With the release of the PFA Team of the Year, I gave much thought to my own team of the year and whether I agreed with it or not.
On a whole, yes I did, however there were some players I disagreed with and decided to omit. I have also went with an unorthodox formation of a 4-1-3-2, including the following players:
Goalkeeper: David De Gea | Manchester United
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the 22-year-old Spanish goalkeeper. Having a mixed season in 2011-2012 he drew many critics for his reliance on the use of his feet as well as his poor ability in the air. This lead to constant rotation with Anders Lindegaard and it was only until this season that he began to show the potential he quite clearly has. Notching up 10 Clean Sheets since January, he has also shown much better and consistent performance in the air as well as overall. Pulling off crucial saves in crucial games, most notably the Manchester Derby, his rise to prominence has just begun. Thus granting him his inclusion.
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta | Manchester City
Any Manchester City will tell you that by their standards it has been poor this season. Many notable key players have failed to recapture their title winning form however this is not the case for Pablo Zabaleta, a leader on the field he provides an attacking threat, notching seven goals this season. More importantly his defensive performances have been brilliant. He displays great tenacity and work ethic and is, in my opinion, the best positional wing back in the league. Thus he gets the nod.
Centre-back: Phil Jagielka | Everton
As Everton look set to finish above their city rivals Liverpool for the second consecutive season, Phil Jagielka has been at the heart of it. Putting in phenomenal defensive displays which have kept Everton's hopes for a European place alive. His tackling ability is up there with the best in the league and has shown better ability in the air both offensively and defensively; He should consider himself unlucky to not have been called up for England. However, he receives a place in my XI.
Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen | Tottenham Hotspur
It hasn’t been a bad debut season in the Premier League for the Belgian defender. He has shown a great ability going forward, scoring some spectacular goals and developing a decent partnership with Gareth Bale. But more importantly he has shown himself to be a leader on the pitch and is constantly shuffling his defence pushing them forward. He constantly talks and maintains organisation. He has the makings to be a world-class centre-back thus gaining my support.
Left-back: Leighton Baines | Everton
Much like Jagielka, Leighton Baines has led the way in Everton's push for European qualification. It has been his coming of age season. Having developed an almost telepathic connection with Steven Pienaar, he has notched up five goals as well as five assists. He has also shown an improvement in his tactical awareness, knowing when not to go which is up there with the hardest skills to learn. As well as this, he has a wand of a left foot delivering devastating set pieces thus warranting a place.
Centre-midfield: Michael Carrick | Manchester United
Much like Baines, it’s been Michael Carrick's coming of age season. With Paul Scholes becoming less of a main stay in the United team thus has granted Carrick more responsibility and he has flourished. Pulling the strings in the United midfield he has been the most consistent player in the Premier League this season. However, his contribution is often over looked as his type of player does not set the world on fire, however, his constant movement and high pass accuracy warrants his inclusion.
Right attacking-midfield: Juan Mata | Chelsea
There are many players like him at the moment, a smaller player with a low centre of gravity, adept on the ball they carve open teams. Players like Eden Hazard, Oscar, and David Silva are all players you want in your team however Juan Mata has been the best. Having added goals to his game, he his brilliant on the ball and has a range of passing with vision to boot. More importantly he is beginning to show his class by affecting games, most recently his late strike against United in their 1-0 defeat by Chelsea hence his inclusion.
Centre attacking-midfield: Santi Cazorla | Arsenal
Players like Santi Cazorla are rare. Being lethal with both feet he has shown that he was worth the big move from Malaga to Arsenal. Scoring 12 goals with seven assists Cazorla has been the stand out player for Arsenal performing both exceptionally and consistently. Although not recognised by the PFA Team of the Year, his ability on the ball is outstanding and he has the ability to score a goal out of nothing and win you the game hence his inclusion.
Left attacking-midfield: Gareth Bale | Tottenham Hotspur
Well it was obvious wasn’t it? Gareth Bale's performances this season has been world class, scoring important goals in Tottenham's bid for Champions League football. His shift from the Left-Wing to a more central position has been effortless and his pace and clinical finishing, being the first Spurs player to score 20 goals since Jurgen Klinsmann, has led to him being named the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year and an obvious choice in my XI.
Striker: Luis Suarez | Liverpool
Love him or hate him you cannot deny his talent. His intense and relentless play as well as his ability to find holes and wiggle through makes him a nightmare for defenders. Having added goals to his game he is been shown to be lethal in front of goal scoring 23 goals this term. It would have more than likely been more had it not had been for the biting incident. He is a player who is instinctively brilliant and is frustratingly flawed. He is in my opinion the rightful PFA Player of the Year as he has been consistently outstanding all season and my first choice in my XI.
Striker: Robin van Persie | Manchester United
The man who won the title. Following his big money move to United there were many questions over his ability to maintain his form and win his first trophy. These doubts were put to bed quick. One of the most technically gifted players in the world right now his finishing ability is unparalleled. Much like Suarez his place was quite obvious. He has shown that he is a world-class player by performing in a team challenging for the title and was an obvious inclusion.
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