The Premier League PFA team of the year (4-4-2):
Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Seamus Coleman (Everton), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Man City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
The PFA team of the season was announced last night, with Chelsea and Liverpool dominating the team, with 3 players included from each. Manchester City and Southampton each have two players included whilst Seamus Coleman is Everton’s sole representative. Some notable exceptions from the team are David Marshall and Hugo Lloris, Chelsea’s John Terry, Liverpool’s much improved Jordan Henderson and Everton’s highly under-rated Gareth Barry.
This got me thinking about who I would include in my team of the season, and I have produced a First and Second XI of my players of the year.
First XI (4-4-2)
Seamus Coleman, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Luke Shaw
Eded Hazard, Yaya Toure, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana
Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge
David Marshall has been a sensation this season, and has almost single handedly kept Cardiff from being relegated already. Boasting the highest amount of saves this season, in my opinion he deserves to be in the team. I agree with the defence on the whole, except I would pick Terry over Kompany. This is more an endorsement of John Terry’s performances over the season rather than an attack on Kompany’s ability. The Chelsea defence has been sublime this year, and John Terry has been at the heart of that. In midfield, I generally agree again, however I would select Jordan Henderson over his Captain Steven Gerrard. Henderson has improved so much over the past year and he really has stepped up when Gerrard was injured earlier in the season. Obviously, no team of the year would exclude the SAS strike partnership, who have made any other strikers look like Grant Holt. They have catapulted Liverpool to a Champions League spot and possibly more, and Suarez missed the first five games! They have netted 49 goals between them (with two games left!) and 33 assists, forming potentially the most formidable partnership in Europe.
Second XI (4-3-3)
Nathaniel Clyne, Vincent Kompany, Laurent Koscielny, Leighton Baines
Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Aaron Ramsey
Raheem Sterling, Wilfred Bony, Jay Rodriguez
It was a tough choice to leave Petr Cech out of the First XI. He has been as reliable as ever in goal for Chelsea and has the most clean sheets in the league. Nathaniel Clyne is a highly under-rated full back who many consider England’s best Right Back. Although he has had a tough season competing with Calum Chambers at Southampton, this has ultimately led to him improving as a player both offensively and defensively. Kompany and Koscielny have both had solid seasons, with the latter being part of a much improved Arsenal defence. Leighton Baines has been as you would expect – solid defensively and excellent going forward, and a constant threat from set-pieces.
Steven Gerrard has been sublime this year, but I believe that Jordan Henderson should be selected above him due to his improvement throughout the year. Gareth Barry has been hugely under-rated, and along with James McCarthy has covered every blade of grass at every Premier League ground this year. His discipline has allowed Everton’s more attacking players to flourish, sitting back so that Baines and Coleman could bomb forward. With his injury, everyone seems to have forgotten Aaron Ramsey’s heroics in the first half of the season. Although he has missed a large chunk of the season, Ramsey has improved massively and was a key factor in Arsenal’s early season rise to the top.
Raheem Sterling has really stepped up this season. Last year, I was unsure whether he was the real thing or whether he was just a quick winger with no real talent. But this year, he has stepped up with nine goals and six assists, proving that he has more to his game than just pace. Wilfred Bony has been one of the signings of the season, scoring 16 goals so far. Without his goals, and with Michu’s injury problems, Swansea could quite easily have slipped into the relegation dogfight. Jay Rodriguez has been in superb form for Southampton, with the only Englishmen scoring more goals than him being Sturridge and Rooney. Cutting in from the left with his pace, Rodriguez would probably have made Roy Hodgson’s World Cup Squad if he didn’t get injured against Manchester City.
Other players that I could have included:
Hugo Lloris, Tim Howard, Julian Speroni, Cesar Azpilicueta, Dejan Lovren, Curtis Davies, John Flanagan, Sylvain Distin, Joel Ward, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Jonjo Shelvey, Steven Davis, Jack Cork, Tom Huddlestone, Jason Puncheon, Oscar, Christian Eriksen, Adam Johnson, Kevin Mirallas, Rickie Lambert, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and more recently Connor Wickham.