Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Premier League Team Of The Season

It's that time of year, and we're ready to look back at the best of 10/11...

Edwin Van Der Sar- For a forty year old to be on this list at all is an achievement in its self, but for that forty year old to have been arguably his side's player of the season, well, that is just something else. Van Der Sar has been impregnable between the sticks all year long, making incredible saves, and organizing the United back line well. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the big Dutchman will retire at the end of the season, despite being on the top of his game.

Leighton Baines- After living in the shadow of Ashley Cole for so long, Leighton Baines has finally come out and established himself as a real candidate to take Cole's left back spot for England. The Everton man has been solid in the defensive third and penetrative in attack, his piercing runs have caused the opposition no end of problems, while he has time and again frustrated top class wingers. It is also important to mention the goalscoring responsibility which Baines has carried, he has established himself as Everton's first choice penalty and free kick taker.

Nemanja Vidic- This isn't Vidic's first appearance on a Premier League best XI, and it is unlikely to be his last. The tough Serbian central defender has been rock hard all season, dominating in the air, and improved on the floor. Vidic can always be relied upon to come up with decisive, well timed tackles at difficult moments, and he has proved a more than capable goal threat in the opposition penalty area too.

Vincent Kompany- One of the last signings of the Thaksin Shinawatra era, Kompany has been an ever present in Roberto Mancini's back line. The Belgian is a terrific tackler, and much like Vidic he has provided a rock hard base for his side to build off of. Unlike in past seasons, his work has paid off too, last week City sealed a top four finish, and a Kompany led defense helped the Citizens to cup glory as well. In a summer which is likely to be chocked full of changes for the Sky Blues, Kompany will be staying firmly in place.

Jose Enrique- In lieu of the fabulous exploits of Blackpool and West Bromich Albion, the achievements of Newcastle United this season have been largely taken for granted. The newly promoted club has easily evaded the drop, partly due to the play of their fantastic left back. After struggling in his first season in the Premiership, Enrique has gone from strength to strength, showing speed and skill in attack and concentration and solidity at the back.

Charlie Adam- Captains really don't get much more inspirational than Charlie Adam. Terrific for Blackpool all season, Adam led by example, scoring goals, tracking back, and stepping up to take high pressure penalty kicks. Linked to Liverpool and Tottenham in January, Adam had the chance to leave Bloomfield Road, but instead elected to stay and help them fight the drop, testament to the love the man has for his team.

Luis Nani- Love him or hate him, you must admit that Luis Nani has really come into his own this season. Nani leads the league with an astounding eighteen assists, while the Portuguese international has also contributed a decent number of goals from midfield, notching up nine over the course of the season. So often left in the shadow of Ronaldo, Nani has proved this year that he is a player in his own right, and deserves to be appreciated just as much as his fellow Portuguese winger.

Scott Parker- I mentioned the words "inspirational captain" with respect to Charlie Adam and I'm going to have to use them again in my description of Scott Parker. Consistently impressive, Parker has managed to add goals to his game this season, and was rewarded for his good work by a call-up into Fabio Capello's England squad. Unfortunately though, his efforts were mostly in vain as West Ham crashed down to the second division, the first side to do so. However, that should not be allowed to diminish Parker's season, the England man has been excellent, and it will be fascinating to see which teams approach him over the summer.

Ryan Giggs- Evergreen, Giggs has once again proved crucial to Manchester United's push for the Premier League title. Breaking his own record, Giggs continued his feat of scoring in every Premier League season, though the Welshman only recorded two goals in the league. However, he has made up for a lack of numbers in the scoring department with assists in crucial games, as well as poise and experience in the latter ends of big matches. While Scholes looks to edging towards retirement, Giggs is only getting started.

Luka Modric- Lacking the goals and glamor of Bale and Van Der Vaart, Modric has nevertheless warrants a place in INFTH's team of the season. The Croatian has controlled the midfield in many of Spurs' Premier League outings, spraying around passes and keeping possession, while also allowing Van Der Vaart and Bale to make the difference in the final third. Modric's big diagonal out to Bale has become a trademark Spurs attack, and without the little Croat, Bale would likely have been much less successful.

Peter Odemwingie- Many will ask how Odemwingie gets into the side ahead of Tevez and Berbatov, but the answer is simple: West Brom. While Tevez and Berbatov have racked up goal after goal for the two Manchester teams, Odemwingie has managed to do so at one of the league's lesser clubs. The Nigerian has consistently proved dangerous, scoring against Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea to name but a few. With fifteen goals, Odemwingie is the league's top scoring African, getting his name in the paper more often than both Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou.

Unlucky to miss out:
Gareth Bale
Chicharito Hernandez
Dimitar Berbatov
DJ Campbell
Rafa Van Der Vaart
Matthew Etherington
Daniel Sturridge
Demba Ba
Robin Van Persie
Carlos Tevez
Joe Hart
Luis Suarez
Raul Meireles
Antonio Valencia
Jack Wilshere
David Vaughan

Post your Premier League team of the season.

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