Alternative Team of the Year
As the PFA team of the year was announced last Sunday I thought I would take this chance to show you that there have been many more outstanding performers in this encapsulating Barclays Premier League season who certainly deserve a mention.
Formation – 3-5-2
GOALKEEPER – Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)
Simon Mignolet is one of many up and coming Belgian talents in the Premier League and he has been excellent in Sunderland’s goal as they fight to stay in the league with the additional breath of fresh air from the extraordinaire Paolo Di Canio. Week in week out Simon has been brave and ballsy between the sticks throwing himself at everything and pulling out top draw saves. The statistics say it all as he has caught 52% of the balls into his box, fumbled 0% which is astonishingly impressive and also he and his defence have kept 11 clean sheets which is another good total. In comparison with the actual goalkeeper of the year David De Gea; he caught 46%, also 11 clean sheets but fumbled 2% so what does that tell you?
Nevertheless Simon is a top keeper who will undoubtedly be linked with the best clubs in the summer.
Just when you thought he has it all he is completing his masters degree in political sciences in the summer…….
RIGHT BACK – Sascha Riether (Fulham)
There may be a lot of raised eye brows at this selection as obviously Rafael for Manchester United has had a superb season but Fulham’s on loan right back Sascha Riether has been solidly consistent for The Cottagers throughout this campaign.The German has been most effective when bombing down the narrow flank of Craven Cottage with his deadly accurate crosses proving a nuisance. However having said this he was also quoted saying “I love the physical side of the Premier League” which shows he isn’t afraid of putting a tackle in or putting himself about. So far he has carved 5 assists and netting once against Sunderland.
I’m sure Martin Jol will be pondering the thought whether or not to make the deal permanent as Sascha really has excelled and made that spot his own appearing 32 times.
CENTRE BACK – Jonny Evans (Manchester United)
For the centre back position I could have gone for Matija Nastasic, Chico Flores or even Gareth Mcauley who have had solid seasons especially Nastasic who has kept out Joleon Lescott for the majority of the season.
However I think I had to go with the Champions’ in and out defender Jonny Evans as when called upon has been completely solid. They’re the champions for a reason and one of them is the strength in depth they have in each position and I know everyone talks about the Ferdinand and Vidic partnership but Evans is just as good and even Phil Jones towards the end of the season.
I believe the Northern Irishman is going to remain at the club for many more years and will keep putting in solid performances.
LEFT BACK – Luke Shaw (Southampton)
I’ve gone for the young Southampton left back Luke Shaw who by the looks of things has a massive future ahead of him after catching everyone’s eye this season in the top league. His close control, pace with the ball and intelligent runs has seen his reputation grow and grow over these past few months.
Rumour has it Chelsea are sniffing around the youngster….
RIGHT WING – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Season after season this man produces terrific performances showed with incredible leadership, strive and passion. This season he has sometimes picked his Liverpool up by the teeth and grinded out results as he has scored 9 times and produced 13 assists which is an incredible record as some matches he has been sitting alongside Lucas. Another thing is 22% of these goals have been the most crucial as they have come between the 80 and 90 minute mark. The goal that sticks in my memory for him this season is the absolute screamer he scored at the Etihad against Manchester City as he received the ball 30 yards out, chests it and volleys it spectacularly past compatriot Joe Hart.
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)
I don’t know if you agree with this selection but I am a massive admirer of Dembele, another Belgian who has made this time.
The Belgians are invading…..
His switch across London from Fulham to Tottenham hasn’t faltered his form as he has quietly gone about his business and I believe he is massively underrated, he just needs to score more goals, other than that he is clever, tricky and strong. He only has 1 goal and 2 assists and that obviously needs improving on in order to receive higher plaudits. I feel it’s just his ability to break up play, calm down proceedings, skip and power past players with ease and also he has an eye for splitting up defences with a killer pass.
We shall see what happens when Sandro gets back to full fitness….
CENTRE MIDFIELD – Marouane Fellaini (Everton)
Another Belgian! I’m sorry, they’re good. Everton’s Fellaini has been at his old tricks again this season, including the usual lack of discipline.
It is rumoured that Chelsea are interested, but would he fit into their team….?
His best game of the season was definitely right at the beginning as the Toffees welcomed Manchester United to Goodison Park. That night the reds had Michael Carrick playing out of position at centre half and Marouane Fellaini absolutely bullied him for 90 minutes and gave him the run around. This was topped off by getting above Carrick and smashing in a header to seal the victory. He has scored 11 times this season and created 7 goals which is a cracking return.
Can David Moyes hold onto him….?
LEFT WING – Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
Little Spaniard Santi Cazorla is another Arsene Wenger signing who has prevailed.
He should receive a trophy for the work he has done at the North London club…..
Cazorla has certainly been one of Arsenal’s plus points for the season with his range of passing and ability to score from distance. One attribute that sets him out from the rest is that he is ridiculously two footed, as you may have seen he has taken corners with both feet. I feel this is a very valuable attribute these days as having two strong feet helps tremendously when it comes to having a pop at goal and his statistics show that as he has netted 12 times and creating 9 assists which again is impressive being his first season in the league.
CENTRE ATTACKING MIDFIELD – Miguel Michu (Swansea)
Costing just £2m from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano, Swansea have found a gem in Michu. The Spaniard looks gangly and uninterested like Dimitar Berbatov at times but he is simply powerful, clever and clinical and that’s what earned him this spot in this team. I am always more impressed when a player comes from overseas and hits the ground running in what is deemed as the best league in the world. Michu certainly did this scoring 2 in a five goal thrashing of QPR at a sunny, late summer Loftus Road. However he did not stop there, he kept banging them in week after week as he has scored 17 times with 3 assists plus 4 braces which is superb.
STRIKER – Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)
Well what can you say about Christian Benteke…..
He has more or less dragged Aston Villa along by his side the whole season. They aren’t safe yet, but if they do survive then it is definitely down to the incredible Belgian powerhouse that is Christian Benteke. He was probably already in this team anyway but after seeing him rip Sunderland’s defence apart last Monday grabbing a superb hat-trick, he sealed it for himself. He also is obviously attracting strong attention as he has netted 18 times with 4 assists and has quite simply been unstoppable at times.
STRIKER–Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion)
This was definitely the hardest decision I had to make in this team as I really could not choose between Romelu Lukaku and Rickie Lambert as they both have had terrific seasons and more or less identical statistics but I have gone for Lukaku. His 14 goals and 7 assists have seen the baggies comfortably take their place in the top half of the table all season. His powerful presence has bossed many a defence around and he is showing his parent club Chelsea just what he is capable of.
Have the baggies stopped boing boinging….
Subs – Begovic, Rafael, Nastasic, Yaya Toure, Osman, Mccarthur, Lambert.
This alternative team of the year for the 2012/2013 season just shows how many top class players the Barclays Premier League currently has as it is packed with talents from all around the world.