My Team Of The Year: This Wasn’t Easy….
So the 2010/11 season is finished. Minus the small matter of the play-offs of course, but for the top division, it’s now a busy three months preparing to do it all over again.
Over the past campaign, there have been many players who have impressed, but which particular eleven individuals get the nod to make up my Team of the Year? Whether you agree or disagree, we’ve all got an opinion. Here’s mine…
Joe Hart – Manchester City
It’s easy to say Edwin Van Der Sar was the best keeper this season. For me, that seems to be a romantic’s point of view and if it wasn’t his final season he wouldn’t have been so glorified. Take nothing away from the Dutchman, he was superb, but in my humble opinion, the man who has got the most clean sheets gets the gloves. 18 shut-outs in one campaign is a mean feat, and although he had a rock-solid defence in-front of him, Hart made crucial saves at crucial times. Despite a wobbly patch, Hart has established himself as the county’s best keeper and now has an F.A Cup winners medal on his mantelpiece and Champions League football to look forward to.
Seamus Coleman – Everton
It’s not been a good year for the Premier League’s right-backs. Glen Johnson injured, Branislav Ivanovic and Bakary Sagna not at their best. Rafael had his moments but for me it goes to a player who hasn’t even played right-back .Strange, yes, but Seamus Coleman had to fit into the side somewhere, despite playing most of his football at right-midfield. Naturally a full-back, Coleman has been transformed into an attacking force and has chipped in with six goals this campaign. Quick, neat feet and strong in the tackle, Coleman has announced himself at the highest level and will only get better.
Vincent Kompany – Manchester City
First name on the team-sheet, Kompany has been colossal in Manchester City’s impressive back-line this season. One of the main reasons why Hart got his 18 clean-sheets, Kompany seemed to be everywhere, throwing his body into the path of shots, tackles and crosses. Still young and next season, he could get even stronger.
Nemanja Vidic – Manchester United
Probably the Premier League’s best centre-back, strong in the air and reads the game excellently. Positionally, the Serbian international has barely put a foot wrong and when fit, has been a huge factor in United’s push for their 19th top-flight title. Scored important goals too, netting in the remarkable late comeback away at Aston Villa.
Leighton Baines – Everton
This full-back choice is a lot more straight forward, following the controversy over the opposite flank. On form, Baines should be England’s No.1, No.3. Not only has the former Wigan man vastly improved defensively, his contribution to Everton’s attacking options has been the main reason behind his superb season. 11 assists and five goals in the league tell all you need to know.
Nani – Manchester United
Another obvious selection, Nani is starting to fill the shadow that Cristiano Ronaldo had left him in when they both resided in Manchester. 14 assists, nine goals, Nani has really shined in another successful season for the Red Devils and has calmed down on the previously infuriating play acting that overshadowed his undoubted ability. Now, the winger needs to kick on to further enhance his reputation.
Charlie Adam – Blackpool
Unlikely to be playing near Pleasure Beach next season, but what a campaign for the Scotsman. At times, single-handedly led Blackpool to some remarkable scalps in a memorable campaign for the Tangerines. It’s been said so many times that Ian Holloway’s side were “a breath of fresh air” for the Premier League, but it was Adam who really helped Pool liven up the top-flight, chipping in with 12 goals and eight assists.
Scott Parker- West Ham United
If there was ever a player who didn’t deserve to suffer the pain of relegation, it’s Scott Parker. Like Adam at Blackpool, at times it was like a one-man show at Upton Park, the Football Writers Player of the Year magnificent for the Hammers as he kept fighting through the months of turmoil. A move to bigger and better things beckons, but the Iron faithful won’t forget him. West Ham never won when Parker didn’t play this season, which further outlines his importance.
Rafael Van Der Vaart – Tottenham
There were a few contenders for this final midfield spot, especially Spurs team-mate Gareth Bale, but for his transfer fee and overall contribution, Van Der Vaart nicks in for me. Although the second-half of his season was less emphatic, the Dutchman has been a joy to watch and has scored some wonderful goals, netting 13 overall alongside eight assists.
Javier Hernandez – Manchester United
Signing of the season, by some margin. Few imagined the “Little Pea” would take so kindly to England’s top division but the Mexican has more than lived up to the cut-price £6m Sir Alex Ferguson paid for him. 20 goals in his first ever season in the U.K, 13 of them in the league and now one game stands between the striker and a Champions League winners medal. Don’t rule him out of scoring in that one either.
Darren Bent – Aston Villa
Nowadays it seems wherever he goes, he guarantees goals, even at mid-table sides. Sunderland looked odds-on for Europe, until Bent left for Villa in January, where he still managed to add to his 11 goals in 23 games for the Black Cats, with 9 in 16 for Gerard Houllier’s side. If Chelsea are paying £50m for Fernando Torres, Bent looks a snip at £24m after another brilliant campaign.
Beyond the first team, there were a number of players who can count themselves unfortunate not to make the XI. They do make up a good subs bench, mind.
Robin Van Persie – Arsenal – When fit was extremely clinical, his goals were missed for long periods.
Gareth Bale – Tottenham – Had one unstoppable spell during the season but injuries caught up with him soon afterwards.
Ali Al-Habsi – Wigan – A real gem in goal for Roberto Martinez, crucial to keeping them up. Jack Wilshere – Arsenal – Impressive breakthrough season saw the 19 year-old become a regular for both the Gunners and England.
Dirk Kuyt – Liverpool – The Reds’ most consistent performer over the campaign, top-scorer with 14 strikes.
Peter Odemwingie – West Brom – 15 goals in his maiden season in English football was a superb return for a fee, supposedly, under £2m.
David Vaughan – Blackpool – Out-shone by Charlie Adam but made the second most tackles over the whole season and will no doubt be coveted over the summer.
Submitted by Football Friends
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