The PFA have picked their best XI players this season, and now it’s my turn.
It’s been a great nine months of football in the English Premier League, so picking a team of the season wasn’t easy, especially with so many mid-table club players stepping up to give the Top Four a run for their money.
Anyway, I decided to give it a go. Here’s the Ianything Goes EPL Team of the Season (otherwise known as the IGEPLTotS):
* I’ve included the official PFA Team of the Season selection in brackets [ ].
[PFA’s choice: Joe Hart]
The young Englishman has been quite exceptional. Supremely confident, and with amazing reflexes. The PFA has got this one spot on. Definitely needs to go to the World Cup for me.
Glen Johnson – Richard Dunne – Roger Johnson – Patrice Evra
[PFA’s choice: Branislav Ivanovic, Thomas Vermaelen, Richard Dunne, Patrice Evra]
I don’t quite agree with the PFA on Ivanovic. Yeah, he’s been an able deputy for the injured Jose Bosingwa, but nothing spectacular.
Glen Johnson on the other hand, had an 18million pound price tag put on his head by Rafa Benitez to live up to, and he’s proven himself to be worth every penny. He adds a lot of thrust to Liverpool’s right flank, constantly threatening with his quality on the ball.
Richard Dunne has been rock solid, so no arguments about that. Villa have the best defensive record outside of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Quite a feat for a team who plays without a proper defensive midfielder.
Roger Johnson for me has been completely under-rated this season. Birmingham do not possess much quality going forward, but 26-year-old Johnson’s incredible consistency at the back (alongside the equally impressive youngster Scott Dann) has set the platform for the team to earn a few unlikely results throughout the season.
Patrice Evra‘s form has dipped in these last few weeks of the season due to sheer exhaustion, having played almost all of United’s games. But his swashbuckling early season form was quite spectacular.
Antonio Valencia – Frank Lampard – Cesc Fabregas – Florent Malouda
[PFA’s choice: Antonio Valencia, Darren Fletcher, James Milner, Cesc Fabregas]
Antonio Valencia has provided most of Wayne Rooney’s goals with his effective wing play. He lacks the guile of his Portuguese predecessor, but what he brings is consistency and quality delivery.
How Frank Lampard was left out of the PFA’s team is simply beyond me. The Chelsea midfield general hasn’t had a poor game all season. What people take for granted with Lamps is that he does the simple things so well, like keeping and passing the ball; yet at the same time he makes a lot of other things look simple as well – like scoring 20 goals, the most from a midfielder this season. By far the most effective midfielder in the Premier League.
The only other midfielder among the Premier League’s top ten goalscorers this season is Cesc Fabregas. There was talk mid-season about him being the best player in the world, before Rooney bumped his name ahead with his goal rush and Lionel Messi swatted aside both their claims. But Fab makes an entire Arsenal team play football from the middle of the park, and the 13 assists he’s had this season (the highest in the Prem) is proof of that.
There were times this season when Florent Malouda was simply unplayable, and it seemed almost impossible to win the ball from him. Credit to Ancelotti for finally bringing out the best from the erstwhile underperforming French international.
Wayne Rooney – Carlos Tevez
[PFA’s choice: Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba]
Wayne Rooney: need I say any more? There was never any doubt he would win the Player of the Year award either, was there?
His former strike partner Carlos Tevez has also shown this season with 22 goals and seven assists. But it’s The Caveman’s tenacity and overall play that for me, just puts him ever so slightly ahead of Drogba. There’s no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson would have wanted to keep him, and were United in better financial shape, or hadn’t made the grave mistake of signing Dimitar Berbatov, Tevez would certainly still be with United, probably nudging them ahead of Chelsea by now.
There you have it! The IGEPLTotS. Whadd’ya guys think?