Vox Pop: As the PFA prepare to name their choice, who is your player of the season?
Sunday 25 April 1999
HEAD OF PFA COACHING SECTION
Roy Keane. You're looking for players of influence, and he springs to mind straight away. He's the driving force of Manchester United. Strong and blessed with a great engine, he's a box-to-box player who can score goals - he's basically got a very good all-round modern game for a midfielder. And he is a better player now than ever before. With more options in front of him this season, his passing has improved tremendously. He may still have a few temperament problems, but that's just part of his game.
Dwight Yorke. He's gone to Manchester United for pounds 12.5m, and has looked the part. He gives them what Cantona used to, and he can score goals too. He gives them that little bit extra: links the play, scores goals and has performed brilliantly in the big games. I also happen to think that the step he took - bearing in mind what his background was and how much money he cost - was huge. But he has dealt with things as if he had been playing on the big stage at Old Trafford for 10 years, not 10 months of a season.
Dave Watson. It doesn't matter how many games he's played, every time the man appears I go: "Fine, terrific. OK, so the legs have gone, but the brain..." He just looks at the other players and says: "Think." He can't play two games on the trot now, because he's 37, but after the Sheffield Wednesday defeat I called Walter and told him we had six matches left and those six team-sheets should all start with Watson. Even on the touchline, he's the best player in the team. He quite simply epitomises Everton.
Sol Campbell. However good people think he is, he's secretly twice as good as that. Last season he was the best defender in the country, and he's come on from that. And the captaincy seems to have brought out another level of commitment in him. He's scored nine goals this season, has been booked only once and has lifted a trophy at Wembley. Roy Keane and David Ginola have been outstanding as well, but considering who Campbell has had around him and how he has raised his game, he's my ideal player.
Dwight Yorke. It pains me to say it, but he is an excellent player. He seems genuinely to enjoy the game, has a good attitude and scores far too many goals. There are so many examples of people who have gone to a big club and then disappeared without trace that his immediate success at United has been a bit of a surprise. It just shows how good Alex Ferguson is at picking players. Jaap Stam is another who has come on. Poor early on, he now looks like three people standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPION
Roy Keane. He is such a good player. I think he is the one who has kept Manchester United together this season. People talk about Beckham and Giggs, but I believe Keane is the main man in that side. In so many sports it is always the flair players who get the most plaudits, but Keane is the key performer. He works so hard in midfield and gives them such strong leadership. And you can see how important he is to United, because when he is missing they really struggle to be at their best.
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