‘You won the real trophy’ – Man City fans react as Aymeric Laporte vents PFA frustration
Four Manchester City stars have been recognised by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) for their efforts this year, although one City regular appears to have taken issue with the relatively low City representation.
Media bias against Pep Guardiola’s side – whether real or not – has been a hot topic of conversation this season among City fans. However, Aymeric Laporte’s recent tweet suggests that he believes that footballers aren’t too keen on the Premier League champions either.
On Thursday evening the PFA released its Team of the Year and revealed the winner of the annual PFA Player of the Year award, both voted for by players.
While Phil Foden was named the Young Player of the Year, Kevin De Bruyne missed out on winning a record third consecutive Player of the Year award as Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah took the prize. Meanwhile, only three City players – De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo – were included in the PFA Team of the Season.
Following the announcements, City defender Laporte appeared to take exception with the decision of his peers, expressing his frustration via a cryptic tweet. The Spain international posted a GIF of the famous ‘I prefer not to speak’ Jose Mourinho interview, accompanied by shrugging and face-palm emojis.
It can’t be proved for certain that Laporte was responding to the awards, but it seems fairly likely. It’s also not clear which – if not both – he was complaining about.
Laporte can count himself hard done by for his season not to be recognised by his fellow players. The 28-year-old played 33 times as City won the Premier League title, making a huge contribution to both the Blues’ defensive and attacking achievements.
City conceded the joint-fewest goals in the division this season – 26 – while Laporte clocked a pass completion rate of 94.7 per cent, the best of any player in the league. However, Virgil van Dijk and Antonio Rudiger were voted into the Team of the Year head of him.
He also may have been referring to Salah winning the Player of the Year award ahead of De Bruyne, although that was a contest that could have gone either way.
Only Laporte knows for sure what was meant by the tweet, but it seems that footballers do really care about individual accolades. City fans on Twitter were quick to back up their centre-back but were also keen to remind him that, at the end of the day, he got his hands on the prize that matters more than any other.
@ManCityKD: You led us to that trophy bro. You were the best CB in the league. No doubt. Let them take the small ones we take the league
@Cameron_MCFC_: Virgil van Dijk getting ahead of you was on a reputation basis only no way was he better.
@NettyCiteh: You won the actual real big trophy tho, who cares about being in the team of the year?