lol. I agree that it should be more about individual performance than how much the team won. But I don't think your example of someone dominating in the French 2nd division would really work. They really need to be able to dominate in a top division, that's where the most competition is.
I agree positions shouldn't really matter. But it's harder to tell how well a defender or goalkeeper has done. With attacking players you can just look at their assists and goals and use that to judge how well they've done. You could do the same with goals conceded for defensive players, but that doesn't really tell the whole story about them.
Oh... and there is another UK based player that earned his nomination from playing well in the Premier League... Yaya Toure?
Yeah, I know what you mean, top flight means tougher opponents and all that so maybe 2nd division might not be a good scale but just because they haven't been signed by a big club doesn't mean they weren't fantastic for their team and the league they were in.
Let's put this as an example, James Rodriguez in on that list. Sure he did well in the world cup but generally he's not done that well in the French league before his big money move. in the 13/14 season (based on stats from this website: http://www.espnfc.com/ ) he got 15 goals and 14 assists for Monaco and his country in 50 games. Impressive right? But it's not if you look at Wayne Rooney, who isn't on the list, he got in 49 games 24 goals and 19 assists. If it's based on personal achievement, already it fails because it's not representative on the player but the teams success too.
Another good example, new Southampton player Tadic, last season in 44 games he got 22 goals and 14 assists, just because he's playing in the Dutch league for Twente and now Saints means his personal stats should be ignored? He's playing top flight football in both the Netherlands and England as well as for his country.
The competition is favouritism sadly.
Well, Rooney, just because he was on a shite team doesn't mean he wasn't good. Yaya, definitely and Aguero was far better than half that list above, if anyone should be on that list it's Aguero.