at St James' Park, but ultimately he has to take responsibility for the mistakes made as the manager.

Even if he can claim mitigating circumstances over that, he most certainly cannot regarding his continued bizarre team selections, the latest of which saw Moussa Sissoko deployed on the right wing against Liverpool.

Newcastle now face a real battle to save themselves from relegation - and those wanting to point fingers need look no further than at Pardew.

You can follow Homzy on Twitter @Homzy to see what he moans about for the rest of the week.

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