Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Premier League team of the season

After the list of nominees for the PFA Player of the year was revealed, I found it upsetting to find the usual hype over quality among the list. Rather than use my mighty influence and give a personal call to PFA Chairman Clarke Carlisle, and convince him to change the list, I chose to pick my own Premier Leauge team of the season. I am sure Gareth Bale will be very upset to find out he's not there.

GK: Petr Cech (Chelsea) Made one high-profile mistake against Liverpool but has otherwise been probably the best keeper. He’s made some unbelievable saves throughout the campaign and makes it for me.

RB: Phil Neville (c) (Everton) This was the hardest position to pick for. But I can’t think of a better right-back than Neville this season, funny as that might sound, but he has had a fine late career. A solid and experienced defender, he has kept the big players quiet when man-for-man against the top clubs, as Everton have picked up points against the higher-reputation teams.

LB: Leighton Baines (Everton) May not be a universally popular pick for those reading but Baines has made eleven assists and scored three goals for Everton so far, against the big teams and at crucial times, showing he is the league’s most dangerous left-back going forward as well as a highly-competent defender. He is growing with every season.

CB: Vincent Kompany (Man City) The standout central defender of the season. Kompany has become the first name on the team-sheet in a club with big names in every position. Imperious in ending Chelsea’s early 100% record and has not looked back.

CB: Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd) A tough call between Vidic and Bolton’s Gary Cahill, and Vidic has not had his best season, but he has still been commanding at the back and United have looked like a different team when he and/or Ferdinand have played.

CM: Alex Song (Arsenal) I didn’t want to leave out Scott Parker for the season he’s had at West Ham, but here I have to concede that Song is the better player and has become one of the most important members of Arsenal’s title-challenging team. The best holding-midfielder in the Premier League.

CM: Ryan Giggs (Man Utd) Ubiquitously described in media match-reports as ‘ageless’, Giggs has had another fine season and is arguably still at his best (albeit as a different type of player). Still the biggest creative force in the United middle, his vision and technique rivals the world’s very best and, even at 38, should be one of the first players we turn to when comparing the Premier League’s technical quality with its European rivals. He has made huge contributions to victories and turned games around with sub appearances. 

AM: Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham) His performance level has dropped somewhat of late, but the Spurs midfielder had not just looked like the signing of the season but a possible player of the year. He has been at the heart of many goals and fine moves and looked more than worthy of a nomination for the PFA award. 

RWF: Nani (Man Utd) Streets ahead of the field on the assists chart, Nani has (officially) contributed more goals this season so far than any other player in the league. He may not be as good as Ronaldo but he has stepped out of his shadow effectively to become a very good player in his own right. Has had the quality and consistency even the most loyal United fan might not have expected from him.

LWF: Samir Nasri (Arsenal) He had an outstanding first six months of the season and 2010/11 has seen the development of Nasri from up-and-coming to fully arrived. He has been Arsenal’s best player this season and arguably the league’s best too.

ST: Carlos Tevez (Man City) Chose him over Dimitar Berbatov for consistency and the constant threat he poses defences. Definitely the most important player this season in a Man City side of big names.

Rob Green (West Ham)
Gary Cahill (Bolton)
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)
Scott Parker (West Ham)
Luca Modric (Tottenham)
David Silva (Man City) / Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Dimitar Berbatov (Man Utd)

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