LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Fulham's Clint Dempsey.celebrates after scoring his second goal and Fulham's fifth goal of the match during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage on March 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
It came as no great, genuine or authentic surprise, but the fact that Clint Dempsey was not included in the PFA Player's Player of the Year short list was still somewhat disheartening. As most would expect the list was formed, instead, of six players from the top four - half of which playing for Manchester City.
For the record, Robin van Persie of Arsenal, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United, Scott Parker of Tottenham Hotspur and David Silva, Joe Hart and Sergio Aguero, all of City, were the inclusions. You have to feel that perhaps only the first three are truly and evidentially justified.
Of course, all of them have had seasons of phenomenal pedigree - not least van Persi, who is already beyond-favourite to walk away with what is a much coveted accolade. Rooney had something of an anonymous start to this campaign but has proved himself worthy yet again, much in line with United's late, great surge towards yet another Premier League title. Parker, as you'd expect, has been his laborious yet neglected self. The other three have been effective in fits and spurts at best and have failed to carry consistency through the season, with the only exception going to Joe Hart - a ubiquitously talented English goalkeeper if ever there was one.
Dempsey, though, went unmentioned, along with other players who have set this year alight with sheer footballing aptitude. Demba Ba, for example, hasn't been recognised. All the while, you have to feel that the job they are doing is a more difficult one and yet the results they are offering are just as prolific. Does Ba have the support of the £20 million-rated Ashley Young and does Dempsey - a midfielder by trade, it must be noted - have the support of the multi talented, and multi-millionaire, Man City setup?
Both Ba and Dempsey have sixteen goals apiece in the Premier League, which, while being a far cry from van Persie's 27, is respectable in every sense of the word. Dempsey, especially, has been enduringly active. At some points in Fulham's season of tremendously intermittent success, he's been no less than vital. He's scored crucial goals, proved his boundless flexibility by performing, quite regularly of late, as a lone striker and in the process has done a sterling job.
And now, of course, the vultures circle around him, ready to snatch him from SW6's weary grasp come season's end. Clearly, then, there is something special in this 29 year old. Of course, not special enough for a PFA Player's Player of the Year Award. And that is so unfortunate because Dempsey has been a revelation this year - a year touted as his maker - and has continued to astound.
Since moving in the January transfer window of 2007, the US International has climbed the ranks to become a player that is simply indispensable to Fulham, but the signs were there all along. His crucial goal against Liverpool in his very first season being one of them.
He won't be rewarded externally but he must be aware of how grateful Fulham are for his efforts. The chances are that he will leave this summer but he will leave as a legend in the same ilk as Brian McBride did four years ago.
We will remember Dempsey and hopefully, before long, so will everybody else.