Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Edin Dzeko, and not Luis Suarez, should have been the Premier League’s player of the season.
Mourinho has been a regular critic of the Liverpool striker, who won the PFA and Football Writers’ Association awards, dubbing him as the king of penalties and describing him as an “acrobatic swimming pool” diver.
And now Mourinho has stated his belief that the player of the year should be either Suarez’s Anfield team-mate Steven Gerrard or Manchester City striker Dzeko, who has scored some vital goals in his side’s end-of-season run.
City will secure the title on Sunday with a point against West Ham and Mourinho feels the individual award winner should come from the champions.
Mourinho said: “Luis Suarez is a very good player. They’re not voting for a player who has no quality.
“(But) the profile of player who wins the player of the year is not the profile of player who used to win in English football 10, eight, six years ago.
“He bit (Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic) not this season but the previous season. This is a different season. I’m not speaking about one mistake that a man can have. You don’t have to be punished for the rest of your life if you make a mistake on the football pitch.
“My player of the year would be always from the champions, in every condition. “If the champion is Man City, I would say a Man City player and if I have to choose one, I would choose Dzeko.”
“(But) my player of the year would be always from the champions, in every condition.
“If the champion is Man City – they need a point – I would say a Man City player and if I have to choose one, I would choose Dzeko.
“The kind of player he is, he’s not just a goalscorer. He assists, he plays, he behaves, he’s fair, doesn’t dive, doesn’t try to put opponents in the stands with accumulation of cards.
“He was the third (choice) striker at the beginning of the season. He was hidden behind his manager’s first choices and when the team needed him in crucial moments of the season, I think he made the difference.
“In this moment I think he has 16 goals. Sixteen goals for the third striker is something spectacular.”
Mourinho’s praise for Gerrard even included thinly veiled criticism of Suarez.
He added: “Tremendous cold blood as a penalty taker. He had lots of them but with every penalty he was there for the team too and some of them were crucial.”