PL25: The 1992-93 Premier League Team of the Season
A look back at the Premier League Team of the Season during the 1992-93 campaign, which was the first year of the rebranded ‘Premier League’.
The inaugural Premier League season kicked off on 15 August 1992 as a 22-team league with Leeds United as the defending champions of the final English Division One season.
Sheffield United’s Brian Deane famously beat Peter Schmeichel to score the first-ever goal in the rebranded English top flight, whilst Manchester United recovered to become champions by May. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had been backed by many who had a bet on the Premier League.
The league was backed up by a five-year, £305 million deal with Sky Sports back then – something that feels like pocket money with today’s money.
As Manchester United won the league by 10 points in the end with the best defensive record and second best attack, they dominated the Premier League Team of the Season with four players.
Here’s a look at the XI that were picked:
Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel (Manchester United)
Arguably the greatest goalkeeper of all-time, Peter Schmeichel had made a couple of mistakes in his early days at Manchester United the season before. In the inaugural Premier League season the great Dane started to establish himself as one of the best in the world, playing all 42 games and keeping a league-high 18 clean sheets. He fought off competition from Arsenal’s David Seaman and Blackburn’s Bobby Mimms to make the team.
Right-back: David Bardsley (Queens Park Rangers)
The pacey full-back put in an impressive season-long performance at Queens Park Rangers as he helped them to their highest-ever finish: fifth. During the inaugural Premier League season, David Bardsley earned both of his England caps under Graham Taylor.
Centre-back: Paul McGrath (Aston Villa)
One of the best defenders in the world during his time at Manchester United, off-the-field problems and injuries saw Sir Alex Ferguson sell Paul McGrath to Aston Villa in 1989. The London-born Republic of Ireland international was excellent for the Villans in the first-ever Premier League season, helping them finish runners-up.
Centre-back: Gary Pallister (Manchester United)
Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce formed a terrific centre-back partnership in helping Manchester United become the first Premier League champions. The 31 goals they conceded in 42 games was seven fewer than any other team. Pallister played every minute of the season and won the title – no outfield player matched this record until John Terry during Chelsea’s title-winning campaign of 2014-15.
Left-back: Tony Dorigo (Leeds United)
Tony Dorigo had been Aston Villa and Chelsea’s Player of the Season before moving to Leeds United where he won the old Division One in his first season as well as being voted the Fans Player of the Year. Despite Leeds finishing 17th and only two points above relegation, Dorigo made it into the Premier League Team of the Season. He was selected ahead of the likes of Denis Irwin and Nigel Winterburn.
Midfield: Paul Ince (Manchester United)
Paul Ince and Bryan Robson were tremendous in the middle of the Manchester United midfield in breaking up opposition attacks by any means necessary. The England international’s six goals this season were as many as he’d scored in his three previous seasons combined with United.
Midfield: Gary Speed (Leeds United)
Leeds United got a lot of love from the FA in 1993. Despite finishing just above relegation they had two of the best performers in the league apparently. Gary Speed was a goalscoring, creative midfielder in Howard Wilkinson’s side and seemingly an important factor why they didn’t get relegated the year after winning the league.
Midfield: Roy Keane (Nottingham Forest)
Roy Keane was considered one of the hottest properties in English football whilst a youngster at Nottingham Forest. Despite being relegated that season the Irishman’s performances were so good that he made it into the team of the season. That summer he moved to Manchester United for an English record £3.75m transfer fee.
Midfield: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
The Welsh wizard was only in his second full season as a first team player but Ryan Giggs was good enough to tear defences apart with his pace and dribbling down the left wing. Giggs scored nine goals and set up a further five in helping United win the title. He would go on to score in each of the first 21 Premier League seasons and win a record 13 Premier League titles.
Striker: Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
Following promotion to the inaugural Premier League season via the playoffs, Blackburn Rovers splashed an English record £3.6 million to sign Alan Shearer from Southampton, with help of Jack Walker’s millions. Despite missing half of the season through injury, Shearer scored 16 goals in 21 games and made it into the Team of the Season. He would follow this up with 65 goals over the next two seasons.
Striker: Ian Wright (Arsenal)
Despite Arsenal finishing down in 10th and scoring the fewest goals in the first-ever Premier League season, striker Ian Wright managed to net 15 himself. The Gunners legend was selected ahead of the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand and Eric Cantona.
Betfair have produced the following infographic looking back over the first 25 Premier League seasons: