No prizes for guessing who I’m talking about, because my clues are intentionally about as subtle as those showing Ashley Cole plays for the other team (no, I don’t mean Chelsea, I mean homosexuals).

A United player, the best central midfielder and leader the Premiership has ever seen, one of the best to ever play in England and in Europe, was slaughtered by the press after falling out with his international coach in a recent World Cup. He’s a hot head, he’s irresponsible, and he left his country. Not only that, he beats up kids as well, and rips off their Argos “gold” chains.

A United player, one of the two best central defenders England have, forgets a drugs test and goes shopping in Manchester with Nicky Butt. He’s banned for 9 months by the FA, labelled a druggie by the press and the country, and United and England’s campaign that year are ruined because of his absence.

A United player, with potential of being one of the best players ever to play for England, has a temper. He claps at referees when they make bad decisions and tells people to fuck off. He’s a disgrace, an embarrassment to England, to United, and to 20 year olds the world over!

A Liverpool player, beats his 8 month pregnant wife, hits a 15 year old boy, and the press sweep it under the carpet. There was as little fuss made about that, as there was over the fact Roy Keane’s charges of assaulting that chav were actually thrown out of court.

A City player, misses a drugs test a few months previous to Rio Ferdinand, and receives no ban, a £2000 fine, and little to no press coverage whatsoever.

A Liverpool player, an England hero, who represents all that’s good about the game, who doesn’t cheat, who doesn’t make dirty challenges, who doesn’t have a hot temper, came out last week and entered in to the diving debate, after the recent attention given to it in the Premiership. He said it annoyed him when he saw not just foreign players dive, but any player diving, and that “managers and captains, leaders and experienced players have a responsibility to grab people after a training session or a game and say ‘None of that. That doesn’t happen here’.” Less than a week later, he was seen diving in the Bolton area, under no contact. If Wayne Rooney had made such comments, only to be seen cheating later in the week, would the press have given it no attention whatsoever, as they did in this example?

It seems this country is obsessed with United, the press, the FA and rival fans. Whatever chinks they have in the armour are emphasised a million times over, turned in to scandalous awful things, blown out of all proportion. But then when they achieve great things, when their players do well, what recognition are they given?

Lets talk about the World Player of the Year. Frank Lampard is the 2nd best player in the world. Really? I mean, everyone who knows me knows my feelings on Fat Frankie, so it’s no surprise I don’t agree. But really, there is only one player in the whole world better than Frank Lampard?? In 1999, the most successful season of any English team in the history of the game, United had 3 players in the top 10. No Giggs, no Keane, no Scholes. David Beckham was 2nd, the only United player to ever receive such an honour in the 15 years the competition has been going. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, the highest goal scoring partnership in the whole of Europe, scraped 9th and 10th. Brilliant, but not so brilliant when you consider Drogba, in his first season at Chelsea, who was generally considered a bit of a flop, the 15th highest goalscorer in the Premiership with 11 goals 4 assists to his name, was named the 10th best player in the world. Really? No, really??

So now, it’s PFA Player of the Year time again. Last year’s winner, John Terry, is there, of course, no complaints. Steven Gerrard, again, no complaints. Wayne Rooney, of course. The expected Theirry Henry, who although has had a pretty average season by his standards in terms of his general play in the Premiership, has scored plenty of goals, so fair do’s. But Joe Cole? Definitely one of the most improved players, but unfortunately he believes he’s a lot better than he actually is, goes down too easily, and has turned in to a bit of a whiner…and on the big stage of the Champions League, he looked completely out of his depth. And Frank Lampard? Had a good start to the season, scoring plenty of goals, but for the last 2/3 of the season has looked knackered and nonchalant. There seems to be a gaping hole in this list. The fella who has been leading the Premiership goalscorers table for virtually the entire season?

So, 21 goals in 25 starts (31 appearances) in the league isn’t enough to warrant a top 6 place for Ruud, so what exactly does he have to do? Had he scored 4 more goals this season, and had 25 goals in 25 starts, would that be enough? Or, does he, more depressingly, have to swap the colour of his shirt…because it seems players in United red always seem to be handed the shitty end of the stick.

Currently, Eto’o has scored 2 more league goals than Ruud and Toni has scored 3 more. So the 3rd most successful goalscorer in Europe can’t make the top 6 player in England? Let’s hope Ruud gets the European golden boot this season, just to make real mockery out of this ridiculous PFA set up, which no doubt Joe Cole will win, and our Wayne can pick up the cheap consolation prize of PFA Young Player of the Year *sigh*